C.P. van der Velde.

English version

[Not all pages and images linked to have been as yet translated to English -
but we are working on it .. ]


is an integrated toolbox for optimal managing of complex tasks and problems. It consists of models and methods for

information processing and judgement

in virtually any area. This system is clarifying and reliable, and designed to be used for practical purposes.

In this system data and insights are incorporated from

four domains of information

, that simultaneously play a part in almost all practical settings.
These domains appear obvious when we look at the process in which we start frome information contained in our thoughts and feelings, and use it for our decision making, action, expression and communication.
  • We know information in the most immediate way possible within our subjective consciousness, and use it in our decision making processes (domain of


  • Looked at in a more objective way, information refers to certain ordered states in some area of reality (domain of


  • When we use our information to understand or to change specific situations, we are dealing with processes of cause-effect (domain of


  • Furthermore, we can record information, wrap it up send it or gather it by coding and decoding it (domain of

    language and communication


Of course, we go through these steps of information processes also in opposite direction, when we take information from the outside world, validate it and process it to be incorporated in our subjective perception.
For example, much information we use is expressed in language or an other kind of representation (domain 4). Information frequently includes assessments or predictions about causes of effects, of certain events, and thus causal claims (domain 3). In any thinkable case, the relevance, soundness and validity of information can be tested through logical techniques (domain 2). At the same time, all information known by humans can - and will - always be influenced by psychological factors, such as motives and emotions of persons or groups (domain 1).

For purposes of optimal judgement and use of information we thus need

insights and tools

from the related fields of science: in particular those of psychology, formal logic, causal logic, and linguistics/ communication theory. This applies regardless of topic, content, aim and context of the information.

offers models and methods aimed at realizing the best judgements and decisions in almost any area.


: which provide fast and clear overview of the field of knowledge concerned. They are primarily aimed at utility, and for that purpose offer reliable representations of the most decisive features and principles that apply to the domain involved.


: consisting of check-lists and manuals in which practical utility, efficiency and effectivity have priority. They offer guidance, tips and instructions accordingly.

Topics on :

Chaos, disinformation
and ..     roads to disentanglement

These days, buzz words are disinformation and 'fake news'. Doubt and confusion are everwhere about what is true and what is not. Signs of all sorts of fallacies and manipulation, spin and framing, demagogy and propaganda, are fully observable. Meanwhile, technological developments still increase at an exponential rate. As a result, structures of power and influence - like strategic   deployment of social media, Big Data and and artificial intelligence   for commercial and political purposes - are becoming increasingly opaque. An increasing part of the world's population becomes accordingly dependent of internet communication, in the grip of a select number of technology giants, super rich oligarchs, and banks too big to fail. One of the many paradoxes is here the fact that the available information keeps growing explosively in quantity and complexity, while the content of information and 'debate' gradually degrades in quality.
Is there amidst this worldwide disorientation, still room for meaningful judgment about reality?

This is question precisely the question that this model wants to answer, and offered a clear guideline since 2006 in its development: Suppose at a time chaos and confusion are everywhere, and view on order and knowledge is clouded - what do you need first with which you can start building again to form insights and solutions?
Which essential components are suitable for this? If possible these must be applicable to emotional or functional problems of individuals, but also to collective issues of groups, organizations and societies.
The model, , is certainly not meant as a 'theory of everything' or 'super-solution'. It simply offers a new, clear framework with reliable tools that can be used positively by everyone with interest and motivation.

Let me get my eternal hobbyhorse from stable:

(1) The most problems are in reality. And today's problems are gigantic, large-scale and profound, still exponentially increasing: local, national and global, economic, political, cultural, humane and ecological.
(2) The goals must be realized there.
(3) The solutions must therefore built on cause-effect relations. If there is sufficient match between cause-effect links, it works, otherwise it does not work - this is totally independent of certain standard ideologies. (4) So first of all we have causal analysis, which first of all needs reliable logic: insights and skills for solid judgment and sustainable solutions. The logic is very confusing, disinformation and stagnation on, and is therefore perfectly applicable to the promotion of 'non-logical' values and content such as emotions, quality of life, well-being, social involvement, culture, art, etc ..
(5) Difficult is that the 'debate' and (worse) the prevailing judgment, exponentially increased by manipulations and deception, lies and deceit, resulting in an extreme collective mental confusion and chaos, expressing itself in about 99.9% fallacies in judgment, in which virtually everyone pretty much and manipulates - and this increase continues unabated.
(6) The latter we can also see positively: there is therefore a margin of approx. 99.9% margin for optimization, in other words plenty of opportunity and room for improvement and progress.
(7) The first is therefore a large-scale rigorous renovation of information processing, judgment and communication, based on valid expertise.
(8) The resistance to this - for example from ignorance, self-esteem, stupidity, self-indulgence, opportunism and brainwashing - is still immense.
(9) Since the last economic crisis, and the increasing effects of climate change and environmental pollution, there has already been a growing awareness of the necessary conditions for the desired solutions. But there is still little reason to expect that the recognition of the sufficient conditions in the foreseeable future time limit will be fulfilled.
(10) All in all there is a fantastic, formidable opportunity that we can seize at any moment: That's the optimistic news. Of course there are no guarantees that what we are going to do is not too little, too late, will prove too weak. Let us also remain idealistic and believe in solutions, even if it is a utopia.


(Hover over the title areas to highlight concepts mentioned)

Arc of
            Essentials Subjective Experience (Contents) Semantic Net (Contents +Structure) Information (Selecting + Deciding) Syntax (Coding + Decoding) Organism (System) Information Application (Physical behavior) Information Exchange (Observation + Expression) Model: Psychology of Subjective Experience Method: Praktical Logic Method: Causal Analysis Method: Psychological Language Analysis Psychology Formal Logic Causale Logic Language & Communication Psychic
            processes Abstract
            patterns Physical
            processes Social
            interaction Immaterial / mental domain Material
            / physical domain Semantic
            Empiry (knowable) Complete
            reality (not knowable)
Arc of Essentials - Over-all flow-chart

The diagram shows that within the model a prominent place is given to

subjective experience

(top-left). And not without reason: in the end, quality of subjective experience is of upmost importance in everyone's existence, that is 'happiness', varying from superficial joy to deep satisfaction or highest extacy - expected either on short term or on the longer run. Because subjective experience is that important, it is interesting to take a look at its composition, contents and operation.

Subjective experience - whether on the conscious or the unconscious level - consists of numerous 'loose' content elements such as sensations, perceptions and all other aspects of experience, as well as relations between them, that is the order, interconnections, or structure. This interconnection of mental content elements may well be described as a

semantic network

. This is in other words a derivate of immediate subjective experience. It is depicted down-right of that in the diagram.

Now certain patterns in the semantic network appear to occur more often in relation to other patterns: there are regularities between different relations of content elements. Because of this, apart from (immediate) ordering relations also referential relations come into play, also known as meaning relations. Without any ordering there is only chaos, random 'noise, nothing makes a difference and nothing has meaning. As soon however some kind of structure arises,


comes into play. We derive information from the ordering relations within the semantic network. It is placed down-right of that in the diagram.
Information we use to determine our choices and responses, by ongoing processes of selecting data, and deciding about their meaning and implications. For the largest part these processes take place at the unconscious level - but lots of them are accessible to conciousness, in particular their final outcomes.

Based on the conclusions from these processes, we transform our information - again: either consciously or unconsciously - into, for instance, body responses and behaviors, through inner organs, glands and muscles:

Information application

. See the left yellow circle.

Furthermore, we can represent or record information in some recognizable form or expression by means of some sort of language, in particular a grammer or


. Through that syntax we can also derive the information again from such a form. A syntax offers the system (rules and 'vocabulaire') needed for coding and decoding of information. We shall have to follow this system to some extent in order to express and recognize information in a reasonable effective way.

Moreover we are almost constantly engaged in gathering information from our environment, not the least our social habitat, as well as expressing and transferring information to others:


. See the right yellow circle.

All of these areas, functions and activities are crucial for the functioning, well-being, and survival of the organism as a whole. And for each of them we need insights and methods to understand them well and to optimise them if desired.

Our understanding of the factors that determine subjective experience arises from our concept of man, or model of human functioning: a


. In Arc of Essentials © for this a model is available in which both material and immaterial dimensions are integrated based on most reliable scientific knowledge:

'Psychology of Subjective Experience' ©


The science field in which information - in the sense of ordering relations - is studied in the most exact, thorough and universally-valid way, is the field of


(more precisely: formal logic ). The logical insights and techniques that are most directly applicable for fast, sharp and solid judgement in all thinkable situations, are collected within Arc of Essentials © under the name of Method of

'Practical Logic' ©


The use of information is always needed when dealing with problems and working towards goals. These are naturally concerned with finding explanations and solutions to achieve desired results. Determining the crucial links requires in the first place good predictions. For this, understanding and applying cause-effect principles is needed. This in turn requires a field of knowledge for

Causal Analysis

(more precisely: Causal Logic) in which the abstract resultats from formal logic are concentrated on causes and effects in real-world situations.
A unique method for this, tailored to practical problems, is offered in Arc of Essentials © under the name of Method of

Causal Analysis


Many branches of science, but particulary these of social sciences and humanitoria studies, are heavily dependent for their data gathering, research, theory building, and knowledge development on information-exchange with experts and with laymen cq. civilians (subjects, public, patiens, clients, customers, etc.). At the same time, any use of communcation and language always has numerous specific effects the information selected and expressed, as well as the information received and processed. In other words: indispensable are insights and expertise with respect to

Language and Communication

. A very systematic method in this area is available within Arc of Essentials ©, namely: Method of

'Psychological Language Analysis' ©

The system in operation

What does this diagram clarify? Essentially, a number of basic and undeniable laws are shown that are at work within the whole of reality: in particular concerning relations between areas, or domains of reality.

