Welcome to this Open Source Science Project on
Self-empowerment, Disempowerment, Geopolitics, and Cognition

What’s new?

This site is an open source science project addressing geopolitics from an unusual — but very useful — perspective: namely from a cognitive science perspective and in particular from a cognitive science inspired perspective on topics like authority, power, self-empowerment, disempowerment. The key question we address here is what are the conditions that allow humans to thrive and what are the (geopolitical) influences that prevent this.

How to read this site is outlined in the About us section

What is developed in these pages is a link between individual development and the largest, both in time and in place, human environment. We hope this site shows that the links between micro- and macro level developments are much more intimate and logical than you ever thought would be possible. As such this site attempts to integrate a wide variety of scientific domains. This is a step-by-step process of which only the first few steps have been taken. So the integration of insights will gradually improve and be extended. However, apart from trying to be as accessible and clear as possible no effort has been made to dumb-down the content. This entails that this text may not be easy to grasp in full at first glance

This site is under (constant) construction. And as new text is gradually refined, formulations will improve and typo’s will gradually disappear from the text. As science in progress it has both mature and immature ideas side by side. Of course it is up to the reader to determine the validity of the content, but we make that as easy as possible by providing ample sources: both to books and scientific literature (as references at the bottom of the page) and as links to internet resources.

Since the scope of this website is ridiculously broad it is well beyond the scope of a single individual’s effort to make and find all relevant links and facts among the clutter of irrelevancy, to weed out all inconsistencies, and to formulate the resulting insights into something productive. Constructive reader feedback is therefore highly appreciated and will be used for improvement.

Cognitive science and geopolitics are connected
Cognitive science and geopolitics are connected

Why are geopolitics and cognition intimately connected?

Geopolitics is the struggle for the earth’s resources of which the most important — even more important than oil, gold, fertile lands, and water — is human behavior, or more precisely ‘human agency’. Agency refers the capacity to initialize self-selected behavior. Without human agency none of the other resources would have any value. Since human agency is a topic of cognitive science, geopolitics and cognition are intimately connected.

Who is at ultimo the beneficiary of your agency? Is that you and everything you love, feel associated with, and would like to support? Or will it be some anonymous group or influence who tricked you into participating in games that you neither fully oversee nor understand and that are, like a casino, set up to guarantee that you loose? So the question is will you thrive or whither? The Cypriots recently lost most of their life’s savings, and the Polish even more recently lost half of their pensions. So who have they been working and saving for? Definitely not as much for their own benefit as they thought.

Actually it is up to you to decide whether you want to be exploited. If you decide to spend your life in a bubble of blissful ignorance and complacency, chances are that people will exploit your ignorance, gullibility, and complacency. This site argues you are exploited by the very influences that made you ignorant, gullible, and complacent in the first place. However in these times of economic and social upheavals, more and more people are realizing that blissful ignorance is a guaranteed loosing strategy.

This site should provide a solid foundation for improved strategies.

Made with Calamaro

This site is made with a free (donation-ware) program called Calamaro that is downloadble from this site. It translates multimarkdown files (basically plain text with simple mark-up codes) into a site like this. It can be just as well be used to rapidly make (and upload) a small one page website or a big site like www.geopoliticsandcognition.com (> 60.000 words, ~ 100 pages). With other programs it is possible to change the same basic text into other book-formats (pdf, LateX).

Below is the table of contents of the whole site.

Chapter overview

  1. Introduction
    1. Self-empowerment and disempowerment
    2. Core concepts of Geopolitics and Cognition
  2. About us
    1. Open source science
    2. How to read this site?
    3. But is it truth?
    4. Are you pathologically normal?
    5. Is it science?
    6. Who is responsible for this site?
    7. Contact
  3. Authoritarianism
    1. Authoritarians versus libertarians
    2. Normative threats
    3. Authoritarian conscience
    4. Three sets of morals
    5. Relation with Haidt’s moral theory
    6. Cognitive (in)capacity
    7. Thought policing
    8. Intelligence versus understanding
  4. Attitudes to the world
    1. Two attitudes towards a complex world
    2. Two brain hemispheres
    3. In- and external authority
    4. Agency, autonomy, motivation, appraisal
    5. Four basic states of mind
    6. Motivation, authority, and co-creation
    7. Open-ended development
    8. Why we think
    9. Shallow and deep understanding
    10. The roots of violence
    11. Summary of attitudes towards the world
  5. Self-empowerment
    1. Personal development
    2. The Trivium
    3. Broaden-and-build theory.
    4. 21st century education
    5. The watershed
    6. Epistemological development
    7. What drives intellectual development?
    8. Intellectual development and intellectual classes
    9. The role of teachers
    10. Meaddows’ hiearchy and social strata
  6. Disempowerment
    1. A short history of education in the 20th century
    2. Full time or part time skills
    3. The roots of hierarchy
    4. The top of the hierarchy
    5. Obfuscating reality
  7. Cognitive geopolitics
    1. Globalization and Localization
    2. The Power Elite
    3. War as applied psychology
  8. Geopolitics at home
    1. Happiness
    2. Bureaucracy
    3. Bureaucracy checklists
    4. From bureaucracy to dictatorship
  9. Calamaro
    1. Using Calamaro
    2. Calamaro tricks and tips
    3. Calamaro download