How you can Learn, Think, & Share more effectively!
By treating people as Individuals.
Why a new 'ology'?
People Problems Persist
- in spite of millions of sincere people, like you, both 'professional' and 'private' trying to solve them, many, crucial people problems persist.
Examples: From day to day encounters, like negotiating, dating, dealing with many different types of authorities, to bullying, and the rare but deadly mass murders that occasionally occur, to corporate, congressional, and international greed; suicide, homicide, oppression, tyranny etc.
People have tried to solve these problems with both Category or Type Based Thinking
, and Statistical Reasoning
. Neither has worked, nor has dependence on academics, which is why some new methods of thinking & related tools are needed.
At a more personal level, many of us, and our loved ones, are not achieving all the satisfactions and fulfillments that we are capable of achieving. In some cases these frustrations lead to personal violence.
A question we can all ask ourselves is:
Is my life going completely well in all areas?
So what is Individuology?
Individuology is a new way of thinking about people problems.
It starts, continues, and ends with 1 and only 1 focus - Every living breathing human being is unique!
For the last few hundred, indeed thousand years, we have thought about people problems by putting people into categories, or classes, or groups, and then reasoning about those groups. So we have rich & poor; Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, etc.; liberals & conservatives; democrats, republicans, and now libertarians, & Independents; as well as men & women; young & old; etc. etc.
When we do this, we ASSUME, that every member of the particular group values, believes, thinks, feels, and acts the same way. Reality emphatically demonstrates this is not true. These mental categories are exactly that 'mental' categories that exist only in our minds. The only reality that exists in our real existential world is Unique Individuals! Those of us with children or those who grew up with many siblings are most keenly aware of this.
While we struggle to confront or avoid this reality, the commercial world has been way ahead of us. In the 1980's Burger King announced: "We do it your
way"! Stock companies, try to convince you their way of doing business is very specific to you as a unique customer. Yet Psychology, education, most social programs, and much of medicine still treats you based on the category that they have assigned to you. That's right, you have little say in the matter, they assign you to one of their categories. Perhaps the worst case of all is psychiatry, and their mindless DSM. A close 2nd is the bulk of media organizations that dilute their reporting behind these meaningless categories.
The roots of this are not malicious but rather a sincere desire to find workable answers to our daily problems & opportunities. Since Aristotle, from the bar-room to the court room, this basic categorical mode of reasoning is:
All men are......
(i.e. Assuming that all Individuals are identical in their values, beliefs, emotions, & actions)
Then a new mathematical discipline emerged called statistics. This started off as a very valid search for practical truths. Indeed when used properly, it has enabled us to make many, many significant improvements in our lives. When it makes a pronouncement, it is:
Most men are......
(i.e. Assuming Individuals can be placed in a few large groups. Within these large groups, each member of a particular group values, believes, feels, & acts exactly as every other member of that group.)
This new discipline of Individuology seeks to be able to say:
Alice will ......
(But Bill may well value, believe, feel, & act very differently than Alice. )
is a 'whole mindset' for approaching certain types of problems, situations or contexts, much like a paradigm.
A powerful metaphor for understanding the paradigm of Individuology is:
The metaphor of the Map vs the Territory.
This distinguishes 2 very distinct types of knowledge. Nature made & Human made.
Private Maps, Models or Specific Views (Conceptual Abstractions)
As our private maps get closer to the shared reality, our lives become more manageable.
For more details see my web page:World views
my blog entry Experiential & Abstract World views
Every paradigm contains within it specific Values, Models, Principles, Techniques, and possibly Tools.
Why are these important?
- Values - when we have conflicting opportunities, which do we chose?
- Principles - To implement our values, what do we do?
- Models - How we think the world fits together.
- Techniques, and possibly Tools - We need specific techniques to implement those principles in daily life. Sometimes, those techniques become solidified into tools.
How do these apply to Individuology?
- Models - How we think the world fits together.
Values - In the new Individuology paradigm this is the most important value:
- An Individual Person Model - A model for understanding Individual People, i.e. what makes them 'tick' as an Individual! What is their unique driving forces, and how do they express those driving forces in their specific internal and external behaviors. What is each Individual's values hierarchy, relationships, and especially the dynamic boundaries between them all.
See: Person Model
- A Community Model
What is the relationship between the Individual and Community?
I believe we are not in life alone, we need each other. The simplist is that without both men & women there will be no further generations. This is further evident from our many Individual differences. Each of us sees life from a slightly different viewpoint. Each viewpoint adds to and simultaneously blinds us to the viewpoints of others, so yes, we strongly need each other.
I further believe we can feel personal satisfaction by our isolated achievements, like writing a book, but we do not experience fulfillment until our efforts impact others in our personally chosen 'community'. If no one in my personally important community reads my book, Why write it?
How we contribute to our 'chosen' community.
I believe as Individuals we must both choose our 'community' AND our specific contribution to it. When any other group, including the government, (except for temporary military necessity) assigns you a role in how you will contribute, that is, in most cases, tyranny! You, the Individual, must choose your preferred community & How you will contribute to it.
for Individuals AS Individuals, NOT simply as members of a group. Your value does not come from belonging to any group, but exclusively from being an Individual.
This works both ways for inclusion & exclusion, i.e. you are also not valued less because you don't belong to a particular group.
Whenever we treat an Individual only as a member or non-member of a group; we disrespect that Individual. That includes racial or nationality groups, political groups, sexual groups, professional groups etc.