We see that our subjective experience inevitably embodies our first frame of reference. The quality of it constitutes our first criterium to provide our lives and functioning with aim and direction. Psychology is the field of science that should offer the insights needed for this. But to do this it has to supply us of course with a coherent, unambiguous and balanced model of human functioning.

Next it is clear that we make our choices and draw our conclusions within our world of subjective experience (our ' Bubble of Perception'). Naturally, we don't do this directly on basis of 'external' reality - because al least this is strongly filtered and modulated by our sense organs and nerve system.
At the same time, we do not decide and reason directly on basis of our subjective perception either. Subjective experience is structured like a semantic network, and the ordering relations within this network represent information. The latter is the 'raw material' for selecting data and deciding about judgements, actions and responses.
We process information by making combinations, assuming implications and infering conclusions - in other words: we reason. Now in order to deal with information in a sensible way, we need insights in the laws of information, in other words logic, that is, in it's most precise and powerful form, formal logic.

However, with all this in place we still haven't a direct connection with targets in external reality. To achieve results and initiate effective action we are dependent on cause-effect principles. In other words, we also need a more specific logical system for applying information in practical settings: causal logic.

Finally, we usually gather and derive information, as well as record and express, transfer and exchange information with others, by means of language and communication. Hereby we make use of language expressions and nonverbal codes being information carriers - but at the same time, these can restrict, fade of distort that same information. Consequently, the syntactical surfacestructure of language and expression forms is not the same as, but refers to the semantical deepstructure that contains the information concerned, namely, a piece of the underlying semantic network. 'Words are only indicators' to the content covered and we need psychological language analyse to know precisely which is pointed to.

The above shows that psychology in itself does not offer a complete basis for an approach that is goal-directed. For this, considerable addition of expertise is required coming from logic, causal analysis and language analysis. In the end psychology - without the required addition - offers a very restricted contribution to what is needed to realize reliable answers, elegant solutions and solid results.

The name of

Arc of Essentials ©

has the term arc in it, in a three-fold meaning: bridging, connection and underpinning.
In a conceptual frame the word refers to the bridge which is made by the model across the gap between the various material and immaterial factors, fields and domains.
The visual 'arch' depicted in the symbolic overall diagram represents the main stages of information streams between the four basic dimensions of information that are outlined in the model.
Finally the word arc is meant as a blink to the myth of 'Ark of Noah', because the model poses an intriguing question: when chaos and confusion are all around, when all order and knowledge have been vanished - what essential components would you then like to 'save', with which you can again start to built on insights and solutions?
For this purpose,

Arc of Essentials ©

wants to offer the very principles and building blocks, from an approach that is entirely fresh, open-minded and unprejudiced however critical, with as a first and most important guideline the question: What at least has to be true, to use as a basis of your knowledge and choices?

Arc of Essentials - word cloud

The purpose of

Arc of




.. is to offer a 'tool box' with instruments - models and methods - to enhance your analysis and judgement about various topics and subjects in all conceivable situations. It is a body of knowledge designed to provide the essential components for outstanding judgements. This is of course an ambitious goal, but the stakes are high enough to at least give an impetus to do so.

A recurring situation is that we are dealing with problems that we want to solve and set goals that we want to achieve. This is relevant in all areas and levels of our lives: our personal performance, our social relationships and our living and working environment. And more generally, there are plenty of problems and goals in society on local and global levels.

Information processing

The essential question again and again is what it is that we can do: what will work to achieve the desired result, in a given situation? In fact, this amounts to the selection of options "what-to-do" in response to the given situation, that is, a decision problem.
In making our decisions, we start from what we know about the possibilities and limitations in the relevant context. We thus use information to guide our choices and actions. For many of our goals it is convenient, even vital, that we timely gain information that is relevant, clear and reliable. This calls for good and rapid judgement making - or else the ability to improve it.

To optimize judgement-making requires first understanding the principles of human information processing. In the field of psychology much research has already been done about this. A disadvantage of this knowledge is however, that it is very fragmentary, poorly organized, fuzzy in its concepts, often mixed up with speculations, largely invalid, partly inconsistent, and not particularly directed towards positive results. In fact, much of academic psychology is focusing on restrictions and limitations: especially, on countless ways (lay) people can not make logical and reliable judgements.

Strangely enough, relatively little of psychology is developed about how people can perform their information processing and selection in a valid way: What insights and skills - for laymen and experts - are at the least needed for making adequate judgements in practically all possible situations? Fortunately, for this we can get by with help of other sciences. Exactly that knowledge is offered in the field of logic, more specific formal logic, In the best possible form: crystal clear, a hundred percent reliable and very clear about its own boundaries and limitations. However, this science is in it's turn not considering with human limitations that may influence practical applications of logical insights and techniques.


Arc of




the relationships are established between different insights and techniques from various fields and disciplines, which are decisive for the quality of information processing and judgement. It thereby provides generally valid expertise, designed for upgrading the quality of information and optimizing of information flows - applying to any context where these are dependent upon people (which therefore makes it applicable almost always and everywhere).

Domains of information

The extensive knowledge within

Arc of




is organized in a number of specific models and methods, which are devided into four fields corresponding to the four major domains of information:

(1) The domain of Psychology:

Analysis of human experience, behavior and communication.
How is human functioning to be understood and to be influenced in a way that is goal-directed, efficient and effective?

(2) The domain of Logic:

For analysis of any type of information, ie. interpretation, ordering or reasoning - regardless of content, topic or domain.
How do you know whether a conclusion - or a thought, suspicion, fantasy, assumption .. - is sufficiently sound and well founded, and how to improve this?

(3) The domain of Causal analysis:

The application of "cause-effect" relationships to practical situations.
How do you know whether something is causing something else, or something is an effect of something else? This is particularly useful for causal inference about specific cases, individuals or incidents, with which we are actually dealing in many practical situations 1.
{1 That is to say, so-called casuistic analysis, or "N=1" applications, based on the unique combination of factors in any specific real-life situation in vivo. This contrasts with the - theoretical - averages of populations, that are based on the averages of measurements on samples under artificial conditions of 'laboratory' research in vitro, where most scientific theories and measuring instruments are calibrated or grafted on. }

(4) The domain of Language and communication :

Recognizing the difference between the "packing" of content and the underlying meaning itself.
How can you use language as a tool for gathering and delivering information, for understanding meaning and for influencing

Each of these domains of information is of crucial importance in our daily lives, especially in situations that are relatively complex, dynamic or chaotic. With respect to the variety of practical problems and dilemmas, which are always somewhat irregular and changeable, we are mainly concerned with the relationships and interactions between these areas.
For example, much information we use is expressed in language (domain 4). Information frequently includes assessments or predictions about causes of effects, of certain events, and thus causal claims (domain 3). At the same time, all information known by humans can - and will - always be influenced by psychological factors such as motives and emotions (domain 1). In any thinkable case, the relevance, soundness and validity of information can be tested through logical techniques (domain 2).

If we want to assess and understand these kinds of multifaceted and intertwined data, and do so quickly and accurately, then applying and - especially - combining of insights and methods is essential concerning these dimensions, including their interfaces and relationships. This of course requires due competencies: insights and skills.
Examples of such competencies, which are almost always of interest, are:
  • Distinguishing sense and nonsense components of information.
  • Quickly recognize mainlines in a problem.
  • Tracing key patterns, causes and crucial links in an event.
  • Identify and map out the active mechanisms behind events.
  • Making long-term predictions concerning impact and results.
  • Pointing out decisive factors for the solution.
  • Setting up a plan for a systematic procedure.
  • Outline a roadmap to the goal and select people, resources and methods for it.
  • Monitoring progress and evaluation results.

Trends and tendencies

The abilities of combinatory thinking and sharp analysis are becoming increasingly important, as the lives and activities of people are becoming increasingly dependent on information. That is, we have to deal with larger amounts of information, that is of increasingly abstract and increasingly complex nature. Indeed, being 'thinking apes', we have been into information-processing for thousands of years, but nowadays we have can no longer suffice with only sensory information that is immediately observable, testable and tangible. More and more of our data are coded, recorded, combined and edited - many times under confused pretenses - into abstractions and systems, that often are quasi-formal or pseudo-exact, and may end up running around in bureaucratic mills and electronic webs.

At the same time it becomes increasingly difficult for us to quickly identify and understand our data regarding all their foreseeable consequences. This is due to the numerous 'postmodern' developments of recent decades, that have gained more speed since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.
We may think of the unstoppable advance of information technology and digitization, the explosive growth of the mass media, the rise of the Internet, the increasing globalization, together with the expansion of the 'free market', capitalism and flashy snashing-away 'new management', the ever increasing exploitation, production, commerce and consumption, sweeping up world-wide polluting, plundering and destruction of natural habitats and resources, the extinction of species and diminishing of biodiversity, the wipe out of traditional economies, societies and cultures, the massiveness of migration movements, the complexity and combinatorial explosion of multi-cultural 'melting pots', the spread of drugs, weapons, abuse, criminal organizations, and extremist regimes over the world, etc..

