Notes on Praxis, Dialectics, and Aporia – An Exploration of the AP Comment Threads

This post delves into the thinking behind the AP dynamics (as I see it anyway) in the comment threads which people are quick to label as thugs. Three keywords to remember – Praxis, Dialectics, and Aporia.


Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted or practiced, embodied and/or realized. It is a practical and applied knowledge to one’s actions. It has meaning in political, educational, and spiritual realms.


In Ancient Greek the word praxis (πρᾱξις) referred to activity engaged in by free men. Aristotle held that there were three basic activities of man: theoria, poiesis and praxis. There corresponded to these kinds of activity three types of knowledge: theoretical, to which the end goal was truth; poietical, to which the end goal was production; and practical, to which the end goal was action. Aristotle further divided practical knowledge into ethics, economics and politics. He also distinguished between eupraxia (good praxis) and dyspraxia (bad praxis, misfortune).

Praxis is used by educators to describe a recurring passage through a cyclical process of experiential learning, such as the cycle described and popularised by David A. Kolb.[1]

Paulo Freire defines praxis in Pedagogy of the Oppressed as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.” Through praxis, oppressed people can acquire a critical awareness of their own condition, and, with their allies, struggle for liberation.[2]

Praxis is also key in meditation and spirituality, where emphasis is placed on gaining first-hand experience of concepts and certain areas, such as union with the Divine, which can only be explored through praxis due to the inability of the finite mind (and its tool, language) to comprehend or express the infinite. In an interview for YES! Magazine, Matthew Fox explained it this way:

Wisdom is always taste — in both Latin and Hebrew, the word for wisdom comes from the word for taste — so it’s something to taste, not something to theorize about. “Taste and see that God is good,” the psalm says; and that’s wisdom: tasting life. No one can do it for us. The mystical tradition is very much a Sophia tradition. It is about tasting and trusting experience, before institution or dogma.[3]

According to Strong’s Hebrew dictionary, the Hebrew word, ta‛am, is; properly a taste, that is, (figuratively) perception; by implication intelligence; transitively a mandate: – advice, behaviour, decree, discretion, judgment, reason, taste, understanding.


While praxis usually refers to the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice, the strategic and organizational usage of the word emphasizes the need for a constant cycle of conceptualizing the meanings of what can be learned from experience in order to reframe strategic and operational models.

Social work

In social work theory, praxis is the reflexive relationship between theories and action. It describes a cyclical process of social work interactions developing new theories and refining old ones, as well as theories directing the delivery of social work interactions.

Notice the constant reference to a cyclical process. This cyclical process is called the Dialectic.


The Dialectic in Classic Philosophy

Dialectic (also called dialectics or the dialectical method) is a method of argument, which has been central to both Eastern and Western philosophy since ancient times. The word “dialectic” originates in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato’s Socratic dialogues.

Dialectic is based on a dialogue between two or more people who hold different ideas and wish to persuade each other.

This is in contrast to rhetoric, which is a relatively long oration conducted by a single person, a method favored by the Sophists.[1]

Different forms of dialectical reason have emerged in the East and in the West, as well as during different eras of history (see below). Among the major forms of dialectic reason are Socratic, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian, Marxist, and Talmudic.

Dialectic is also known as Logic

It is also defined as “The practice of arriving at a conclusion by the exchange of logical arguments, usually in the form of questions and answers.” –

From the Greek, “reason”


* “But of all the arts the first and most general is logic, next grammar, and finally rhetoric, since there can be much use of reason without speech, but no use of speech without reason. We gave the second place to grammar because correct speech can be unadorned; but it can hardly be adorned before it is correct.”
(John Milton, The Art of Logic, 1672)

* “Logic is the armory of reason, furnished with all defensive and offensive weapons. There are syllogisms, long swords; enthymemes, short daggers; dilemmas, two-edged swords that cut on both sides; sorites, chain-shot.”
(Thomas Fuller, “The General Artist,” 1661)

* “Some logicians study only formal logic; that is, they work only with abstract models that have purely logical substance and content. . . .

“Relating the abstract systems of formal logic to ‘real’ statements and arguments is not part of formal logic itself; it requires the consideration of many issues and factors beyond the basic logical forms of the statements and arguments. The study of the factors other than logical form relevant to the analysis and evaluation of statements and arguments of the kind that occur in everyday situations is known as informal logic. This study includes considerations of such things as: identification and clarification of vague or ambiguous statements; identification of unstated assumptions, presuppositions or biases and making them explicit; recognition of frequently used but highly questionable premises; and assessment of the strength of analogies between more or less similar cases.”
(Robert Baum, Logic, 4th edition, Harcourt Brace, 1996)

# “In the simplest form of Socratic dialectic, the questioner and respondent begin with a proposition or a ‘stock question,’ such as What is courage? Then, through the process of dialectical interrogation, the questioner attempts to lead the respondent into contradiction. The Greek term for the contradiction that generally signals the end of a round of dialectic is aporia.”
(Janet M. Atwell, Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and the Liberal Arts Tradition. Cornell Univ. Press, 1998)

# “Aristotle took a different view of the relationship between rhetoric and dialectic from what Plato had taken. Both, for Aristotle, are universal verbal arts, not limited to any specific subject matter, by which one could generate discourse and demonstrations on any question that might arise. The demonstrations, or arguments, of dialectic differ from those of rhetoric in that dialectic derives its arguments from premises (protaseis) founded on universal opinion and rhetoric from particular opinions.
(Thomas M. Conley, Rhetoric in the European Tradition. Longman, 1990)

The Dialectic Method

The aim of the dialectical method is resolution of the disagreement through rational discussion,[6][7] and ultimately the search for truth. One way to proceed — the Socratic method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth (see also reductio ad absurdum). Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of both the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn)thesis or “sublation”. However, the rejection of the participants’ presuppositions can be resisted, which might generate a second-order controversy.[8]

Classical philosophy

The term “dialectic” owes much of its prestige to its role in the philosophy of Socrates and Plato. According to Aristotle,[9] it was Zeno of Elea who ‘invented’ dialectic. Plato’s dialogues are the best ancient written examples that show the Socratic dialectic method in great detail.

