Mental models and the 7Es LO29474

From: Terje A. Tonsberg (
Date: 11/09/02

Replying to LO29468 --

Greetings At, Leo and group,

At said regarding people hating English because of UK conduct in SA:

> It is far more than merely a fallacious assumption. It has an intricate
> dynamics to it, enough to sustain some political parties for years.

I am the first to agree that it is much more than a fallacy, but this
comes back to the issue of understanding behavior in terms of MMs. What
does calling it an MM add to the concept of a fallacy here? Is the MM word
just a fancy way of expressing old ideas?

To me none of this gets one very far. I do not think that this phenomena
of hate here is explained by an MM or a fallacy, rather it is more
reasonable to describe it in terms of peoples learning histories. Hating
English was part of a a valued behavioral pattern. It became valued as it
was reinforced by the community; it gave social attention, acceptance and
so on. For those directly exposed to UK abuse it was probably initially a
matter of the language being associated with the perpetrators.

I think this is why the idea of trying to fix peoples "MMs" just doesn't
work in practice. It is the environment that needs to change if there is
going to be much hope of changing the behavior. The MMs are just infered
from the behavior in question, and do not explain it. One may call them
infered symptoms and thus not worth the time looking for them.

I think the example of the flat earth beliefs in ME europe are also most
usefully described in terms of the environment. When the priests
protested, it wasn't because of a mental model, it was because they felt

At said:
> The explicate can be talked about, but the implicate not until it has
> been articulated from the tacit dimension. I do not think exactly the
> same as you. The way to modify them (not get ridof them) is
> "through the environment by being exposed to counter-examples."
> Only thereafter can they be worked into the backbone of knowledge.

I agree fully with this. It was a sloppy formulation on my part. By the
way, it seems to me that the concept of learning history is more or less
equivalent to the idea of tacit knowledge. That is, tacit knowledge is the
part of our learning history that has not been expressed formally. Do you
agree with this?



"Terje A. Tonsberg" <>

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