These are trends and developments that have far-reaching consequences for available information and acquired judgements:
  • Increasing complexity and fragmentation, diversity and divergence of information.
  • Mixing of information with commerce, entertainment, fashion, politics, religion and fiction (commercializing , emotion-democracy, mediacracy, infotainment, docu-soaps, virtual reality, creality, pornofication, etc.).
  • Overrating and cultivation of 'public debate', mass verbal incontinence in terms of unlimited expression of subjective views in TV shows, blogs and web forums.
  • Ever increasing trivialisation, superficiality and "futilization" of knowledge and culture.
  • Explosive growth of options and choices in life, and - thus - decision problems.
  • Disappearence of clear and generally accepted criteria for evaluation and decision-making.
  • Viscosity and opacity of decision-making processes, due to excessive regulations, cumbersome procedures, bureaucracy, confused debates, legal complications, etc..
  • Gaps and omissions in education and training with respect to insights and skills for dealing with information complexity.
  • Lack of a new adequate, clear and constructive paradigm for the evaluation of information.

These factors will probably become ever more important, extensive and more complex in the foreseeable future. And all these developments put high demands on our information processing, particularly ordering, selection en judgement with respect to data that are complex or chaotic. This applies to both private life and work situation, to individuals as well as businesses, workers and managers, officials and politicians.

The demand for information that is to-the-point, clear and reliable plays a major rol in all social sectors and work settings: eg management (safety, efficiency, information flows), personnel (effectiveness of employess, prevention and cure of burnout etc.), ICT, public administration, security and enforcement, detection and combat of crime, law and justice, health care, youth care, etc..
Consider the topic of 'efficiency' Of business processes and procedures. What can be the objections to executing tasks smoothly and efficiently implement shorter and faster instruments, saving time and resources, to avoid errors and misunderstandings, to increase chances for success?

Lack of knowledge and skills in those fields has as a consequence that many important goals and serious problems are not or not adequately addressed - allowing more complexity, fuzziness and confusion to be created. There is a lot of discomfort and trouble involved in this for people, and apart from that, if we strictly view this from an economic standpoint, many billions of euros cq dollars of unnecessary damage. Especially for companies and administrations there is an actual financial interest - and an ethical responsibility.

Optimizing judgements

Regarding all the facts, the optimizing of judgements will therefore rarely be an unnecessary luxury. It is of great importance that citizens and employees, experts and managers acquire knowledge and competence. in these areas.

At the same time, and strangely enough, these capabilities are absent in most professional education and training, or are given to a very limited extent. It is not surprising from this perspective that most people - even and especially professionals with heavy responsibilities for the interests of others - have little or no understanding of the interdependence of laws, mechanisms and processes related to information processing and judgements.

Precisely that interwoven and multidimensional structure has been worked out within

Arc of Essentials ©

in a crystal-clear and systematic manner.

This enables you to make a major improvement of analysis and judgement. Resulting in rapid and accurate conclusions about all key characteristics of data and expressions about any subject, area or domain:
  • Quality of basic data:

    Availability and completeness, clarity, relevance and decidability.
  • Quality of ordering patterns:

    Consistency, satisfiability, and validity (well-foundedness) of structures and analysis, feasibility of goals.
  • Causal activity of processes:

    Traceability, effectiveness, predictability, applicability (with respect to items), and feasibility (with respect to plans).
  • Elegance and ecology of resources and solutions:

    Considerations about proportions, interests, and priorities, boundaries of plans and processes, and efficiency. Guarantees for security, manageability of processes, carrying capacity of the system, pacing of context demands and limitations. Ethical and moral integrity, long term capital gain.

Once we have made solid conclusions about those essential properties of information, we can organize our data quickly and reliably based of its information value. After this, selection of options is easy, especially of those that directly point to the optimal solution in the given context.

The model in perspective

When considering added value and advantages, account must also be given of real limitations. All human knowledge will always be fallible, limited and provisional - and the same applies to

Arc of Essentials ©

. The model is of course not - and not meant to be - a 'theory of everything'. This may already be proven by the fact that it contains relatively few content related data. What the model does contain however is a number of minimally necessary components - so to speak 'essentials' - of meta-knowledge, needed to collect and use knowledge, on any area. The model is - naturally - not perfect, absolute or a hundred percent complete. It is though quite thorough in foundation and construction. Therefore, it may be considered as a real onset for a new, fundamentally different reserach program, or paradigm for the social sciences. Moreover, it is open almost unlimited for further development, extension and improvement. Note that only a fractional part of the total package is on this website.

Examples of problem areas
and ..     chances for optimalisation

Next some examples are given of generally known problem areas, with short descriptions of most prominent predicaments and the relation with insights and methods available within

Arc of




to deal with them.

  • (1) Effective deliberation.

    A clear example of a huge economic cost in post-modern, post-industrialized societies is the ever present culture of deliberation. Every year billions of dollars are spent on loans during deliberation time. At the same time, most employees appear to be convinced that a reduction of deliberation time can be achieved of at least 40 percent.
    A relatively small amount of deliberation time is directly spent on real outcome results like solutions, decisions, specific plans, agreements and engagements. By far, most of deliberation time is spent by less relevant processes: exchange of trivial detail, ceremonies, jokes, gossips and soap-like intrigues. These may have various social functions: particularly the reconfirmation of positions, cast and distribution of tasks, the picking order 'at the apes rock', maintaining the sensus communis, and furthermore conflict regulation and team-building. In general these may often be valuable goals within the local business culture that are often however only determined within the so-called tacit dimension of the organization - and therefore are approached implicitly, indirectly and symbolically, not in the least during deliberation. Of course these objectives can be achieved more effectively than through ritual meetings: throught goaldirected coaching and training, in paricular.
    Moreover the content subjects can be dealt with much more acutely, fluently and productively by using methods of

    Arc of Essentials ©

    , yielding results of higher quality. With these methods, a substantial cost reduction may well be achievable, apart from a considerable improvement of quality.

  • (2) Customer service .

    An other well-known subject is customer service of companies, in particular the performance of front-offices, help desks, tele-marketeers, etc.. Again and again incidents, errors and blunders show up in the media that can be traced back to the kind of messy work of co-workers that everybody is familiar with: bad listening, poor communicating, sloppy analysis, not keeping promises; and furthermore 'selling' of falsehood and denying to admit failures. Resulting in customers getting irritated, complaining or dropping out. In almost all cases huge improvement can be achieved on these aspects with help of methods of

    Arc of Essentials ©

    to optimize communication, analytical skills and judgements of co-workers.

  • (3) Cognitive ergonomics - of technical equipment.

    Furthermore, in the area of cognitive ergonomics immense progress can be made. In the USA alone, a total of 13.8 billion U.S. dollars of damage was suffered in 2007 by suppliers and manufacturers directly caused by electrical and technical equipment having been returned by dissatisfied customers. In 68 percent of the cases the reason was not that the thing did not work properly, but the customer not understanding how - despite strenuous efforts. That is, although the subjective reason of dissatisfaction appears to be 'complexity' of equipment, the objective reason is of course often a crooked logic of the operation or the instructions, or both. It will not help of course to blame the 'stupid' consumers: it is to the producer to adapt to both the needs and the abilities of consumers.

    Arc of Essentials ©

    the guidelines and tools are available needed to improve design, functionality and control logic of technical equipment and have them sharply attuned to the overall psychological and cognitive capacities of human users.

  • (4) Cognitive ergonomics - of software.

    A similar situation, although in a way even more absurd, is to be found in the ICT. First there is the 'simple' serial digital computer, which is in fact a physical and dynamic realisation of the abstract system of logic in its simplest and best decidable form (ie propositional logic, PPL). With the transition from mainframes to personal computers around 1980 however, this crystal-clear logical structure got in a way disguised by operating systems, drivers and application packages for consumers that are focussed mainly on slick design and simple operation, but are often functionally quick-and-dirty cobbled together, for fast gain of market shares and mega-profits. Still, the longest time seems over that software producers can get extravagantly rich with products that are ridiculously slow, sloppy and messy. The user-consumer will be less and less impressed by empty promises and just wants clear, efficient and reliable programs.

    Arc of Essentials ©

    provides methods and techniques with which bugs and flaws are easier avoided, detected and repaired, and software can be designed and further developed that is - like logic itself - clear, efficient and effective.

  • (5) Law and jurisdiction.