In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is a form of reasoning based on the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments, advocating propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses). The outcome of such an exchange might be the refutation of one of the relevant points of view, or a synthesis or combination of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue.[10][11]

Socratic dialogue

In Plato’s dialogues and other Socratic dialogues, Socrates attempts to examine someone’s beliefs, at times even first principles or premises by which we all reason and argue. Socrates typically argues by cross-examining his interlocutor’s claims and premises in order to draw out a contradiction or inconsistency among them. According to Plato, the rational detection of error amounts to finding the proof of the antithesis.[12] However, important as this objective is, the principal aim of Socratic activity seems to be to improve the soul of his interlocutors, by freeing them from unrecognized errors.

For example, in the Euthyphro, Socrates asks Euthyphro to provide a definition of piety. Euthyphro replies that the pious is that which is loved by the gods. But, Socrates also has Euthyphro agreeing that the gods are quarrelsome and their quarrels, like human quarrels, concern objects of love or hatred. Therefore, Socrates reasons, at least one thing exists which certain gods love but other gods hate. Again, Euthyphro agrees. Socrates concludes that if Euthyphro’s definition of piety is acceptable, then there must exist at least one thing which is both pious and impious (as it is both loved and hated by the gods) — which Euthyphro admits is absurd. Thus, Euthyphro is brought to a realization by this dialectical method that his definition of piety is not sufficiently meaningful.

Modern Non-Hegelian Dialectics

In the Soviet Union dialectics of Marx developed in two directions – the ideological propaganda and research methodology. Some research scientists have used the dialectic of Hegel and Marx to interpret the results of natural sciences – physics, etc. One of them was Yuri Rothenfelde (born in 1940). At the same time he created the non-classical dialectic (Not-Hegelian dialectic).

Doctoral dissertation, consultant V.S. Gott – “Becoming a non-classical dialectics” (1991). In 1991 Ph.D. Rothenfelde Y. has published a monography dedicated to the nonclassical dialectic – Rothenfelde Y.A. Non-classical dialectic. – M: Ray, 1991.

Leading the research theme was the problem of differentiating the concept of “specific identity”. It lies between the abstract identity and absolute difference. He managed to differentiate an infinite number of specific differences.

The scheme of Hegel:  Abstract identity – Specific identity (or identity of opposites) – Absolute difference.

Yuri Rothenfelde divided “specific identity” to the specific differences. And express them in a series of philosophical categories. These categories became the basis of non-classical dialectic. Rothenfelde Y. called them “the comparative category”.

The scheme of Rothenfelde:

The first series:  Abstract identity < – Meaning Assigned (less relatively more) – …etc….< Absolute difference

Second series:  Abstract identity <- Opposite (the middle between the smaller and more) -…etc…. < Absolute difference

These categories describe the types of symmetry, antisymmetry and asymmetry. Abstract identity – the mirror symmetry, the Absolute difference – asymmetry. Meaning assigned – translational symmetry, the Opposite – the mirror antisymmetry, etc. That philosophy is connected with physics. For example. The right and left hand – Abstract identity – Mirror symmetry.
(Thomas M. Conley, Rhetoric in the European Tradition. Longman, 1990)

Dialectics In Daily Life


What the Heck is Dialectics?

Dialectics is a tool to understand the way things are and the way things change. Understanding dialectics is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

One–Every thing (every object and every process) is made of opposing forces/opposing sides.

Two–Gradual changes lead to turning points, where one opposite overcomes the other.

Three–Change moves in spirals, not circles.

These are the three laws of dialectics according to Frederick Engels, in his book Dialectics of Nature. Engels believed that dialectics was “A very simple process which is taking place everywhere and every day, which any child can understand”.

Here’s how it works –

1) Everything is made of opposites.

No object could hold together without an opposing force to keep it from flying apart. The earth tries to fly away from the sun, but gravity holds it in orbit. Electrons try to fly away from the nucleus of an atom, but electromagnetism holds the atom together. Ligaments and tendons provide the ties that hold bones together and muscles to bones.

Like material objects, the process of change needs opposing forces. Change needs a driving force to push it ahead, otherwise everything stays put. A billiard ball only moves when hit with a pool cue or another ball. We eat when our hunger tells us to. A car won’t move if it’s engine won’t start. To win in fair elections candidates need more votes than their opponents.

Engels, drawing from the philosopher, Hegel, called this law the “interpenetration of opposites”; Hegel often referred to the “unity of opposites.” This may sound contradictory, but it is easy to understand. It’s like the saying, “It takes two to tango.” There is no game if one side quits. There is no atom if the electrons fly away. The whole needs all of its parts to be a whole.

Here’s a challenge–Can you think of anything that isn’t made of opposites? Send your suggestions to   To read some challenges and responses click here.

2) Gradual changes lead to turning points.

The ABC’s of Change give 26 examples of this, one for each letter of the alphabet. What happens is that the two opposing forces in a process of change push against each other. As long as one side is stronger than the other side, change is gradual. But when the other side becomes stronger, there is a turning point–an avalanche, a birth, a collapse, a discovery, . . .

Physicist Michio Kaku gives a detailed example of this process in his book Hyperspace. He follows the turning points or stages in the heating of an ice cube. Click here to see how he describes it: The Dialectics of Water

Engels called this the law of the transformation of quantity into quality. Quantitative change is the gradual build-up of one opposing force. Qualitative change takes place when that opposite becomes dominant.

This law is powerful in describing the stages of development of anything. A person’s life follows these quantitative/qualitative changes. Likewise human history, or the history of a particular place, has gone through many stages. The tool of dialectics is so powerful that Michio Kaku describes the history of the universe for its first 10 billion years by a series of dialectical stages, using only 250 words. Click here for Kaku’s stages in the evolution of the universe:   The Dialectics of the Universe

Using the same approach it is possible to trace the history of the universe right up to the present by identifying the key turning points. Try it by clicking on The Top Ten Stories of All Time

3) Change moves in spirals, not circles.

Many changes are cyclical–first one side dominates, then the other–as in day/night, breathing in/breathing out, one opposite then another. Dialectics argues that these cycles do not come back exactly to where they started; they don’t make a perfect circle. Instead, change is evolutionary, moving in a spiral.

Maybe the changes are tiny, so we think nothing is really different–it’s true that we hardly change in a measurable way with every breath. But we can see that many cycles do come around to a different place –children are not the same as their parents, even if they are a lot alike. People go to school and learn; when they return home, they are no longer the same. And, like it or not, you are a bit older with every breath. For more examples, see Spirals A – Z or Popcorn, Earthquakes, and Other Changes.

