• agericodevilla

Pilosopiyang Politikal ng Isang Pinklawan, Part 12: Reading Crisis

Updated: Aug 22

When one gets to serve shareholders of some corporation, one also gets to serve stakeholders from within the community that the company itself serves. Same, vice versa.

Every once is a while, serving the shareholders can mean disappointing the stakeholders. Same, vice versa.

Harvard professor Michael Porter. Photo by CMProject. Downloaded from Wikemedia Commons.

Matching interests as here noted is time one needs strategic thinking. One has to be clear as to what one wants for the shareholders, on one hand, and for the stakeholders, on the other hand, long-term. Easier for both interests to overlap long-term than for both interests to overlap short- and medium-term. This need to highlight overlapping interests of these kinds is unique to the business of education.

Strategically, for example, long-term means involvement with political and economic stability issues. Strategically, another example, long-term means involvement with environmental and sustainability issues. Along these lines, easy to have the same whys and the same wants for both shareholders and stakeholders.

“Strategy is a set of choices we make, long-term choices to distinguish ourselves from our competitors,” Harvard professor Michael Porter points out. We need to add, choices are choices among who to serve, in this case it is about shareholders or stakeholders. We need to add, choices are also meant here choices among principles — principles that give us coherent mental models and are reliable in terms of explanatory and predictive power.

As pointed out earlier, we work with our mental models that involve the principles we have on hand networked in some theoretical framework.

Think of “mental model” as a machine. Like any other machine it may work, or it may not. Like any other machine, it may work well or it may not work well. One of the measures of whether it works or works well is fitness of its parts along with all the others — how well one part works with all the others. Do the parts fit together well or not?

In addition, think of this machine as a time travel spacecraft. With this craft, you can go into the past, or you can go into the future. This means you can have a vision of the future with it as your tool.

A farmer who knows which months of the future promise no rain and which months promise rain, of course, is the farmer expected to have better harvest than those who have no such knowledge of the future. This means he has more chances of survival, meaning, too, more control over his destiny.

We predict the future using principles contained within our theoretical frameworks for processing. These principles themselves are contained within our mental models. Thus we adapt accordingly to the prediction we get. We end up surviving the demands of entropy.

Recall that we have already seen how reading comprehension affects how we reason.

Dahil nga sa hirap magbasa, ang pinagkukunan nang impormasiyon ay iyong mga naririnig sa radiyo at telebisiyon, at saka sa mga video shorts ng Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok o Youtube. Ganito rin sa mga vlog.

Iwas sila lagi sa mga libro at mga artikulo nang mga malalaking news agencies. Lalo pa kung Ingles. Iwas din sa mga blog kagaya nang sa akin nga.

Mukhang lahat ay gagawain para makaiwas sa pagbabasa. Nood na lamang ng video shorts nga. Iwas debate. Kaya magne-name-calling na lamang o gagamit nang mga pangkaraniwang sinasabi nga nang mga sikat sa mga radiyo at telebisiyon, mga video shorts nga, at mga vlog.

This way, mental models can be seen at times as predisposed to contamination with fallacies.

Individuals who are natural readers are more open to communication — ergo contamination — with memes that are reliable forms of reasoning. Those who read more books and more journals tend to read works of those who themselves read more. Those who read more have more information and more reliable sources of information. Ergo more information, more contamination, more contamination with the right kinds of memes.

Imbibing "principles that give us coherent mental models and are reliable in terms of explanatory and predictive power" literally require reading books, journals, and similar sources. One reads, that is when one 's mental model mostly gets contaminated and contaminated with the right kinds of memes.

More information, more inputs, more chances of getting the right kinds of memes. Less information, less inputs, less chances of getting the right kinds of memes.

Not the same with individuals who get their information mostly through verbal means. They end up listening to the same individuals with very limited sources of information themselves. Good chance they end up more with fallacious forms of reasoning -- less reliable forms of reasoning.

Some pyramiding testimonies are altogether the same story.

If I am on the right path, my business is going to do well. My business is certainly doing well. Therefore, I am on the right path.

Add, fools in government.

If God wants me to rule, I am going to be elected. I have been elected. Therefore, God wants me to rule.

Another version.

If you are a satanist, you would want abortion laws to pass. You want abortion laws to pass. Therefore, you are a satanist.

Here is another type of formal fallacy employed by some communities.