    In the area of law and jurisdiction, determining truth and establishing judgements are pre-eminently relevant, while covering virtually all dimensions of human functioning. Judges and other lawyers are attempting to determine - or represent - an understanding of facts and events, eg concerning damage or injustice, caused by human actions, together with the subsequent influences or consequences, like mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Often this can only be based on inadequate, incomplete or unreliable data. In many cases a very complex and nuanced analysis is needed to arrive at an informed decision that satisfies law and reason. In this analysis typically many aspects are involved concerning human functioning, causal relations, language and communication, reasoning and proof. Without the use of an integrated system, a truely reliable course of such an analysis is virtually impossible, and the risk is high of making severe errors: which is the very thing law is meant to guard against. (An extreme example in the Netherlands obviously is the case 'Lucia de B.', in which many elementary mistakes were made with respect to statistical and causal analysis, 'circulary proof', etc. 1).
    This is extremely relevant because huge human and societal interests are at stake, besides the immense cost of - often slow and cumbersome - legal and judicial interference.
    A sound and solid system for analysis and judgement for purposes of law and justice is eminently provided by

    Arc of Essentials ©

    . In this system knowledge and techniques of logic, causal analysis, psychology and language have been integrated, which is in fact essential for efficient and robust judicial judgements.
    {1 The judgements in the case 'Lucia de B.' reached by prosecutors and judges have been cracked by a large number of experts on a large number of points. In the proces we recognize a typical 'Inquisition' character. Almost all conceivable errors were made on essential aspects:
    • In the area of

      information gathering

      : eg 'Reading minds' or telepathy, "Magic eye" or clairvoyance, selective signification of language, selective use of medical and biochemical knowledge, severe distortion of basic information and evidence.
    • In

      causal analysis

      : eg over-determination, neglect of essential causal requirements, possible covariates and contra-indications, exceptions and random noise, and numerous alternative scenarios;
      and, within that framework, In

      statistical analysis

      inter alia, selective sampling, too small sample, non-homogeneous time series, incomparable test groups, erroneous probability computation, inaccurate error estimation, false significance testing, misinterpretation and overvalueing of correlations.
    • In

      logical analysis

      : almost every conceivable fallacy, many serious logical errors of formal and informal nature, inter alia Ins Blau hinein deduction or facts reconstruction, overgeneralization as baseless reasoning or so-called chain-evidence.
    • And in

      psychological judgements

      : including tendentious imaging and character analysis, based on selective impressions, associations, arbitrary qualifications, stereotypes, conventions, hear-say, group-think, self-fulfilling prophecy, prejudice, tunnel vision, etc., and ignoring systematic and objective assessment.

  • (6) Health care and Welfare

    Under this heading I would like to discuss all activities that are dedicated at the medical and psychological care, guidance and treatment of people: treatment of somatic and psychiatric patients, psychotherapy, youth and family care, integration of minorities, child protection, juvenile detention, treatment of offenders, etc..
    Here also, professional practitioners continually face complex combinations of details and options regarding human behavior and well-being, objective and subjective circumstances, causes and effects, communication and social interaction, etc.. And here also, education and training hardly provide tools to generate insights and decisions concerning such combinations, that actually have real logical and empirical grounds. Also here one merely seeks solutions of procedural kinds: increasingly more and complicated schedules, standards and protocols, and bureaucracy: more records and registration, data entry and data storage. And more meetings, talks and discussions. Thus resulting in more complexity, disinformation, cacophony, vagueness and confusion.
    What remains missing overall is a general framework for sound judgements about these typically unique and infinitely variable situations in practice. In particular knowledge and skills are lacking regarding most basic principles of objective judgements:
    • Logical validity of

      arguments and conclusions

    • Empirical-analytic validity of

      cause-effect relations

      in explaning and predicting.
    • Information value of


      such as language expressions, observations, and test-results.
    • Decisive factors in

      human functioning

      , in particular sensation, thinking, emotion and behavior.
    The consequences are well-known: badly organized work schedules, chaotic information flows, vague of 'mixed' responsibilities, slow bureaucratic mills, cumbersome procedures, stagnant 'chain collaboration', symbolic rituals. Resulting in unnecessary waste of billions, and enormous human misery and problems that but continue. And of course also an endless, confused 'debate' about the causes.
    (Examples are incidents in youth care - see below).
    To tackle these practical problems

    Arc of Essentials ©

    provides the missing links and devices that are lacking on such large scale:
    • A comprehensive, reliable and clarifying

      psychological model.

    • A truly

      goal-directed methodology

    • A system of practical techniques for

      judgment and decision

      , based on thorough psychological, logical, causal and linguistic analysis.

  • (7) Youth Care and Child protection services

    Much turmoil arises in the wake of horrific incidents in youth care, like in the Netherlands such tragedies as with Rowena (2001, age of 4), Savanna (2004, age of 3), Kelly (2006, age of 6), Rachael (2006, age of 2), Gessica (2006, age of 12), Talysa (2007, age of 4 weeks) and others.
    About these sad events a lot of information is to be found in the media, in investigation reports and on numerous web sites. The image at least emerging from the investigation reports shows remarkably often the same typical characteristics: for years numerous professionals swarm around a child, each with their own perceptions and ideas, while under everyone's eyes, the child is nevertheless slowly tortured to death, or if you like abused to death.

    The immediate and decisive factors causing faults and failures [ in youth care ] are of course due to the complexity, the emotional confrontations and dilemmas inherent in the daily practice of the field. It is for instance always a tremendously serious decision [to have a child outplaced - in time - from home (or vice versa).] This always requires a very complex and subtle analysis to assess timely and accurately whether parents are capable, stable and developed enough for their child to care for it safely and responsibly, or not. While in almost all cases the consequences of virtually every choice, even based on a 'perfect' analysis, are at best moderately predictable, given the complex nature of the domain.
    For such tasks, decisions and judgements to be exercised at least to an optimal level, professionals in the field - from high to low - until now have very few adequate means, methods and techniques to their disposal - especially concerning psycho-social judgements, logical, causal and communication analysis - which would be somewhat adequate regarding the nature of the issues and objectives.
    Given the reviews, comments and 'solutions' which are presented by responsible professionals, agencies and authorities in child care and protection, that often are so obviously inadequate and irrelevant, you may hold your breath for the lives of all those children.
    Nothing will significantly improve for the children if not something rigorously will be improved of the immense structural deficiencies in the social judgements of the responsible operators, managers and directors. For such a crucial upgrading

    Arc of Essentials ©

    contains many high quality building blocks and vital links: especially for the screening, cleaning, slimming, restructuring and streamlining of knowledge and procedures, skills and techniques needed for information gathering, judgements, risk assessment, decision making, choice of tactics, strategy drafts, communication, processing, and so on. The models and methods available meet the most robust scientific criteria to find. To my opinion, children are always worth it.

  • (8) Diagnosis and treatment in the TBS system

    Summary of the artikel
    Regular imprisonment or detention in the Netherlands has many functions and desired goals, but positive effects on learning tendencies of criminal offenders do not seem the most successful. Sometimes serious delinquent behavior appears to be associated with mental illness of the perpetrators, which has led to the idea of providing such offenders after their prison with psychiatric care, clinical supervision and therapeutic treatment within special clinics for convicts at disposal (so-called 'TBS' settings).
    This article discusses a number of sample surveys by the Ministry of Justice, through which effects were examined of TBS treatments. The relapse or recidivism of criminal behavior is compared between 'regular' ex-prisoners and ex-TBS'ers. Also a look is taken at different absolute and relative measures of recidivism of ex-TBS'ers. It shows that beneficial effects of treatments in the TBS system, over short and longer periods, are very difficult to trace, or often remain of very modest nature.
    Next the methodological problems are discussed that may undermine the reliability of such research on treatment effects and recidivism. Furthermore, the many factors are discussed that affect the progress and effectiveness of TBS treatment. This analysis leads to several suggestions for possible improvements in the TBS-practice, first in terms of diagnosis, and particularly the end diagnostics that should determine advice and decision on release of TBS-ers after their treatment process.

  • (9) Psychology.

    The most general and comprehensive of disciplines may well be that of psychology. This applies to both theory and practical applications. Indeed, psychology is officially considered to be the science, or study, of 'human behavior'. The most general and comprehensive of disciplines may well be that of psychology. This applies to both knowledge and practical applications. Indeed, the psychology is officially considered to be the science or study of "human behavior". As such, psychology is concerned with literally all possible forms of expression that people can produce, and thus indirectly also with all underlying mental processes and subjective data. These of course can play a role in every conceivable area of personal, social and societal functioning. Through these manifestations, psychological processes are also reflected in far-reaching human impact on natural resources and systems in and around this planet.
    Furthermore, worldwide we see a rise of individualism, by which people increasingly rely on their highly personal performance and profiling in virtually every area of life. Therefore there is a massive increase of concern with the personal, the motives and emotions of people, as well as their interacting with the effects of communication and social interaction. Society - particularly the Western-oriented - is increasingly 'psychologicalized'. This resulting in a greater impact of psychological concepts and applications. in all sectors. We see this not only in welfare and health care, the arts and cultural life, but also in commerce, media and politics.
    For a relatively 'young' science, psychology has gained huge influence remarkably fast. At the same time, in the arsenal of knowledge and the practice of psychology still numerous failures and fallacies are to be found of often serious nature.
    If we look at the scientific issues in psychology, there are roughly four areas where a drastic upgrade is urgently needed: thinking about causes and consequences ie causal analysis, combinatory thinking and correct reasoning ie logic, clear and careful use of language and communication, and applying a coherent image of man as the basis of psychology.

    Cause-effect analysis.