Engels, again following Hegel, called this law “negation of negation”. This sounds complicated, but, as Engels said, it is going on all the time. What happens is that first one side overcomes its opposite–this is the first negation. This marks a turning point as in Engels’ 2nd law. Next, the new side is once again overcome by the first side. This is negation of negation.

Here are a couple more examples, one cosmic and two common:

The earliest stars were made of hydrogen and helium that were produced in the big bang. Those first generation stars fused these elements into heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, and iron. When those stars died,(i.e.were negated) they pushed those elements into space. If the first generation star died in a supernova, even heavier elements such as silver and gold were hurled into space. When second or third generation stars form, like our sun, they have these heavier elements, thereby allowing planets and life to form. This evolution is negation of negation.

A normal conversation requires negation of negation to move ahead. First one person talks, then the other; the second negates the first. Pretty soon, however, the first person begins talking again. The conversation makes no sense if the first person simply repeats what they said the first time. Instead, the first person now has listened to the second person talk, so the negation of negation returns to a different place (hopefully one of more understanding.)

Unfortunately spirals can go down as well as up. For example, if a person is feeling depressed, they may take drugs or alcohol to feel better. This may negate their bad feelings for a while, but when the drug wears off, the person often feels worse than when they started.

Of course we want our spirals to go upward. When they do, we live healthier and happier lives, full of learning, growing, and reaching our full potential.


The ABCs of Change

Some things change slowly, like a mountain being washed to the sea. Other things change fast, like a light bulb going on. Whether fast or slow, every change comes to a turning point, where all at once, you have something new.

A – Snow builds up and up and up on a mountain . . . until there’s an

B – A baby grows inside its mother, day by day . . . until the day of

C – You pile up blocks, higher and higher . . . until they

D – A miner looks for gold for many days . . . until at last he makes a

E – Deep in the earth, pressure builds up for many years . . . suddenly there comes an
Click here for some animated drawings of earthquake faults (for older kids)
Then click on “Back” to come back to “Dialectics for Kids.”

F – Your baby tooth gets looser and looser. . . then one day, it
Falls out

G – On your marks, get set, . . .

H – Your hair gets longer and longer . . . until you decide to get a

I – You wait in line at the movies . . . until at last you get

J – You think someone is serious when they tell you a story . . . until you laugh when you find out it’s just a

K – The football teams line up, the whistle blows, the players run . . .
it’s the

L – Your shoes are tied in a knot. You work and work . . . until the knot is

M – Snow stays on the ground all winter . . . until a warm day comes along and it all

N – The sky turns rosy, the sun sinks in the west . . . then it sets, and it’s the start of
Click here for some neat sunset pictures

O – You’re warm and snug, and still a bit sleepy . . . but you know it’s time to get
Out of Bed

P – The kernels are getting hotter . . . until the popcorn

Q – You’re hot and dry, you get a drink . . . and you
Quench your thirst

R – The clouds turn dark, a cool wind stirs, . . . and it starts to

S – Traffic moves along the street . . . until the light turns red and the traffic

T – The cowgirl rides the wild horse . . . until at last it is

U – You study and think . . .until you finally

V – The mountain is quiet for many years . . . until it erupts as a
Volcano   Click here for a picture of a Volcano
(then click on “Back” to come back to Dialectics for Kids)

W – You sleep all night . . . until you

X – A fire burns . . . until it is

Y – You are getting sleepy. . . You try not to, but you have to

Z – Five – Four – Three – Two – One . . .
Zero. Blast off!


Aporia not euphoria. Read more instead of flashing the Laban sign and drinking the yellow kool-aide.

Question: What Is Aporia?

As defined in our glossary, aporia is a figure of speech in which the speaker expresses real or simulated doubt or perplexity.

In classical rhetoric, aporia means placing a claim in doubt by developing arguments on both sides of an issue. In the terminology of deconstruction, aporia is a final impasse or paradox–the site at which the text most obviously undermines its own rhetorical structure, dismantles, or deconstructs itself.

Let’s look at three examples of aporia–from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamable, and our favorite animated father, Homer Simpson.

Hamlet’s Aporia – The most famous example of aporia in English literature is Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Shakespeare’s great tragedy. The opening question introduces the fundamental uncertainty that characterizes the passage as a whole:

To be, or not to be: that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, scene 1)

Aporia in Beckett’s The Unnamable – A more contemporary author whose entire body of work is characterized by aporia is the 20th-century Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett. Consider the opening paragraph of his novel The Unnamable (1959):

Where now? Who now? When now? Unquestioning. I, say I. Unbelieving. Questions, hypotheses, call them that. Keep going, going on, call that going, call that on. Can it be that one day, off it goes on, that one day I simply stayed in, in where, instead of going out, in the old way, out to spend day and night as far away as possible, it wasn’t far. Perhaps that is how it began. You think you are simply resting, the better to act when the time comes, or for no reason, and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again. No matter how it happened. It, say it, not knowing what. Perhaps I simply assented at last to an old thing. But I did nothing. I seem to speak, it is not I, about me, it is not about me. These few general remarks to begin with. What am I to do, what shall I do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia pure and simple? Or by affirmations and negations invalidated as uttered, or sooner or later? Generally speaking. There must be other shifts. Otherwise it would be quite hopeless. But it is quite hopeless. I should mention before going any further, any further on, that I say aporia without knowing what it means.

Who and where is the narrator? Is he alive or dead? Such fundamental questions are never answered in Beckett’s challenging comic text. As David Lodge has written in The Art of Fiction (1993), “Aporia is a favorite trope of deconstructionist critics, because it epitomizes the way in which all texts undermine their own claims to a determinate meaning.”

Homer Simpson’s Aporia – Aporia is just one of the terms that might be used to describe Homer Simpson’s typically baffled state of mind. Here’s an example from around the Simpsons’ breakfast table:

Homer: Marge? Since I’m not talking to Lisa, would you please ask her to pass me the syrup?
Marge: Dear, please pass your father the syrup, Lisa.
Lisa: Bart, tell Dad I will only pass the syrup if it won’t be used on any meat product.
Bart: You dunkin’ your sausages in that syrup homeboy?
Homer: Marge, tell Bart I just want to drink a nice glass of syrup like I do every morning.
Marge: Tell him yourself, you’re ignoring Lisa, not Bart.
Homer: Bart, thank your mother for pointing that out.
Marge: Homer, you’re not not-talking to me and secondly I heard what you said.
Homer: Lisa, tell your mother to get off my case.
Bart: Uhhh, dad, Lisa’s the one you’re not talking to.
Homer: Bart, go to your room.

