Notes Toward the New Model
(Very much a work in progress!)
The domain of your awareness.
bit of mostly word-
consciousness; a halo of the marginally conscious (see "Sidebands" in You
Are Brighter Than You Think).
Your conscious, online, resources are
like what's up onscreen, compared with all else that's in your computer.
--Or like a flyspeck riding the flank of an elephant. But all of that,
throughout Fig. 1 that ham of the elephant and beyond, is you,
trying as best it can to serve your best interests even though you may not
have been listening to or appreciating these further reaches of
What you've learned to pay attention to,
and what you've learned to ignore or let slip past, is mostly random and
the accident of your personal history. There are good strategies of
attention and there are some which might not be as good. It's probably
best, for example, that you've learned to ignore your own liver functions,
to leave your attention free for dealing with other matters. (Even there,
may be some contexts wherein for awhile you might want to be able to pick
up on and pay attention to your own liver function so you could re-direct
it.) It's probably not so good that well-meaning parents and teachers told
you to stop daydreaming (thereby cutting you off from your main
communication with the further reaches of yourself), to be "attentive" to
the lesson-of-the-moment instead (instead of long-term personalized
Suffice it to say that
99.999999999999999999999%+ of your resources are offline, there somewhere
in your system but well outside your left temporal wordbox which defines
and focuses nearly all of what's conscious for you. It is virtually
certain that you have been, through accumulated historical accident
idiosyncratic to your own individual life, operating an attention strategy
which is less than optional for you. --And "more than certain" that some,
at least, of your faculties, information and other resources which are now
there but offline would be much better for you online. --Both generally,
and situation-specific under changing conditions and in various special
We don't yet know how to define
attention strategies which are or would be optimal. We do know, though,
how to bring online resources which are now offline, and to broaden the
availability-to-you of what you have. --And, to at least some extent, to
increase the proportion of your resources which are online to you--one way
of saying, "increasing your intelligence."
This brings us to a key portion of our
model. Expressive output, especially expressing from
perception, pulls more and further awarenesses into the conscious frame
defined in the left temporal wordbox. (On the right is a schematic showing
the left and right hemispheres of the brain as seen from above. --The
frame of verbal consciousness is that small dot found in the left
temporal, essentially corresponding with that small dot found in Figure 1
above. The major arrow depicts externalized action, describing or other
expressive external behavior. The smaller arrows depict the process of
other, additional awareness beginning to make their way toward where Fig.
2 the action is.
The further and more
continuous-sustained the flow of expressive behavior, and the more closely
that flow relates to perceptions, the stronger pull is exerted on your
additional relevant perceptions wherever these may be found in your brain.
The effect is similar to Venturi force in physical terms--a moving stream
of air exerts "pull," a partial vacuum, on its surroundings and in the
case of an appropriately configured airplane wing, "lift."
Hence our emphasis on rapid, sustained
flow of sensory-concrete description as a means of reinforcing awareness
and of pulling additional awareness into conscious focus. The more
concretely detailed this sensory data being reported, the better this
process pulls on additional awarenesses. This aspect also appears to
relate to the fact that most of the brain, and of further consciousness,
process in sensory images rather than in words. In any event, we've long
observed that the solidity of concrete physically sensory detail provides
better "adhesion" for this Venturi-like "pull" to work with than do data
at greater levels of abstraction or data some ways removed from immediate
Fitted into a More General
The above schematic of the expressive,
"Venturi Force" brain, let us now fit into a more complete
The crucial element in this part of the
model is feedback. Feedback in the loop comprised of the aforesaid output,
coming back to you as feedback both from the environs and directly from
your own perceptions of your own output. In the instance of
describing-from-perception, voice tonality may be as significant is the
content of what you are saying. --Especially when you are either with a
listener or anticipating that a listener will be hearing the audio tape
that you are currently recording. In the event of a live listener, even
very slight responses by that listener very powerfully shape your feedback
loop and subsequent responses.
--Nor should this power of feedback be
surprising, even if the ability to sense how your own actions are going,
and to sense how the surroundings are responding to those actions, weren't
so utterly essential to survival--
1. For one thing, the coordination of
voice, or of any controlled movement whatsoever, rests entirely upon
feedback. Hence any variations in such feedback can be expected to
powerfully shape subsequent output and other behaviors.