    Psychology is mostly used to solve problems. These are often of a very practical nature and touching lives, health and well-being of real people: for individuals, families and organizations. Whatever the nature may be of the specific problems (and solutions) in this particular field, in such a case a number of general principles apply first and formost.
    Het doel is om een resultaat te behalen, dat wil zeggen, bepaalde effecten te bereiken. Het ligt dan voor de hand om voor die gewenste effecten de nodige oorzaken in werking te stellen. The aim is to achieve a desired result, that is to say, to achieve certain effects. It is therefore obvious to put necessary causes for those desired effects in operation.
    This requires adequate analysis of causes and effects. In this process, two general basic components can be distinguished, and these are crucial in psychology.


    Detecting causes after-the-fact. In the case of problem analysis, this concerns the understanding of the originating process of the problem (etiology), characterizing the current problems (diagnosis), and the mapping of the structure - function, construction - of the 'pattern', the causal mechanism within the context of the overall organism or social system.


    Estimating effects beforehand. For example, determining the expected trend or development (prognosis), the objectives of change, and the required means and methods (assessment), and design of the treatment plan.
    Essential to these tasks is an understanding of what a causal relationship is, and how a causal mechanism can be mapped. It is also important to know when statistics are useful for this - and when it isn't. Then the corresponding skills apply needed to use these insights in practical situations. Those insights and skills are often cursory present with professionals or rather poorly shaped.

    Systematic fallacies in psychology in the area of causal analysis.

    Some examples.


    Causal assumptions remain implicit.

    Situations are analyzed and described with outright assumptions of causal relations, while these are not as such explicitely mentioned, underpinned or proved.

    Causal pretentions appear without insight.

    The aim of professional interventions is most times to realize results, effects and solutions - and thus requires adequate causal analysis. At the same time, there are poor insights concerning the nature of a causal relation, and how to recognize it and distinguish it from other relations (in particular logische relation, physical chronology or composition, semantical (meaning) relation, and arbitrairy subjective association).

    Causal analysis by crippled statistics.

    Statistical research methods, technics and analyses are often applied without full satisfaction of important conditions that apply to them. (E.g. normal distribution, constancy of the population, representativeness, random assembly and constancy of samples, congruence and constancy of sample-elements, similarity of experimental situations within research conditions c.q. sample groups, reliability of measurements, similar variance of variables (homoscedasticity), etc.).

    Causal relations too simplistic.

    There is a tendency to search selectively - even with partially explained variance - for a simple relationship that involves only two variables (is bivariate), is singular (monocausal), uniformly proportional ( linear), and unidirectional (non-reciprocal). In cases that relationships between multiple variables are examined, this is usually done with the aid of multivariate analyses which ultimately work with correlations. As a consequence, the exact structure of logical-causal relations is often missed especially sharp distinctions of, for example disjunct, conjunct, intermedial, interacting or common causes.

    Causal relations 'proven' with statistical measures.

    Statistical measures, like correlation, are considered to be indicatory for causal relations.

    Causal relations 'proven' with statistical significance.

    Significance of statistical measures, like correlation, are incorrectly taken as 'proof' of predictive power of the relations found. That is, the probability that a found effect difference (in the sample) at a certain chosen margin of error (alpha) statistically is not a coincidence is erroneously understood as the probability that the same effect, taken on average, actually will occur - in the population (or a new representative sample). (This increases the probability of error by a factor of say 20).

    Causal relations prematurely assumed.

    Statistical properties of sample observations are generalized far too hasty to a perfectly sound general rule, model, or theory about the population concerned.

    Causal relations adopted in sloppy systems.

    All kinds of hypotheses, models, theories and methods are used for explanations and predictions, without them having substantial empirical and statistical grounds. For example the use of a largely arbitrarily assembled conceptual frame for the aim of diagnostics (e.g. the DSM-V, the ICD-10, or other systems) and indications on treatment, medications and therapies.

    Causal relations prematurely applied.

    General rules and stereotype schemes - eventually more or less statistically underpinned - are much too prematurely applied to new, unique, specific, singular cases in practical settings (so-called N=1 ' applications). That is, the probability that an effect appears on average - in the entire population or a new representative sample - is erroneously understood as the probability that the same effect wil actually occur in any randomly selected new individual case.
    (This increases the probability of error again by a factor of say 10).

    Causal analysis wretched in practical applications.

    In practical applicatons, the lack of accurate causal analyse will avenge itself inevitably. Often the so-considered solution appears to be irrelevant, only serving to confirm the presupposed theory or ideology (doctrinism), or only dealing with symptoms (cosmetics). Typically, in such cases the means gets raised to be the goal, even surpasses the goal, gets to live on its own, or turns out to be worse than the ailment ( counterproductive results).

    Logical analysis.

    Before a causal analysis can succeed, the necessary data are to be collected and processed on the appropriate area.
    In psychology, however, we have to deal with information that is extremely complex, multifaceted, and in many ways 'elusive'. The field is characterized by an almost limitless variety of problems, stories and interpretations from clients, audiences, colleagues and others. In addition, we are dealing with just as many ideologies, traditions and rituals of personal or (sub) cultural nature. In all such data many components and aspects play a role that are irrational, chaotic, fragmentary, or fictional. The players in this field in addition all bring their emotions and passions along, that are often of intense nature and can color or obscure perceptions. Real situations also require to be alert and able to react to sudden developments, on the basis of fast but sharp judgment on the spot, ad hoc, realtime. The art is thereby often - eg in cognitive therapy - to make a decisive difference between irrational or destructive thinking, and rational, constructive thinking.
    Such a field, which is characterized by complexity, dynamics, chaos and emotion, sets of course high standards on knowledge and skills in the field. The knowledge and methodology of psychology is however quite chaotic, weakly founded and of poor consistency.
    Wat hiervoor als eerste uitkomst kan bieden, is logica. Met behulp van logica leer je snel en zuiver combineren van complexe gegevens, en daaruit afleiden van heldere en betrouwbare conclusies. What first and for all can offer remedies here, is logic. Using the rules and techniques of logic you learn to quickly and cleanly combine complex data - even the mixed or messed up - and infer clear and reliable conclusions from them. This is much more convenient - and more realistic - than depending on general theories, standardized notions or stereotypes about human behavior, which are always too general, too simple and too rigid.
    Moreover, in the midst of chaos and emotion logic is especially needed.
    Ironically, the discipline of psychology is notorious for its proverbial woolliness and fallacies, such that almost everything is true, or false, at the same time - according to personal taste.

    Systematic fallacies in psychology in the area of logical thinking.

    Some examples.


    Little notion of logical ground.

    There is lots of reasoning, interpreting argueing, and analysing going on - but there is little understanding of real logical grounds of statements and conclusions.

    Little notion of logical principles.

    The term 'logical' is frequently used - but there is rarely any notion of real logic and most basic principles of judgment.

    Many fallacies.

    In statements and texts all sorts of fallacies appear with great regularity. E.g., arbitrary opinions and conclusions, wild interpretations, en ad hoc solutions based on the hype of the day.


    Numbers and formulas are used in huge amounts for the sake of argument, although it's often questionable whether solid procedures are used that are required (much pseudo-exactitude).

    Little notion of complexity.

    Judgements are often made about areas and problems of an enormous complexity - but rarely the inevitable combinatory explosion of possibilities is taken into account, especially of logical relations. When we're dealing with tangible objects, precise numbers and the like, this problem is manageable in principle, but even then relations between more then two items quickly produce problems.

    Little notion of conditional relations.

    Many professionals have the habit to reason according to a 'correlation scheme': as if only conjunct relations exist ('type case intelligence', so to speak). They appear to have a hard time reasoning with uncertaincies (contingenties ), except according to known thinking schemes, theories that are conventional, trendy or salonfähig, or self-produced arbitrairy 'opinions' and 'intuitions'.

    Little notion of domain differences.

    Many judgments are made about social and psychological phenomena in which numerous components and factors in distinct domains play their part, with inherently incompatible information. There is however little notion of the essential differences between the fundamental domains of reality and associated elementairy dimensions of information.

    Communication and language analysis.

    Wherever information is collected and processed, this largely occurs through communication and language. This applies in particular to the social sciences, and most especially to psychology. Enormous amounts of data are collected through interviews, interviews, questionnaires, literature studies. These data often relate to matters that are not directly observable: thoughts, feelings, and other subjective experiences and psychic contents, therefore, they first need to be interpreted. The data is then processed and edited in the form of codes or descriptions, and described into more abstract representations such as hypotheses, models and theories. Finally, these mental constructions are transferred and exchanged in the form of findings and advice through articles, text books but also lectures, consultations and reports.
    Reliable information depends on the way it is coded, and established, and this always happens through communication and language of a kind, be it natural of artificial. We then better be aware of the many ways in which language and communication can act on information, and through this on judgment, - in which they are quite apt to bias, from which confusion or deception can easily result.
    About these matters no broad knowledge and skills exist among social scientists and psychologists: while there they are still most urgently needed.

    Systematic fallacies in psychology in the area of language and communication.

    Some examples.


    Little notion of the dynamics of language.

    Huge amounts of data are gathered, processed and communicated in the form of language - but there is little insight in the workings of language with respect to for psychological and social processes.

    Little notion of content versus structure and levels of abstraction.

    Rarely we see a clear distinction be made between contents and structure of information: meaning and code (or expresisons).
    Also, there is little notion of abstraction levels in information coding, like immediate empirical representation, (sensory quality), naming or labeling, 'neutral' description of structure, causal inference and evaluation.
    Even less we see clear distinctions made into levels of language: like grammer (syntax), meaning (semantics ) and truth relations (logic).