In classical rhetoric, aporia is usually a deliberate strategy that serves a useful purpose. In Plato’s dialogues, for instance, Socrates often uses ignorance or uncertainty as a mask. His expressions of doubt fool opponents into thinking, at least momentarily, that they have the upper-hand.

In Homer Simpson’s case, however, expressions of doubt or uncertainty usually reveal just one thing: Homer is genuinely perplexed.

Reductio Ad Absurdeum

By itself the technique  is insufficient. It’s best use is – for emphasis.  It is just one of many tools available for argumentation. You see this a lot on AP – quite effective – and when beliefs that people hold dear are shattered – it is understandable that people just can’t handle it – and they feel “thugged”. If it were I, I would have reacted – cool – so that’s the contradiction – one myth eliminated – and we get closer to clarity – or even Aporia.

Here’s a site with a very good explanation. – “Reductio ad absurdum is a mode of argumentation that seeks to establish a contention by deriving an absurdity from its denial, thus arguing that a thesis must be accepted because its rejection would be untenable. It is a style of reasoning that has been employed throughout the history of mathematics and philosophy from classical antiquity onwards.”

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Mahirap, mag-aral ano? Can you imagine me having to paraphrase all this – for a hobby? Not right now. I say, I’ll take you all to the well  – the choice is yours to drink or not to drink.

The Dialectic in Poetry

On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


On Reason and Passion
Kahlil Gibran

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.
But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.
Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows — then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”
And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky — then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”
And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

On Freedom
Kahlil Gibran

At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom,
Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them.
Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff.
And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfilment.

You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief,
But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour?
In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.

And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free?
If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead.
You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them.
And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride?
And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.
And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.

Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.
These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.
And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.

Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The Dialectics Applied to Asia

In this peer-reviewed journal, the dialectics of “good governance” and its dissonance with reality in Southeast Asia are explored.

Southeast Asia displays a problematic relationship between elitist calls for “good governance” and democracy. While opposing dictatorships accused of mismanagement and cronyism, regional upper and middle class activists invoked the discourse of “good governance.” Yet elitist-led “civil society” later redirected this discourse against democratically elected populist politicians accused of corruption. This dialectic has destabilized democracy in the Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Indonesia, and was a major cause of the recent democratic breakdown in Thailand. Renewed reformism has failed in the Philippines and is in trouble in Thailand, reviving critiques of governance by elites while antagonizing the poor who supported toppled populist leaders. Plagued by patrimonialism, Indonesian democracy remains under less direct threat as its civil society is weaker and a populist challenge has yet to emerge. A brief comparison with Venezuela suggests that the dialectic between “good governance” discourse and populist democratic rule affects other regions as well.

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Of course, there’s always the PURE EMOTE BS  NON-THINKING IDIOTS and MORONS.  Basta.. I’m the oracle.. I said so… I am right.

Whatcha smoking Dorothy?

We have lots of practitioners of Newspeak in our midst – George Orwell would be so proud. 😈

“Thug” vs  “idiot” – AP vs Aquino supporters let this undergo the dialectic method – RESULTS: PRICELESS! 😀




  1. Anonylol · ·

    You actually expect them to read all this?

    You should’ve put something in the title to catch their attention. It might come off as too complicated or intellectual or “pangmayaman”.

    Something like “P.Noy is a fag.”. Yeah, around that level.

  2. miriam quiamco · ·

    I will read this, will have to find time to do it. Come on, don’t underestimate the readers of AP. . .

  3. Anonylol · ·

    Oh no. I meant the commenters who post all that ridicuous nonsense in the other articles yet seem to have not read and understood the article itself. You know who I’m referring to right?

  4. How about “Snake Style Thug Kung Fu” 😆

  5. @miriam “heaven help the soul” who underestimates you 😀

  6. Anonylol · ·

    >”How about “Snake Style Thug Kung Fu” ”

    You now have my full attention good sir.

  7. people talk about process – when they should be talking issues.

    this is an opportunity to talk about the “process” – let us engage in praxis :mrgreen:

  8. Anonylol · ·

    Yeah, they would need to know Snake Style Thug Kung Fu.

  9. Whew, BongV! A lot of strange words for me.

    I need to activate my Encarta Dictionary (English-German) for this article. Have to sit on this, do some BrainGym (Trademark von Dr. Ellison) to stimulate my left brain. It will take time though, my brain cells are getting gray!

  10. Those who don’t know Snake Style Thug Kung Fu are probably stuck on Dog Style. Nyahaha.

  11. bong v. as in vayot! (: · ·

    DUH! Who cares to read this moronic crap?? The title should have been, “Bong V’s journey to the deep end”. 😯 😯

    “Praxis, Dialectics, and Aporia” – translated ‘kiss my ass’ – Dickhead!! You honestly believe that some stupid soul is gonna engage you in this post.?? 🙄

    C’mon let’s hear it from your fellow morons!

    Get some popcorn people! The Ratface Mamasang of AP is gonna lecture us on Peter, Paul and Mary!

    This is gonna be loooooooooooooooong day. 😡

  12. 17 Pieces · ·

    TL;DR. Ahaha.

    C’mon, I got your point, I get the idea and I’m actually more inclined to agree with you, but the way this came out, it looks like little more than good ol’ intellectual masturbation. 😆

  13. 17 Pieces · ·

    Unfunny troll is unfunny. :stare:

  14. this is the sort of moronic crap that says “i am retiring to a tropical paradise…. ooops… it’s a hell hole… darn, why didn’t i think” 😆

  15. since people would rather masturbate than comment on the topic itself – people asked for it – they got it – MASTURBATE…

    instead of dealing with WANGWANG. .. let’s masturbate

    instead of dealing with PROTECTIONISM. .. let’s masturbate

    instead of dealing with VESTED INTERESTS IN THE AQUINO REGIME . .. let’s masturbate

    instead of dealing with INCOMPETENTS IN THE AQUINO REGIME . .. let’s masturbate

    this is the Philippines.. where everyone.. MASTURBATES…

    so let’s hear it from the MASTURBATORS… 😆

  16. you do the lecturing, we listen… let’s see what you come up with – what? becoming a wangker 😆

  17. This is the kind of stuff I studied in Philosophy 101-104 back in Ateneo. Wish I had paid more attention then (would have been easier to do so if it was pure English!). Well, even if I did not pay more attention then, at least I can understand it more easily now, thanks to Bong’s presentation.