If you are religious, you want to help the poor. You are not religious. Therefore, you do not want to help the poor.

If you follow Jesus, you are going to be inspired to win. You are not following Jesus. Therefore, you are not going to be inspired to win.

We have said, “Fallacies contaminate people’s minds like viruses contaminating people’s bloodstreams. Some communities have a way of unknowingly acting as some superspreader media” ( Add this: “Much as we communicate viruses from one computer to another, or from one organism to another, we also communicate memes from one mental model to another” (

Contaminating everyone's mental model as at to be able to vaccinate this mental model against fallacious reasoning, against the wrong kinds of memes, is possible -- can even be made probable. Just like a computer Central Processing Unit embedded with the rules of mathematical logic and arithmetic, processing of inputs with mental models impregnated with these same rules lead to easy identification of fallacies and, therefore, avoidance of these.

Ang siyam na pamantayan ng maayos na pangangatuwiran at sampung pamantayan ng maayos na tambalang mga pangungusap, kasama ang mga pamantayan ng arithmetic, ay naka-embed bilang mga information code sa Arithmetical Logical Unit (ALU) nang lahat nang mga Central Processing Unit (CPU) nang lahat ng mga computer.

. . .

Punuin ng mga baluktot na mga kaayusan ng pangangatuwiran ang ALU ng isang computer, tiyak hindi gagana nang maayos.

Punuin ng mga baluktot na pangangatuwiran ang mental model nang isang indibiduwal, maging siya man ay makakaliwa o hindi, mawawalan siya nang maayos na pagtaya sa kaniyang kinabukasan — luluwag ang kaniyang paghawak sa kaniyang kinabukasan at maaaring mabitiwan pa nga ito.

Vaccination with the right kinds of memes as adumbrated here, good for the community, long-term.

Revolution of some paradigm within a community that is in crisis begins with establishment of everyone’s capacity to read and read well. What a philosophy of education is all about, first and foremost. This is what schools need to focus on first and foremost, strategically. It cannot be otherwise for the welfare of the community. Kids need to read and read well.

Imbibing the right kinds of reasoning comes only later.

Capacity to predict reliably comes naturally, with more probability, if ever we get to this point when kids read and read well, ergo are open to imbibing the right kinds of reasoning. Very predictable, long term. Good for the business of education -- not every school can promise to get to this point when kids reason and reason well, and in addition, predict reliably.

Agreement between shareholders and stakeholders for a school like ours should not be difficult. First and foremost, it is all about capacity to read and read well, long-term -- strategically. Then it is all about capacity to reason and reason well, ergo capacity to predict reliably.

As a corporation, we have no compulsion to maintain a grade school.

Sa ngayon, batay sa karanasan namin sa aming mga eskuwelahan — isa, itinatag nang 1928, at isa naman ay 1940 — may mga graduate ngayon nang elementariyang pampubliko na halos hindi makabasa. Hawig dito, iilan lamang sa mga graduate ng mga pampublikong junior high ang tutoong mahusay magbasa sa Ingles (3%) at kahit na rin sa Filipino (17%). Sa makatuwid, significant sa ating mga kabataan ngayon, hanggang sa maaari ay iwas sa pagbabasa na sa tingin nila ay pahirap sa kanila.

. . .

Wala kami, sa aming mga eskuwelahan, na natatanggap na subsidy in any form para sa pre-school hanggang sa grade six students natin. Unfortunately, ito sa pre-school at elementariya ang pinakamahusay na pagkakataon na magkaroon ng intervention para humusay ang kabataan natin at maging kampante sa pagbabasa nga.

Nevertheless, I hope to show our board of directors that there is a good chance we can attain, long-term, at some point in the future whence "kids reason and reason well, and in addition, predict reliably" so long as we stick to this strategic analysis here. Easy to show this possible attainment as a goal that can give the school a unique value, ergo comparative business advantage.

Teach kids to read and read well. Then teach them to reason and reason well -- logic. See if they can predict better, predict reliably. Good chance the kids do not get fooled by fake news by this time.

Good for the business of education, good for the community. Good for the community, good for the business of education.

Now for the tools the we need so that that strategic goal of giving kids capacity to read and read well is attained -- later that capacity to reason and reason well, is also attained. We demand those tools next; we iterate them next.

This is how we intend our school to become uniquely valuable and at the same time to become a genuinely revolutionary part of the community — strategically.

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