    Sloppiness in definitions and interpretations.

    Not much attention is paid to fuzzy definitions of terms, changing connotations, container concepts, etc.. There are lots of selective interpretations of verbal and non-verbal expressions.

    Little recognition of language effects.

    Underestimating the impact of language use on information flow, social and psychological processes.

    Psychological model.

    Finally we come to the core of the matter, that is the specific subject knowledge of the discipline.
    People who call upon psychologists usually expect to be known and understood as a 'whole', and undivided person. Also, in many cases, such as psychotherapy, they often feel more or less 'fragmented', and they want to feel healed and complete.
    Responding to the complex system of human functioning, in a smooth, clear and accurate way, is a recurring challenge for psychologists. This requires clear understanding of the relationship and interaction between numerous factors of various kinds, such as physical and social environment, physical condition and innate tendencies, memory contents and unconscious processing processes, subjective perception and emotion, sexuality, movement and expression. In other words, a clear and coherent vision of man is the first and most basic constituent of expertise that psychology will have to offer.
    The field of psychology however, is in fact characterized by an immense amount of schools, theories, hypotheses and methods. Which may themselves vary greatly and are even often incompatible with each other or with data from other scientific fields. Moreover, there is no generally accepted, precise standard available to find your way in this maze.

    Systematic fallacies in psychology in the area of psychological analysis and judgment.

    Some examples.


    Little true goal orientation.

    The term 'goal-oriented' is increasingly used - but there is hardly a real, solid systematics of coherent ideas and tools, on how to optimally lead up to results.

    Little notion of efficiency.

    Methodology of knitting-it-together: Not much attention is paid to efficiency.
    The method for intervention is often selected on basis of partial similarity, standard schemes, or plain trial-and-error. This is in general poorly testable, fuzzy in causal workings, and vaguely marked out.

    Little checking on effectivity.

    Open-ended journey: The method followed is often still hardly checked on effectivity.

    Many theories and methods, little coherence.

    Grab-out-of-the-bag of knowledge: There is an extreme variation of theories, models and hypotheses. These are mostly incomplete, incoherent, faintly valid, and often mutually incompatible, contradictory or indecidable. The knowledge base of psychology therefore somewhat resembles a chaotic grab-bag, in which everyone can always find something thats suits him.

    No clear vision of humanity.

    Judgments are made about persons, their functioning and development - but there is no unambiguous, transparent image of Man.

    Little notion of neuro-physiology.

    Thinking about people - individuals or social systems - is often determined by conceptions of men that give a rather distorted, caricatured picture. That is, with respect to real complexity of human functioning. These models often start from far too few factors, that can be very hazily defined, and moreover are stated in causal relations that are not, or none too much proven. In particular, within many psychological models there is hardly any correspondence with 'hard' neuro-physiological data.

    No proper model of subjective experience.

    Consultations, advices and interventions are often related to well-being, conscious experience and 'awareness' of people. Mostly however, there is only a vague and jumbled image of the structure of the immediate experience of people.

    No serious recognition of consciousness.

    In spite of the abundance of statements and promises with respect to the state and the quality of conscious subjective experience, there is few serious place for a 'literally' taken concept of consciousness (that is, the conscious mental state, regardless of observable expressions or provable brain processes). Within the current standard paradigm of science, consciousness can only be understood as being materialistic and quantitative, which means, at most as a (neuro-)physical phenomenon or as an abstract pattern, even up to the domain of quantum mechanics. None of these however have any known or discernable relation of causality with mental and qualitative phenomena like qualia, let alone subjective 'parameters' like conscious subjective well-being.

    No place for freedom of choice.

    'Bio-robot' model: Man and animals are basically represented as 'bio-robot', a fully mechanical apparatus, a zombie without any notion or freedom of choice.

    Just two factors.

    Nature-nurture dichotomy:
    The organism is considered to be a closed system, pre-programmed by genetic disposition and only mechanically re-programmable by physical stimuli.

    Only opportunism matters.

    Motives are mostly sought in mechanical impulses from Darwinistic principles: the drive for survival, selfishness, expediency, greedyness and competition between egos and groups (the 'selfish genes').

    No room for intrinsic value.

    As a consequence, Life forms in this view cannot have any contents or meaning, they are to be semantically 'empty '. They could only have instrumental value, or market value, as objects for consumption or commerce, exploitation or production - which is entirely extrinsic, completely dependent of external appraisal, and thus fluctuating with supply and demand.

    For the many complex challenges that psychology is faced with, and the major structural deficiencies that the field still exhibits,

    Arc of Essentials ©

    literally offers the essantials: ie the means and the instruments that are the first, the most urgent and at least necessary. For each of the above mentioned dimensions of judgment formation, the model includes clear guidelines and criteria. These are set out in systematic reviews, guides and checklists. With these, a drastic improvement of judgment and information processing by psychologists can be achieved.

  • (10) Education.

    If there is a place where expertise is to be expected with regard to knowledge and judgment, it would surely be education. Here knowledge and skills are transferred in all existing disciplines, from the first principles to the most recent advances in science areas - say from kindergarten to lecturing chair in university.
    The acquisition of key data obviously has little use when they are not getting their 'place' in a reasonably orderly way of thinking, and can be applied in a meaningful manner. In other words, the prerequisite to learning is learning to think orderly and reasonably about the information learned.
    At this point the state of affairs is rather poor in most of the existing education programs. This starts in primary education. Usually a traditional didactic schedule is followed, with the standard subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic, where the children learn to think according to fixed rules and tricks. Sometimes the approach is more or less alternative, modern or postmodern, (such as 'Iederwijs', where children are actually expected to make the discoveries that generations of brilliant scientists before them have struggled to find). The approach can be strict or flexible, but rarely the children are tought the most basic principles of thinking and information processing: in particular those of logic, causality, communication and psychology.
    As a consequence, huge gaps in knowledge and skills remain, that can only more or less incidentally be supplemented at a later stage. This means that the knowledge transferred doesn't satisfy a number of minimal preconditions of information processing, acquisition of knowledge and judgment. Because of this, it is to be expected that the larger majority of citizens are to show systematic biasses in their judgment. The latter can indeed be observed all around, not in the least in the public discours where constantly a huge confusion is 'twittered' around through the media both old and new.
    At this point a rhetorical question can be posed: how much is the freedom of speech with the rule of law worth when opinions expressed are clearly drenched with systematic flaws and fallicies? Or, how much is a voting right worth in a democracy, when voting patterns of citizens are largely determined by a judgment that is systematically and seriously biased? How much respectively is the work of political leaders and parties worth, in adminstration and parliament, that, based on such mandate of their voters - and themselves hardly hindered by the most essential insights and skills of judgment - are to solve complex problems in society?
    Posing these questions is answering them of course. The present situation is incompatible with most basic principles of truth, reason and justice (or plain utterly absurd for that matter).
    Wouldn't it be much more reasonable and just when governments and elites enable the peoples to at least acquire basic elements of judgment?

    An obvious solution would therefore be, that the before mentioned principles and building blocks of judgment be introduced in the curriculum of common education and training.
    (·) First objection usually is to this idea, that these subjects clearly are too difficult for young children. This I seriously doubt. Children are naturally equiped with healthy logical intuitions, but these have to be addressed. If not, people will commit all errors and fallacies in their thinking, that are all too common. Ironically, it appears to be grown-ups that have often lost their clear intelligence, and due to indoctrination by conventional thinking schemes, cannot think anymore without presuppositions and prejudice.
    In addition, the principle applies "all beginnings are difficult." Eg learning math is often difficult in the beginning, but not inherently more difficult, and much more limited, than learning logical techniques
    (·) Another objection is that the principles of judgment are already explicitly addressed in specific subjects. The idea is that for example, in learning mathematics we also learn to apply logic, through physics and chemistry we learn to think in cause-effect, through learning English we learn about reasoning and recognizing fallacies, and through biology and social skills we get a lot of psychology.
    The point is however that in all these areas the most basic building blocks of judgment are not addressed. Mathematics for example is only a branch of logic, and moreover a very limited one: it is much further apart from the natural process of thinking and language.
    In current education we mainly learn to work with numbers, language forms, formulations and mindsets that are customary or commonly appealing, but we receive no systematic education in the most critical dimensions of information.
    (·) It seems obvious that the exceptions to the aforementioned shortcomings can be found in the relevant academic courses. There however, two additional requirements are generally missing: (a) a multidisciplinary integration with the other basic disciplines (eg alpha with Bèta and vice versa); and (b) a thorough translation of theoretical knowledge into goal-directed methods for practical applications.
    (·) A further objection is that we acquire these analytical skills from childhood on implicitly, with the various subjects in the curriculum reviewed, and the life and work experience that we gain on the go. This is the case, however, to a very limited degree. The best proof for that is the obvious fact that people on a large scale tend to demonstrate often startling thinking mistakes in all these areas - and don't seem able to recognize, understand or point them out them out neither to himself nor to others. This applies actually regardless of the level of schooling.
    The latter is little suprising. In daily life we are dealing with general reality, in which we are confronted with aspects of all basic domains: physical, abstract, mental or interpersonal. In fact, the only reality we have access to is this reality of subjective experience. Here, events can in principle occur in all possible combinations consisting any aspects from these basic domains. Therefore we need the necessary principles that make it possible to think about all sorts of schemes, combining and reasoning - this not restricted to, and regardless of, any specific topic, domain or scope. Those principles are hardly addressed in current education.