  18. dialectics is just one tool among many.

    but consider the application of the dialectic technique at its most primal – the binary digit – ON or OFF, 1 or 0.

    the change in oscilloscope’s waveform as the voltage polarity switches from positive to negative and vice versa can be traced.

    out of this building block – the binary digit – we have built transistors, ICs, computers, sent man to the moon, explored the starts.

    the alternative of course, is to flash the Laban sign, then “hope” that it will go away. 😆

  19. silvercrest · ·

    I did try to read and believe, despite having been educated in a different field, that I’ve learned quite a lot. However, i found myself laughing at Two and a Half men half of the time. The Homer part was catchiest part though.

  20. 17 Pieces · ·


    Unfortunately, if you really are speaking to the wankers of Philippine society, I’m afraid this sort of advanced knowledge, especially when presented in such volumes in so short a time, will probably just go over their heads. At best, they may not be able to really understand it, or will be put off understanding it by its sheer size; at worst, it will give them the idea that you are belittling them without the knowledge as to why, and thus even more reason to hate you.

    I’m just saying, this article will look to them like a wall of text, and walls of text are nothing more to them than things to either pee on or rape with battering-rams.

    I hope you had fun piecing it together, though. 😀

  21. Hyden Toro · ·

    Thanks for the Article. I love to read Philosophy; although, I am Technically Educated. As the great Psychologist, Abraham Maslov had stated: “The only way you can change the thinking of a man; is to bring his mindset to his awareness of Himself.” I always believe in the statement. The mindsets of our people are distorted by covert political propagandas: coming out from the Oligrach’s owned Media. They are still being deceived by the EDSA phenomenon, promoted by the Aquino family: to maintain their Hacienda Luisita ownership and Oligarchial status. We elected an incompetent President.

  22. @17 pieces – this is how you get –

    Theses: “Give Aquino latitude to commit mistakes”

    Anti-Theses: “Focus on doing things right – eliminate if not minimize mistakes – focus, discipline, competence.. not latitude”.

    Then you stress the point , Reductio Absurdeum – “if you are getting heart surgery will you allow your cardiologist latitude for mistakes?”

    Which brings you to Aporia – a deadend.. You therefore, reject the proposition to “Give Aquino latitude”.

    Syntheses: “Reject the proposition to give latitude for mistakes” – you just saved taxpayers’ money if it was implemented – that of course can be the new theses – and subject of another round of dialectics. Th

    After which you get labeled as a “thug” by someone who just looked like an “idiot”. 😆

    There’s a lot of samples in the comment threads.

  23. Ano ? ny Mos? · ·

    I thought I saw that — Pnoy fag — written in Manila Bulletin (or was it Philstar?+

    is Noynoy the “she” or the “he”? ❓

  24. Ano ni Mos? · ·

    Miriam: You will not find “censorship” and “…deleting opposing comments” in that Praxis-waxxis above.

  25. 17 Pieces · ·

    Well, wow.

    Just to be clear, though, cardiologists don’t perform heart surgery. Cardiovascular surgeons do. 😀

  26. @17 pieces – you are correct – my bad. i meant cardiovascular surgeon. same flow of thought – will you give your cardiac surgeon the latitude of making a mistake?

    in like manner. given your heart condition – you are given an albularyo, a cosmetic surgeon, and a cardiologist – you are within your right to choose whoever. the results, of course will be different.

    the philippines is a country which is similar to a patient with a heart problem – and the filipinos selected an albularyo to perform a heart bypass.

    eh di Idiot alangan namang genius. and for saying that – AP is a thug… wazzup muh b*tches.. it’s a thug party 😆

  27. @17 – absolutely – it was fun piecing it together – praxis. 😉

  28. it will give them the idea that you are belittling them without the knowledge as to why, and thus even more reason to hate you.

    – Then they wind up with more Aporia and Reductio Absurdeum – and someone somewhere will be making more posts about AP thugs.. – it’s the dialectic at work 😆

  29. WTF DUDE!!! · ·

    i think xD bong V increased the level of requirements (intellectual requirements)
    So that Trolls like you!! that have a low intellect Wouldn’t understand it!!!
    all you ever did is INSULT PEOPLE HERE MR TROLL!

    bong v. as in vayot! (:
    July 23, 2010 • 3:21 am
    ” Dickhead!! You honestly believe that some stupid soul is gonna engage you in this post.?? ”

    so you wont engage in trolling! 😆

  30. 17 Pieces · ·

    Ad hominem attacks are usually the last resort of those who have no more solid arguments left.

    I love reading some of the posts referring to you as a hate blogger, especially the ones on Barrio Siete. The shallowness of it all makes me both laugh and feel like punching through Reyna Elena’s annoying face flashing on my computer screen. He, er, she, totally missed the point of your statistical analysis. XD

    That having been said, whether or not this is an attempt to educate the idiots or heckle them, I’m not really sure this deserved its own article on AP itself instead of on some personal blog. On one hand, it is an organized and well-researched (albeit a little lengthy) invaluable resource. On another, it could be seen by detractors as either a knee-jerk defensive response to criticism, or intellectual wanking, and tarnish the name of AP.

  31. @17 piece – it’s an antitheses to a common theses – “APs are thugs hatebloogers jerks trolls”.