Principles - To implement our primary value of respect for the dignity of Individuals, what do we do?
Techniques, and possibly Tools - We need specific techniques to apply
- Necessary & Sufficient Causality. Real events in the real world come about as the result of real forces, not mysterious, unverifiable, imaginary forces like Id, Ego, SuperEgo, Introjects, parts, will to fail, etc.!).
Our one experiential world is like a huge flywheel - it will continue going where it is going unless a sufficient Force is applied to change that direction. That Force must have BOTH a Direction to make a change, AND an Amount significant enough to make a difference. Only real Individuals, not abstract ideas, can provide that Force.
For more details see: Necessary & Sufficient Causality
- Dynamic Thresholds (Relative - Absolutes), (Tipping points)
Since Individuals differ widely between Individuals AND each Individual differs over time, we need to address this directly.
See: Dynamic Thresholds
and Relationship Boundaries
the principles of 5N&SC + Dynamic Thresholds to Individual events.
In most forms of counselling, or mentoring, this is expressed as a set of questions.
Questions about a real world event:
- Who are the Individuals involved?
- What are their specific motivations?
- What specific contexts exist?
- What dynamic thresholds are involved?
Sometimes, those techniques become standardized & solidified into tools. This enables those of lesser skills to still achieve excellent results. For example, sawing lumber is a technique which requires considerable practice with a hand saw to make a straight cut. The circular saw enables almost anyone to make a perfect cut every time.
One such tool here is:
Clean Language - A technique for truly listening to Individuals, that has been refined to a set of standard questions anyone can use.
What is the cost of NOT treating Individuals as Individuals, but assuming they are identical to every other member of the group we've assigned them to ?
- Where the statistical approach doesn't work:
Because 25% of Individuals are considered obese, some want to force or mandate all 100% of Individuals, including the 75% who are NOT obese, to follow their arbitrary dietary rules. They chose to make up, which foods and how much of each food we ALL should eat.
This is outright tyranny!
- Where the Individual approach did work:
In 1989 I was working with some adult incest survivors who were having a real struggle making their lives work. One woman, let's call her Helen, with a 4 year old daughter was trying very hard. She had several part time jobs. But even with food stamps, rent assistance, etc. she wasn't making it. I sat down with her and really listened to her Individual story. She would go every 2 days to the grocery store to buy food. Much of it later went bad. I asked her why she didn't put the groceries in her refrigerator? She replied: I don't have one. Huh?
So I asked around within her community and found a woman who was getting a new refrigerator. We made arrangements to pick up her existing refrigerator and give it to Helen. This enabled her to shop less frequently, and almost no food went bad ever again. The reduced trips to the grocery store, freed her up to take on longer hours at her part time job.
Another friend, also believing in the Individual approach, gave her a used bicycle. Fast forward... Two years later, Helen had a full time job and her 1st ever, used, car!
Bureaucrats of the statistical mindset would conclude that we need a multi-million $ program to buy all people below the poverty level a refrigerator and a bicycle, Duh!
What will it take to change our world?
Millions of Individuals:
- Achieving both satisfaction & fulfillment of their personal dreams by enriching their personally chosen communities.
- Respecting others in the pursuit of their dreams.
This discipline of Individuology and it's principles, techniques, & tools could also be applied to all other 'Individual' things and events, such as animals, plants, trees, and perhaps even rocks, and our chemical environment. However, my personal focus is exclusively on Individual People. If there comes a time when all Individual people on the planet, have adequate shelter, food, and dignified living conditions, then and only then, will I turn my attention to animals and others issues...
Likewise, others may well pursue these ideas into the realm of medicine.
Topic Related pages:
Primary Ideas flowing from making Individuals, You
, the center of our investigations:
- The crucial distinction between our one shared experiential world, and each Individuals privately constructed mental world is discussed at:
and/or the blog entry Experiential & Abstract World views
- Examining Necessary & Sufficient Causality in our one shared experiential world is at: Causality.
- Since as Individuals our experiences and personal limits vary significantly, both between Individuals, and within each Individual over time I discuss these personal thresholds at:
Dynamic Thresholds and Relationship Boundaries
- When we attempt to share our personal worlds with others the issue of Separating Meanings from Words, and Intentions from Actions is covered at:
Sharing. This is the primary technology or "How" to make Individuology work in our daily lives.
The primary thinking tool of most schools of psychology, medicine & academic education has been, and still is Statistics. However, Statistics is about group behaviors, predicting what one group might do based upon what another group previously did. However, the only person to enter a psychologist's office, or a medical doctor's, is always an Individual. And although it's hidden, deliberately, by classrooms, the person with the greatest amount to lose or gain in education is always the Individual student.
To move from statistical knowledge to Individual knowledge will require many things starting with defining Knowledge:
Knowledge Overview - an overview of my Knowledge pages
Defining Knowledge - What is it?
How do we Create new Knowledge?
Knowledge Representation - How is Kn represented both in our minds and externally?
Knowledge Transfer -
How is Kn transferred from: Individual to Individual,
& community to community?
Last Updated: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 8:38 PM
Note: This is a significant change from the current power paradigm of Objective Knowledge (determined by a panel of experts) vs Subjective Knowledge (what each of us knows personally). The new paradigm is Personal Knowledge and Shared Knowledge.
Comments & Questions:
Certified RFR - Rat Free Research:
All my studies have been conducted by Individual humans, with Individual humans, and for Individual humans. No rats have ever been harmed or even inconvenienced.
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