    In my view it would mean a huge improvement if in education as early as possible, preferably in primary school, prior to or in addition to the basic courses, a first structuring of judgmental skills would occur. In the first place, this should be realized according to the guidelines of logic, supplemented by basic principles of the other basic domains: causal analysis, language analysis and socio-psychological judgment. Of course, these should be based on the simplest but at the same time most reliable methods and models on these areas. In

    Arc of Essentials ©

    numerous examples of these are available.

  • (11) Economics

    The economy of a country, or group of countries, includes the transactions and resources of items that represent value - be it financial, material or immaterial. The functioning of the economy determines the basic conditions of life - safety, nourishment, housing and work - and thus affects everyone.
    Since September 2008, there is a global economic crisis. What began as a mortgage crisis quickly spread into a houses crisis, banking crisis, credit crisis, debt crisis, and in Europe even to a states crisis and a euro crisis. The consequences of this multiple crisis could be slowed down for some time, but they came to be increasingly felt by governments, civilians and companies. The call for reliable explanations and solutions for the economical problems is therefore becoming increasingly heard in politics and media. At the same time there is increasing debate about economics as a scientific discipline. Indeed, this is the study of the organization and operation of economical phenomena and processes, such as trade, markets, industry, exchange rates and currency fluctuations, capital flows, etc.. Economists develop theories and models on this, and on that basis they regularly express their ideas to politicians, public, banks and businesses in the form of explanations and predictions, solutions and advice.
    At first glance this seems perfectly reasonable. Superficially seen, the economic discipline seems eminently empirical and a rather exact science. She studies the course of trade, consisting of production, distribution and consumption of money, goods and services. This keeps her engaged in counting and measuring of neatly defined, quantitative units, that are shown - through statistical operations - in figures, tables, graphs, etc.. However, there are some strange things about the public statements of economists.
    (1) The claims of economists are often very general, or nuanced and swathed with ifs and buts, so that there is no practical decision is to be connected to (undecidable statements, without testable consequences for practical applications).
    (2) For any opinion of one economist there is often a range of different and often conflicting views of other economists. In other words, the expert judgment shows an amazing variety and divergence. (there is little consensus, and many inconsistencies).
    (3) Furthermore, the opinions of individual economists appear to change in the course of events (much fluctuation, rarely individual or longitudinal consistency).
    (4) The opinions are conspicuously often formed or modified analogous to recent developments in the real economy (there is much gratuitous judgment after the fact).
    (5) Judgment of economists do not always reflect the empirical facts but often accomodates to ideas and believes that are common or at least dominant in the communis opinio. Opinions are often exchanged when other throw higher eyes (populist ordeals, mob appeal and snob appeal).
    (6) An overall shortfall that catches the eye in all these peculiarities is that economists especially excel in a posteriori explanations. Causal attributions in retrospect, however, have two fundamental limitations: (a) They are very easy to give to events in an "open" system (like a society, or an economy), because historical statements about in vivo settings are hardly testable: they do not always relate to constant and comparable circumstances (they do not meet the ceteris paribus condition), they can not arbitrarily be controlled experimentally, they are not exactly repeatable (they grant no, replications), and they know only one chronology, ie from positive facts (they lack a base line condition). This makes them by definition pseudo-explanations. (b) They are in fact only serving as a necessary step in building a causal model, but are themselves totally insufficient for the main purpose of the analysis, which is generating reliable predictions.
    (7) An option is of course that we dismiss all theoretical shortcomings and simply look at the successes that economists have. Since the nineties, the phrase "It does not matter if it's true, but if it works", has become a leading principle in the financial and economical world. Ironically, economists appear to perform awfully poor in what is expected to be their added value: to generate reliable predictions.

    When we apply a 'diagnosis' to economics as a science, we see that that there are four dimensions in which enormous adjustments and additions are needed.

    Cause-effect analysis.

    Decisions on economic measures, such as investing or cost reduction, can start chain reactions in an economy that have explosive effects: rapid growth or rapid decline of prosperity. It is therefore of utmost importance to know in advance what the best decisions are to generate revenue, and therefore: to predict. The prerequisite for the predictive power needed is knowledge based on reliable information gathering and judgment. This first requires a thorough causal analysis.
    In the field of economics we encounter here enormous complications. We are dealing with an astronomical complexity of causal relationships. In an open system in the empirical domain (as the world economy), we are generally faced with combinatorial explosions of logical possibilities. that are quantitatively hardly (meaningfully) computable. Regarding the trade, causal analysis concerns the behavior of masses: citizens, businesses and governments, often with very different political and cultural beliefs. Economic developments are ultimately the complex end-product of many individual decisions. These decisions are usually 'free' in the sense that they do not necessarily or predictably follow from given conditions and circumstances (they are not determined). This implies in terms of causal relationships a giant stack of mediating causal intermediaries, explosive accumulation of noise and bias; thereby regression to random variance, and ultimately a lot of zero effects. It is known that statistical analysis can only render reliable and useful predictions for practical situations with near-total correlations - which are virtually impossible in a real-world system like an economy (apart from variables that are each other's equivalents or synonyms).
    Economists rarely demonstrate understanding and skills in the field of causal analysis and the uncertainties of statistical analyzes.

    Communication and language analysis.

    It is certainly possible to identify what is at least necessary for an economy to work, in the most general case.
    (a) One necessary condition is that the items that are exchanged against each other (eg goods for cash) have a reasonable degree of their - relative - value retained between transfer (sale) and receipt (purchase). Precisely because these value ratios always more or less fluctuate, it is clear that economic 'value' in no way is a fixed, objective fact, but must be actively granted. Value preservation through time requires a sufficient degree of constancy in time in the value that is assigned to the items concerned. Needed is a positive, fairly stable value allocation. We can also simply call this 'trust'. (Note however that other, commonly known factors such as 'scarcity', supply and demand play herein a merely derived and indirect causal role).
    (b) A second necessary condition is preservation of value assigned between participants in the economic game. The value allocation can be effective only if they are sufficiently known between the participants, and are applied in a corresponding degree. This inter-subjective agreement can be regarded as a collective perception, especially an expectation, belief or faith. This can only exist thanks to implicit or explicit social convention, agreement, or contract. Therefore, they are primarily dependent on adequate exchange of information, or communication.
    For instance, the way a company, market or government communicates on its business with the outside world is crucial to the collective value allocation and flunctuations therein. Consider in this regard the disclosure of growth and profit forecasts, investment and innovation plans, acquisitions, etc. Relatively minor failure or disruption in the communication - in diplomatic language in the media, or in information coding, in flashing-fast digital data - can have enormous consequences.
    The systems and processes of interpersonal and socio-cultural interaction are thus particularly influential for the economy, yet they are extremely complex, highly fragile and hardly calculable. It does not seem that this is a widespread or at least propagated awareness among economists.

    Psychological model.

    The measurable, quantitative units in an economy, of money and goods, are only the observable 'symptoms', the outcomes and manifestations of the economic actions of people. Economics therefore involves the study of economic activity, a specific form of human behavior, and more in particular the causes or conditions of that behavior. And this includes decision making, judgments, motives and emotions.
    We saw that the economy operates on the basis of value assignments, and this value assignments must first be stable enough and intersubjectively be congruent. This implies that economic value (as reflected in market value), is fundamentally subjective in nature and thus is carried by psychological contents, such as perceptions, cognitions, and evaluations. The crucial links in economical events are therefore psychological processes. In this respect, we can regard economics as a field of application of psychology. Certainly she can be considered an offshoot of the social sciences.
    This is also shown in the economic principle, which is the assumption that every individual strives for the fulfillment of desires and needs at the lowest possible cost. This however does not differ substantially from the general human tendency to find, for a given goal, 'the shortest route' or the principle of efficiency.
    Of course this principe includes fundamentally plain and simpel logic. We know however also dat these kinds of rational considerations are absolutely not the only drives that determine human behavior. There isn't any reason why economics should not consider the entire - and nearly infinite - range of rationale and - most of all irrational tendencies in human functioning.
    The functioning of the economy relies heavily on the role of money, or the fair value of currency. Money and securities relate to additional properties of a rather irrational, and inherently psychological nature.
    (·) The scale for the numeric value of money is completely arbitrary and conventional. What counts in numbers of a certain currency is the rate of inflation or deflation, that determines the symbolic position, or status, which has only meaning relative to other currencies.
    (·) The choice of the 'material' as a vehicle for monetary value - be it metal, paper or a digital key - is also purely arbitrary and conventional. What gleams and glitters, is traditionally associated with the 'hardness' of coins and valuables, but this is mere suggestion. More important is the degree to which the material lends itself for reproduction or forgery (like paper money).
    (·) Furthermore, the value of money has no significant relationship with the inherent utility of the carrier or of the goods with which it is traded.
    Eventually, the value of money is merely determined and maintained by intra-psychic processes, such as those of evaluation en cognition. Therefore, the economic processes and quantities are extremely vulnerable to all known peculiarities, limitations and failures of human judgment. These include intrinsic characteristics such as (a) non-empirical accessibility, and therefore non-measurability; and (b) free-choice options, hence unpredictability.