    The antitheses: “If seeking the truth – identifying falsity and laying it bare – is thuggery, yes APs are are thugs hatebloogers jerks trolls”

    And we come to another Aporia 😆

    since a lot of noobs complain about “the AP method” – this is an opportunity to understand “the AP method” – as I see it anyways. to talk about the process – the praxis.

    in contrast to being in a thread say about – “being posive and being negative” – then instead of digging in into the discussions – people who got a dose of aporia wind up, complaining about being “thugged” – instead of coming up with a syntheses or a new theses or an antitheses – they opt for Aporia and then blog about “thuggery” – so what next? i embrace the label.

    how about them – are they willing to embrace being “idiots”? 😆

  32. Pavel Chekov · ·

    Read about BF Skinner and understand how a behavioral modification system (yes a SYSTEM) will change the behavior of animals and people.

    simple lang naman hyden. a system can change the way people behave. but if you don’t believe that, anong gusto mo? genocide? patayin ang mga tao na di sapat sa gusto mo?

    people can change, hyden. and if system A causes people to act stupid and lazy, the introduction of system B that is different can force people to act smart and hardworking.

    systems with the proper carrot and the proper stick can motivate (and punish) people to change their behavior.

    kaw kasi, gusto mong maging tulad ni pol pot ng cambodia. lahat ng taong iba sa gusto niya, patay.

    killer ka pala hyden toro. para kang si pol pot. para kang si hitler.

    yikes, killer si hyden toro!!

  33. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … iow, 17p prefers txtng … tweet tweet…

    … it’s the nu flip gen… :mrgreen:

  34. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … exactly, pavement…

    … historically, orig flips – (lapu-lapu men – aetas/negritos) – were wild pipol… then, konyos invaded the republic of cebu and introduced a new “system” – the padre damaso system…THE PADRINO SYSTEM… the new system infected the rest of the pearl of the orient seas…

    … to this date, the same system is still in place… ..aka. KAKSUCKER PADRE DAMASO GOBYERNO DE GUNG GONGS.

    … it doesn’t matter who’s in position… KAKSUCKER PADRE DAMASO RULES… (me, praying… ama namin, give us this day our daily pandisal, paki samahan na rin ng star margarine… AMEN)

  35. Hyden Toro · ·

    I’ve never harmed a fly. I don’t intend to. Calling me a killer, because, I disgree with anybody’s views is inappropriate. I respect everybody’s views and beliefs. The same way, you must respect mine. If you don’t agree with me. Thanks. If you agree with me. Thanks also. We are matured people, having just opinions of our own. I never forced anybody to accept my opinions. Neither, would I like to…

  36. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … chinof, don’t feel bad… you’re not alone…

    … back in my koledge years, i paid a lot… not “attention” though… but, i did paid a lot… 😳

  37. The term “Praxis” is fascinating when overlaid on Philippine cultural norms. As I understand the reading from above, it pertains to how we get a new awareness then translate it into a different behavior. It starts with a theory, looks at everyday experiences through the prism of the theory, and uses those real-time results to modify our own behavior.

    So I would postulate (in a generalized way, and therefore unfair to those who do not fit into the description) that: power in the Philippines translates into self-service, not public service.

    Then I look about and say, by gum, look at all the thumbs on the scales at the market, where the vendor has the power, or the money under the table at the LTO, where the LTO official has the power, or the fertilizer scam, where assorted government officials had the power, and . . . yep, in each case, the person in power could have indeed chosen to be of service to those lacking power. But did not choose public service.

    So when I am in a power position, say hiring Filipino construction workers to build my house, I can decide if I want to follow that mold, and squeeze every dime out of my laborer’s hide. Or I can say, that seems unkind. I’ll try a different model. Like providing weekly incentive bonuses for steady, quality work.

    In the end, it boils down to a matter of choice as to how the house gets built. One leverages the power of the person in power, and is unkind, the other appeals to personal honor of the worker, and is kind. If the worker indeed has honor.

    In real life, some do, some don’t.

    But somehow, the person in power has to find the will to be kind.

    That is what is missing in the Philippines, I think. In general, that is; or too often, at least.

    My latest rant-point is dogs on the highway, killing people. My father in law limps because a dog ran in front of his motorcycle on the highway; the cycle flipped and he can no longer lift the chain saw that was his work. My Honda Civic has no air conditioning because a dog darted out, flipped up and knocked out my condenser on the way to immediate death. And my mother-in-law sits at home with scabs on her shoulder, arms and hips after being dragged by an overturned motorcycle-cab that flipped trying to avoid a dog that darted out from under a parked truck.

    The situation exists because people opt to be essentially unkind (maybe simply unthinking) and allow dogs to reproduce like rabbits. Or, . . . um, Filipinos . . .

    Is it possible to teach kindness toward others, you think?

  38. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … joe ‘merkan naman naman namannn…

    … “Is it possible to teach kindness toward others, you think?”…

    … methinks that padre damaso, equipped with the holy buy bull oooopsie bible, did that already over four centuries ago…

    … and look at flip gung gongs, taken for a ride by the most notorious but devout catholic LADRONES GARAPALES for decades, kept forgiving or was it forgetting?

    … well, to forgive, it’s devine, you think?

    … my rant-point is flips are robbed and murdered in mid day… and, nobody saw anything…

    … and those who witnessed it pushed daisies for their effort…

  39. @17 Pieces, BongV

    To counter the other sites view on AP regarding the contributors as nothing but hooligans or jerks, I leave a quote from one of my favorite movies, Full Metal Jacket direct from Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Emery:

    I’ll bet you’re the kinda guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

    At the very least AP is kind enough to give the reach-around.

  40. here’s the filipino mind joe:

    boils down to the meaning of kind? kind to who? who is others? are they family? are they relatives? are they neighbors – if they are – they know it’s my dog, it’s cool. if they are strangers – oh well, sh*t happens – it’s not the only dog in town.

    in america, dogs are treated like persons – a member of the family. with regular walks, shampoo, hair care, dentist, dog food, etc. they live in the house with a nice kennel. taught tricks so they sit when told to sit – stay when told to stay – run when told to run. and they have name tags. dogs without tags are “put to sleep” by animal protection services – like any other wild life. some dogs without tags lucky enough – get new owners.

    in the philippines, dogs are carbon-based security systems – they live in the doghouse. tied to a chain, eat leftovers, and at times – they become the main entree. stray dogs – if they don’t show signs of scabs or rabies – also wind up as main entree. there’s no animal protection services who will come in and put the stray dogs to sleep.

    it’s not so much that the filipino has not learned to be kind to others – it’s the filipino has not learned to be kind to himself – he keeps on voting for thieves knowing very well that thieves steal – then when the thief steals, they are outraged – had they been kind to themselves they would have searched for someone else – no they would rather be kind to this nebulous vague “others – pakikisama”.

    how can they know what kindness is to others when they don’t know what kindness is to themselves.

    as the saying goes, “utang na loob, maawa ka naman sa sarili mo”. personally, each of us will beg to differ, as a nation – we haven’t learned to be kind to ourselves – mistaking sacrifice as an act of kindness. the biggest act of kindness you can perform is being kind to yourself.

    can it be taught – yes? will it be allowed to flourish? it depends? what do people want? what’s the reality? the reality be changed? still depends – what’s the situation on the ground – at the end of the day, kindness is a conscious act of will – one needs to think – is he being kind? or unkind? is it justified? is it defensible? is it applicable? it begins with the act of thinking.

    can thinking be taught? yes? are we doing enough? no. what are we not doing enough of? why are we not doing it? what’s keeping us? how do remove the obstacle? what options are available? what are the best options? which ones meet the objective? do we have the resoueces? what do we have available? what can this achieve? what else is available? can more be made available? what are our constraints?

