Flip side of empowerment?
Claude Steele at Stanford University has done a lot of research into the
downside of empowerment. It goes under the headings associated with
'judgement' and 'stereotyping'. Pleasure in personal performance
undermined by unskilled incompetent or plain malicious mentors, managers
and supervisors issuing from albeit and perhaps unwittingly both conscious
and unconscious streams are the cause of doubt inducing stickiness among
otherwise competent and confident young people.
Jeffrey Hausdorff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre Boston and Becca
Levy at Yale have done extensive studies of the effect of such repeated
bathing in negative stereotyping. To cut to the quick, " negative words
can make older people walk more slowly, perform poorly in subsequent
tests, underrate abilities they have and even sap their will to live."
- She remarks, " You wouldn't think a few words could invoke despair, but
that is what they found. [Robert Adler]
New Scientist, Sept 2000
It's very strange that I should come upon that article this weekend and
beside the copy of New Scientist sits this from Koestler who notes with
what i detect a certain sarcasm the work of Skinner at Harvard in whom he
detects that common inability to distinguish between the skills of the
truly creative artist and the more mechanical 'performance as expertise'
in the accomplishments of the virtuoso. For Prof. Skinner it was
sufficient to point to his work with pigeons to explain the mental
development of mankind. (Koestler, Thinking Aside)
Maybe it's like looking and vision. I mean the difference that makes the
difference. Looking is about 4 degrees of focus, vision is 360 degrees.
Vision in the round you might say, Relational, aesthetic, holistic. Who is
anyone to think that by offering what is often their 4 degrees of another
4 degrees upon the vista of another's 360 to the power of 360 they are
doing anything other than diminishing.
What is a creative collapse on the battle field, in the desert, upon the
cross, in Belsen or the office or factory other than the apprehension and
enactment of the 360 degrees to the power of 360 degrees. At de Lange, I
need you power of mathematics. What would be a rich picture to bring 360
to the power of 360
My guesstimate is,- the same as the number of sub-atomic particles in the
cosmos plus One.
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