2. Psychologists and behavioral
scientists please also consider: feedback = reinforcement. Your most
significant natural law is the Law of Effect. The behavior of all
complex systems revolves by Darwinian necessity around the phenomenon
that "you get more of what you reinforce." Your Law of Effect is
pervasive, it is more than a natural law of behavior: it is a law of
physics. In our changing universe, any complex system living or
non-living, which does not sense and respond to the effects of its own
outputs and to how its environment responds, does not remain around very
Now to a statement which might surprise
you, but which would not surprise a long line of researchers, educators
and neurologists spanning our entire century--including Maria Montessori;
the father of neuro-anatomy, Santiago Ramon y Cajal; Omar K. Moore; and
Most of your learning, and nearly all of
your growth, development and evolvement as a person, come at one critical
point. That point is in this very same loop of expression-&-feedback.
These come at the point of that loop where you are receiving back that
feedback upon what you have put out.
This one singular point in the loop,
infinitely sensitive to a wide range and variety of factors, is also our singular opportunity for working transformations
of many kinds and of ourselves. Make changes thereto make changes
anywhere else or everywhere else in ourselves and in our lives.
Have you considered how wholly dependent
upon sensory feedback/reinforcement even your most routine physical
actions are? If you walk or even move at all, you require a sense of the
space you are moving in and of its boundaries and contents. You require a
sense of position including that of verticality as regards gravity and
direction and inertia. You require a sense of your support. You require
the kinesthetic feedbacks of your limbs and members...
One of the "prime laws" of
neurophysiological development is, to first establish awareness. The
ability to act then follows. If you've sat in a position that cramped
circulation such that your leg "has gone to sleep," remember how difficult
it was to stand or walk using that leg until you had full awareness
(ability to receive feedback/reinforcement) back in it?
As totally dependent as we are upon
feedback/reinforcement for even our most routine actions, is it really
surprising how susceptible we are to changes in that feedback, to changes
in (a) the conditions which provide us that feedback/reinforcement, and
(b) to changes in how we receive such feedbacks as are coming to us? And
to (c) changes in our own outputs which change all of the above in terms
of what we receive from our feedbacks/ reinforcements?
Ways to Change the Loop, And Our
Reception of Our Feedbacks
1. Change our outputs. Building and
sustaining a flow of output, especially output based upon our own
first-hand sensory perception, concerns a good part of the current
method systems of Project Renaissance. Also, nearly everything observed
in Flow Theory as bearing here. Aim is to strengthen, clarify or
render more accessible, sustain and enrich as much as possible, the
feedback/reinforcement coming back to the action point of transformation
of the outputter.
2. Part of the Project Renaissance
system of methods also concern how you receive back, at that point of
transformation, your own feedback/reinforcement. Simple as it sounds, to
pick up on and pay attention to your own ongoing perceptions, represents
what appears to be the most crucial part of such a change in your
3. Flow Theory bears upon all
aspects of the loop. That work is complementary to that of Project
Renaissance in enriching and sustaining the output phase of the loop,.
and to that of O.K. Moore and Maria Montessory in "clarifying the
environment..." The positive achievements of many fields and practices
relating to the quality of human performance and experience, reflect
these same considerations though usually despite their theory rather
than because of it.
4. A blizzard of facts and findings
pertain as regards changing or adjusting the environment to cause the
feedback bounced from it to coincide more closely with what will support
desired outcomes. Among the more powerful approaches, historically, to
this "clarifying environments" approach, were Maria Montessori's rigging
of the environment to do the teaching of desired skills and
understandings and behaviors to young children; and University of
Pittsburgh's sociologist Omar Khayyam Moore's "Edison Talking
Typewriter." That device, featured in the work of his "Clarifying
Educational Environments Foundation," consisted of a computerized
typewriter rigged to teach 2-year-olds how to read, write and type. Its
action was based solely upon selectively reinforcing the spontaneous
behaviors of the child. Powerful in another way was the demonstration of
Peters/ that to feed your own voice back to you with a 1/6th
second delay such as experienced by lecturers in halls with poor
acoustics, slows and muddies not only your speech but your thinking and
perceiving for hours afterward. To feed your own voice back at
electronic speed, stereo microphone through a stereo system to stereo
headphones, which is faster than you normally receive back your own
speech, speeds and clarifies not only your speech but your thought and
perception and for hours following. Further gains can be gotten,
incidentally, as we've recommended for Image Streaming, with the gain up
slightly and the treble (the higher-pitched sounds contain the more
information)also up some, further crispens up speaking, thinking and
In short, a change anywhere in the loop
means changes in the loop as a whole and changes in--
A) The pattern of response, behavior,
and nature of the person or organism receiving at the return end of that
loop. --And, of course, changes in
B) The experience, the perceptions,
the world of that person or organism.