  41. Then there’s the relational dialectic

    who was being kind or unkind? maybe the owner of the dog had an accident too? a kid lost her dog? we never now.

    it’s just like the recent flack the White House got after labelling an NAACP icon as “racist” when in fact the entire context of her speech was anti-racist, and in personal life has proven herself to be so.

    The woman was made to resign. And now, the government is offering to hire her back.

    The government thought it was being kind – only to find out it was being unkind. Still boils down to the specifics – the concrete situation as the events turn out in reality. In a snap of a finger – the dialectic changed.

    So even the definition of kind comes under scrutiny.

    What are the conditions under which kindness should be extended or not?

    The WH did not look at the dialectics of the moment – and went on a wrong course – leading to the loss of a job and the defamation of an icon. Obama got a lot of flack – including Bill O’ Reilly.

  42. AP does not need their affirmation to seek its “truth”.

    The truth can be damning, absolutely. It can be shattering, absolutely.
    That’s the bitter part .

    But after that it can also provide clarity, healing, and resolution.

    Which means – we say, okay I get it, if we are going to be screwed – do I fight, flight, assimilate (can’t beat em join’ em) – we each have made choices – and we’ll just have to fez up.

  43. the reason for a lot of people’s troubles is their refusal of the invitation to think.

    complete ignorance of the dialectic (emphases on spirals-not-circles, and the negation of negation) gets people doing the same thing regardless of what they could have learned from someone carrying views they don’t like. so they insist on the same thing regardless of new insights that come along, valid rebuttals they decide to ignore. they are stuck with what they think they know.

    taking from the definitions above, praxis appears impossible without the dialectic. which explains pinoy backwardness.

    re: persons in power not having the will to be kind – the picture isn’t complete; asking only those with power to be kind to others leaves the “powerless” wishing for dole-outs because they are “powerless.” it encourages a sense of entitlement among the “powerless” as if any corrective action should be left to somebody else. so they end up doing the same old thing, same old thing, and expecting different results! because they expect only the “powerful” to make changes.

    it might sound ideal for everybody, powerless and powerful, to be kind to everybody else, but how’s that working out for us right now? can you DEMAND it from people? will you get 100% participation? no.

    but if people cared enough to be kind to themselves it wouldn’t be unnatural, and whatever good deed they do would be easier and frequent because it directly benefits them. the qualifier must be, being kind to oneself shouldn’t be at the expense of another.

    i think it’s the intellectual laziness of da pinoy that gets him doing things that benefit himself at the expense of others. instead of using his mind to exhaust his options to make a living honestly, he steals, he cheats, he makes everybody else his scapegoat. which means once again, a pinoy’s troubles stem from his habitual refusal of the invitation to think.

    questions to joe america and bongv:

    if being kind to others (say, cleaning up after somebody else’s outdoor litter) were compared to being kind to oneself (say, not littering at all so that nobody, not even himself, has to clean up after him), which one has better mileage?

    does being kind to oneself have to be limited to cleaning up after oneself when he could avoid picking up litter altogether?

    what comes more naturally to pinoys – would they clean up after the mess the squatter areas create or would they rather stay in gated communities where they keep their own affairs clean?

  44. @parallax

    “but if people cared enough to be kind to themselves it wouldn’t be unnatural, and whatever good deed they do would be easier and frequent because it directly benefits them. the qualifier must be, being kind to oneself shouldn’t be at the expense of another.”

    My thoughts on this:

    A problem which does not exist is always better than a problem that needs to be solved. Let me put it this way:

    A murderer gets the death sentence. Then the society has two (2) dead bodies.
    If one does not kill because society has taught him not to, then society needs no death sentence and has no dead bodies.

    Kindness to oneself (not committing the crime so as not to be punished) directly brings kindness to others (one will not get the death sentence).

  45. bad… I mean:

    Kindness to oneself (not committing the crime so as not to be punished) directly brings kindness to others (one will not get killed).

  46. that’s right, mel. it has a similarity to prevention being better than cure.

    i also wanted to emphasize that being kind to oneself isn’t necessarily being absolutely selfish. some people like joe am assume that people who are kind to themselves don’t give a sh*t about anyone else, saying it’s “To each a morality of his own and screw the common good.”

  47. @mel you just decsrbed being proactive – “A problem which does not exist is always better than a problem that needs to be solved”.

    Applied in real life – “Solve the problem before it happens. Don’t wait for the drought, stock up on water, don’t destroy the watersheds, decongest the cities by redistributing growth through urban planning, liberalize the utilities” – IN doing so, you are being kind to yourself – you ensure you have water to drink. By ensuring you have water to drink, “others” have water to drink, too.

    BUT, what do we, Filipinos do – we raise hell about the water – shouting in our houses about the lack of water.

    If we put some some really serious thinking – we got to these water mess because we were more kind to “others” – pakikisama, bandwagon effect, mob mentality – we wind up making choices that are unkind to us – and in its effect (not the intention) is everyone loses – there’s not enough water.

    The past colonial years, by their nature, FORBID the Filipino to think for themselves – it was evil to think for themselves – because their thoughts had to be redirected to serving “others” – the tyrants.

    It’s about time to break from the past. The foreign colonial occupation forces have left. We have become a colony of our own elite. All these years of preconditioning have made it seem “normal” not to think.

    How do you teach people how to think? Most of all, how do you teach them to think for themselves, be kind to themselves, learn to love themselves, bring out the best in themselves?