Classical physics and engineering models
of input/output and of "black box analysis" may also prove to be useful
toward further refinement and correction or improvement of this model and
theory of human nature, behavior and development. In general,
The Utility of This
Output/Feedback/Reinforcement Perceptual Model:
This model affords us--
1. A good degree of simplicity in
phenomenological and inquiry fields otherwise characterized by seeming
great complexity. There is little in those fields which does not fit
reasonably comfortably within this model. The model itself is far
simpler than alternate models and theories within this domain, yet
affords reasonably accurate accounting for and even predicting of much
of the phenomena encountered in this domain, that of factors affecting
levels of human performance and quality of experience.
2. This model gives us a usefully
convenient way to think about and relate to various of the many recent
discoveries which bear strongly upon levels of human performance and
apparent intelligence, and upon the quality of human experience.
--Notably it provides us cognitive convenience regarding various
discoveries which enable, among other things, a rapid and very
remarkable advance of humans' ability to perform, whether in the
creative and performing arts, in athletics, or
3. This model points directly toward
the likeliest areas wherein may be made further such discussions. Far
more of these appear to be pending than thus far have actually been
made, meaning that there is very considerable opportunity for original
research and for original and new researchers.
(These next few paragraphs will feature
in later stages of this monograph, but in the immediacy of time have not
yet been appropriately bridged in:)
A) A range of consequences stemming
from spreading the practice of people talking perceptively with each
other and to their tape recorders.
B) What might be done with people
here, and in our electronic community, experimenting with
auditory-enhanced Image Streaming and related
C) To decipher inventions in
"Beachhead" (and to some extent, in problem-solving): changing where you
are looking at the thing from, changing your point of view--(1) changes
the feedback you are getting from that experience, and (2) changes the
way you receive back such feedback as you are getting, among other
One of the Most Productive
Phenomena in the Human Domain with which we have been working, is
the remarkable fact that all of us immediately generate, upon instant of
contact with any question or problem or issue, sensory mental images.
These images in some way reflect the best answer and understanding which
can be generated from our vast, mostly unconscious, data-base and
faculties. This representation is usually symbolic, idiosyncratic and
"rich" in the sense that it bears many additional insights and "messages"
besides the one input or answer. The technique which appears to best
enable decoding of this symbolic representation is that of generating
three different sets of sensory impression or imagery, each
reflecting the same answer or message, but each in very different ways.
With everything else different,the key meaning is found or best found
through factors common to all three or more sets of imagery thus defined.
One thing this approach does require is to notice, experience and record a
lot of sensory detail from each imagery set, by verbally describing and/or
by sketching. Otherwise the overlapped or common features might not get
Further Reasons for Descriptive
To express enough descriptive detail
requires a rapid-enough expressive flow to exert that Venturi force-like
"suction" on related awarenesses pulling them into our focus of
consciousness. This flow also generates and sustains the desirable "flow"
aspects of your output/feedback-Reinforcement loop which feeds your action
point of transformation and growth. Hence, some of the many benefits of
simple rapid-flow Image-Streaming, both generally and on answering
questions and problems.
More and further levels of this inquiry
are bound to develop.
1) For one thing, asking our own
Image-Stream faculties to point out for us, farther and better practices
(and considerations) which this model indicate and which we've not yet
consciously considered, is bound to be productive of new and sometimes
better methods and understandings (and theory).
2) For another, the Toolbuilder
phenomenon, that of using our best problem-solving methods, including
our imagery-related techniques, to show us new and better such methods.
(The main, best publication on "Toolbuilder" technique and practice is
the final chapter in the book Beyond Teaching And Learning, in both the
recent and new editions.) Use your best methods to create better methods
- one of the simplest and most obvious of procedures, yet many people
even today refuse to begin to understand this simple principle of
re-investment. They appear to prefer to think they have THE answer, THE
method, and that's that! Perhaps we can blame that on a
television-reared passive insta-media generation; perhaps we can blame
it on the trauma of present-day schooling. --Or, perhaps, the fault lies
not in our scars but in ourselves...
Enough faults! What we see with this
model is a burst of unprecedented human progress and well-being. The
inquiry has barely begun, yet already we can see clearly how to enable
virtually any of us - or all of us - to experience and to perform at high
genius level across a very wide range of effects. Old assumptions about
our own limitations, and about human limitations generally, are now in the
dust. Constrained only by our own energy and will to implement in our own
practices what we know works we are free to move forward. --Not only to
better answers but to better questions and to better methods for answering
--For our children.
--And for all that we hold
--And for ourselves and each