    How can they “remold, recast, rebuild, re-invent, re-engineer” themselves if they don’t think?

    Cogito ergo sum.

  48. Your nickel and diming your workers may get your house constructed at lower cost – BUT, how about the quality of the workmanship.

    For example, a friend of mine who is Doc Pac’s associate from way back visited Hon DocPac’s house in Gen San. He noted the size of the house. Then he looked at the detailing – in closer look, the mouldings were not well done, there were spaces, the doors were not perfectly fitted but you wouldn’t notice because of the paint – sure your house got done – you paid lower rates – but it took longer to build – what you thought you could save on nickel and diming – but you forgot the concept of time. you may have paid more for another carpenter – but the work got done on time, and it was done right. were you really being kind to yourself?

    Now you as the worker – you have a choice – render the job you got paid for or not. He pays peanuts – naturally you render peanuts. He pays well – you work well. It’s not that hard to figure out. Honor applies not just to the worker but to the employer as well – there is a dialectic between the employer and the employee – there is a dialectic within the employee and the employer – how it works out depends on their specific frames of mind at the instance of the negotiation


    From a mathematical point of view – the interaction between employer and employee is a linear function that results in a price – y, where y = is the result of an equation consisting of many variables – complexity of the job, availability of tools, the worker’s needs, the employee’s needs. Y being an instance of the equation. How then should the equation’s variables be played out – depends on the concrete situations at the time. But certainly we can predict the various options on how it could play out from one extreme to another.

    In calculus (a branch of mathematics) the derivative is a measure of how a function changes as its input changes. Loosely speaking, a derivative can be thought of as how much one quantity is changing in response to changes in some other quantity; for example, the derivative of the position of a vehicle with respect to time is the vehicle’s instantaneous velocity. Conversely, the integral of the velocity over time is how much the vehicle’s position changes from the time when the integral begins to the time when the integral ends.
    The derivative of a function at a chosen input value describes the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For a real-valued function of a single real variable, the derivative at a point equals the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. In higher dimensions, the derivative of a function at a point is a linear transformation called the linearization.[1] A closely related notion is the differential of a function.

    Let ƒ be a function that has a derivative at every point a in the domain of ƒ. Because every point a has a derivative, there is a function that sends the point a to the derivative of ƒ at a. This function is written f′(x) and is called the derivative function or the derivative of ƒ. The derivative of ƒ collects all the derivatives of ƒ at all the points in the domain of ƒ.
    Sometimes ƒ has a derivative at most, but not all, points of its domain. The function whose value at a equals f′(a) whenever f′(a) is defined and is undefined elsewhere is also called the derivative of ƒ. It is still a function, but its domain is strictly smaller than the domain of ƒ.

    – in programming – you have a for(j=0; j<40; j++) – what value of j, do you want that leads to a win/win instead of a win/lose. should we be using a for-next? validate. verify. double check.

    going back to the house – at the instance of the negotiation, the theory is – people should go for an equation that results in a win-win.

    the condition on the ground perhaps is lose-lose.

    How then do you go from lose-lose to win-win?

    Use the dialectic – create the conditions to create an anti-these leading to a new syntheses – and that takes praxis.

    theory to practice – practice refines/improves/modifies the theory – the upgraded theory is practiced – lessons are learned – in corporate speak – this is continuous improvement.

    in liberation movements this is called – “revolutionary theory”.

    Joma lost his marbles – stuck to dogma – and got left in the dustbin of history – he did not fully grasp the dialectic.

    the corporate world on the other hand – is making good use of “continuous improvement” – lean six sigma.

  49. @BongV

    “How do you teach people how to think? Most of all, how do you teach them to think for themselves, be kind to themselves, learn to love themselves, bring out the best in themselves?”

    I would say it depends on the types of the people.

    Teaching people from childhood on, letting them absorb knowledge and achieve insight is the easiest. With time, they will learn to transform concepts to experiences and thinking will just occur naturally. They will develop a sense of healthy egoism.

    Now comes the difficult side. How can I teach people to think who are not used to it because they were “preconditioned” and lacking practice from childhood on to adulthood? I can try to directly share my knowledge and give initiations to bring immediate thinking results but culture and situations hinder the teaching process and I end up in Aporia.

    Having experienced the difficulties of teaching adults with no basic education at all, I can say that these people become barbaric toward others and themselves willing to suffer – that is to endure their difficulties – instead of doing something to free themselves from sufferings.

    And that, is still the scenario in our present society and government.

  50. how to teach?

    depends on the circumstances – teach a person, teach a group of persons, teach a community, teach a city, teach a province, teach a region, teach a nation.

    what are the specifics and process accordingly – if you are dealing with an issue on a personal level – then all the other options are Aporia.

    and drill down through a process of elimination. it’s like a binary tree.

  51. Bong, Mel, Parallelaxe,

    I appreciate the insights. I even dug Parallelaxe’s comments until he got to the part where he figured he knew me better than I know myself:

    “some people like joe am assume that people who are kind to themselves don’t give a sh*t about anyone else, saying it’s “To each a morality of his own and screw the common good.””

    We all are a morality unto ourselves, I believe. The real irritating people are those who try to take care of everyone else when everyone else is quite capable, thank you. That phrase was just used to get a point across. Now on the question of capability . . . a whole new issue for discussion . . .

    I agree that the starting point, be kind to oneself is important. I appreciate the perspective on dogs, Bong. I’ll lighten up. Our system of paying weekly incentives to the construction workers worked very well, especially after we fired the one slacker; carrots and sticks.

  52. geeky mary · ·

    Actually, I read all of it, will be reading the outlinks and will be rereading Michio Kaku because I roll that way. Thanks, BongV. 😀

  53. Autobbeme · ·

    медицинская диета при авитаминозахкукурузные столбики с рыльцами как похудетьдиетические блюда из чечевицыгречка как супер диетачто принимать что бы похудетьсредства и способы для похудениядиета при узловом зобепрастые диетыбег способ похудениядиетическое питание при хпн терминальной стадии 3 стголландская диетадиеты белковая президентская и таблица калорийности продуктовбыстрая фитнес-диетатравы как средство для похудениядиета по тушки-фигуркидиета диабетиков второго типапрограмма разговор правильном питаниидиета старой собакиковаленко впач диетологдиета при сахрном диабете

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