    Due to the importance of intersubjective consensus for maintaining economic value, this also means an extreme sensitivity to irrational processes such as groupthink, trends and hypes of the day, and in extreme cases, mass hysteria. Simply put, ratings, being based on beliefs and emotions, can always suddenly and drastically change. This allows for the rise of escalating, self-reinforcing processes or 'spiral effects', such as the rapid growth of bubbles, or otherwise the sudden implosion of them.
    At a collective level, the consequences of bubble dynamics can spread rapidly, and by global electronic data traffic even with the speed of light (like in a flash-crash). The currency value can therefore collapse any time - which does happen with some regularity, and usually not at an expected moment.
    Such movements and dynamics in the economy are very hard to predict. What can be recognized with reasonable confidence is, for instance, when 'bubbles' arise in the economy. Some examples:
    (·) Speculating on future value of assets based on expected validation by other speculants, regardless of expected revenues based on real sustainable utility (of products), or counter value c.q. security (of currencies).
    (·) Speculating on future value of companies based on expected validation by other stakeholders, regardless of real economic production and marketing potential (e.g., in case of generous payment of dividend, in stead of investments in production and marketing resources).
    (·) Massive speculation on possible 'tempestuous' developments in near future (like the internet bubble), rather then proven real economic performance of companies in present or recent past.
    (·) Investments in hidden and uncontrollable value (like recently mortgage packages and other complex derivatives).
    (·) Stimulating artificial market-value (such as subsidized housing through mortgage interest reduction, as still happens in the Netherlands).
    (·) Introducing a common currency (like the Euro) without sufficient foundation of political, cultural, economical and judicial cohesion between the participating countries; and subsidising member states (the PIIGS countries) without checking on abuse or corruption, and without real transformation of their economical structure to that of the stronger member states.
    In such cases warnings can often be heard in an early stage about the riscs taken. But if, when and how a particular bubble will deflate, or suddenly collapse, is nearly impossible to predict.
    The reason why bubbles are tolerated to grow - against all odds, so to speak - is of course, that people in positions of financial or economical power earn huge amounts of money through them, which they invest in properties that are more stable in value. Thus, they win either way: whether the bubble continues to grow or collapses.
    Added to all this there is the neo-liberal ideology of the 'free market'. This doctrine operates from the belief that a market - ie an economy - with the least regulations and boundaries will, through lawas of supply and demand, automatically lead to the best of solutions. On the basis of this assumption, which is essentially a rather bizarre, all-over determining causal model, so many rules and limits are removed that, as a logical and inevitable consequence, transparancy, predictability, controllability and manageability of economic processes have been thrown overboard accordingly. In the present casino capitalism economic forecasting much resembles a roulette. While the capitalist principle still counts that with more money the chances of accumulating money increase.
    Economists rarely demonstrate an understanding of the crucial psychological and socio-cognitive mechanisms and tendencies that are decisive for economic development.

    Logical analysis.

    In the field of economics there are huge problems in terms of information and particularly complexity in the related domains, ie of abstract patterns, (inter) subjective perception, communication and physical empiry. Economists give advice on optimal decisions, which require, in any case, a solid judgment. This is only possible for information that is logically decidable.
    The first obstacle for this exists in the many quantitative uncertainties. Not everything is measurable, countable or can even be formalized.
    Next, the economic models are often extremely questionable on grounds of causal-analytical and statistical principles (see above). In addition, they are rarely proved to satisfy crucial logical criteria, such as consistency, satisfiability (or consistency), validity, correctness and completeness. Regarding the astronomical logical complexity it is highly doubtful that there is sufficient decidability of validity.

    The conclusion may be that economy is an incalculably complex phenomenon, consisting of large-scale interrelated processes that are intensely interrelated and have many layers and dimensions, circular mechanisms and embedded structures - also makes it in to a very limited extent decidable and even less predictable. It would be a considerable improvement when economists would supplement their knowledge and expertise to include the necessary components of causal and statistical analysis, communication and language, psychology and logic.

  • (12) Politics.

    The area where almost all tendencies, trends and problems in society are to be discussed sooner or later, is that of politics.
    With great regularity excitement and commotion arise in the political arena - in parliament, and in the media - about serious, sometimes rather bizarre cases of mismanagement. This does not only comprise more or less coincidental failings and incidents. There a numerous examples of structural states of abuse and neglect that occur in many organisations and institutions. In recent years huge problems have shown up in almost all arias of society, for instance, the banking industry and financial services, the world of construction and real estate, health care, both somatical and mental, youth care and child protection service, Law and jurisdiction, advocacy, police, criminal investigation and prosecution; furthermore rehabilitation and treatment of convicts at disposal (the so-called 'TBS' system); moreover education, ICT, politics, administration and management, etc.. In most cases these concern wide-ranging and far-reachin problems, that dresult from extremely complex processes and mechanisms, with great amounts of actors and dimensions, factors and consequences, relations and interactions. Many billions are involved, as well as the lives and well-being of masses of people.
    For such large and complex problems it is therefore hardly realistic to propose fast and easy some quick-and-dirty solutions. For each problem first a solid 'diagnosis' will have to be performed before the choice is made for a specific solution or 'road map'.
    Moreover, the public debates are continuously involved with these problems because of their common interest. Ideas and proposals are put forward constantly to realize solutions. Unfortunately, these rarely touch upon the crucial links that are decisive for leading the problem to a real solution. It is for example not a matter of 'more or less': government intervention, numbers of civil servants, free market, left or right, progressive or conservative, etc..
    In my opinion something better of a structural nature is needed - and possible. The core problem is that untill this day, there is not a language, a commonly accepted 'idiom', to deliberate and discuss abou problems and solutions in a way that is reasonable and realistic, and also - not to overlook - enigszins socially acceptable and humane.
    Before we get to explain problems and invent solutions, first a more general, more fundamental solution is needed. There are four main components that are at least necessary for such a 'solution to arrive at solutions':

    Causal analysis

    The realization of goals means giving rise of certain desired effects. This asks for determining optimal means and actions, to activate the proper causes. For this, a solid analysis of cause-effect (a causal analysis) is needed.

    Logical analysis

    A prerequisite for every useful analysis is reliable information processing and judgment, also and especially when complex data are involved that stem from different domains - as is the case in most real-world settings. This asks for logically valid reasoning, or in other words, application of logic (preferably based on so-called formal logic).

    Communication and language analysis

    Waar informatie wordt verwerkt, gebeurt dit veelal via communicatie en taalgebruik. We moeten dan kennis hebben van de vele manieren waarop taal en communicatie inwerken op informatie, en daardoor op oordeelsvorming. Nodig hiervoor is taal- en communicatie-analyse.

    Psychological model.

    Basically, all analysis and judgment is off course carried out by humans (possibly after preparation by computers, robots and the like, also programmed by humans). Because of this, these are primarily and completely dependent of psychological processes. Moreover, causal analysis often is intended to influence, steer or bend the functioning and/or well-being of people, be it individuals or masses. A fourth prerequisite therefore is knowledge and skill in the area of psychology.

    These four processes of judgment are related to four elementary dimensions of information. These are all four necessary, none of the can be left out, for high-quality judgment when it is about finding optimal approaches for problems and goals. This counts all the more when societal problems are involved, in which after all factors and processes come into play of material, logical, social, and (mass-)psychological nature, often simultaneously and in immensely complex constellations.
    Now there is a structural problem. There are only very few people to find, even academics, - and not in the least politicians - that have a clear and accurate understanding of these basic elements of judgment. For instance, there is hardly anyone to find that can explain what a cause-effect relation actually is, (i.e. a causal mechanism). Or a logical relation. Or a language effect. Or a psychological effect. Or the differences and the relations between these types of relations. Let alone that people know when these relations are valid, how the can be established, and how to utilize these components in their inter-relatedness to tackle complex problems.
    The lack of these elementary insights and skilss on these areas is thus a structural problem. As a consequence, systematic fallacies inevitably rise in judgments and reasonings about societal problems. In political debates all sorts of fallacies and errors can be observed - also and even when the explicit aim is to analyse problems and devise solutions.
    Some examples of fallacious forms of reasoning that are common in politics:

    Arbitrary opinions and conclusions.

    In response to 'hot topics' and trendy issues, there is much brainstorming going on, often resulting in ad hoc solutions. In the end these often come down to random judgments with at most 50/50 percent chance of success.

    Standard thinking schemes.

    For instance, principles and dogmas from party-ideology, conventions, consensus, etc.. These tend to stay behind of complex and dynamic processes in reality. They are often only recognized afterwards, as being stereotyped, too simple, selective, colored, rigid, tunnel-visions, blind spots, etc..

    Symptom treatment.

    In the hectic rush of of societal hypes, slogans and opinions tumble around. Politicians feel urged by feverish media and bouncing opinion pulls, and like to score with quick hits and cheap promises. Typically, the shallow symptoms are addressed, and the focus is on short-terms solutions.

    Procedural solutions, more regulation, control etc..

    This is in fact a category of symptom treatment. E.g. for the monitoring and supervision of banking. Of course, regulation in itself is often useful and necessary. However, although the rules are meant to apply on a general scale, they never have a hunderd percent fit with real-world situations that occur. Increas of rules automatically lead to combinatory explosion of complexity, and with it, risks of error. Moreover, rules only stimulate people's extrinsic motivation: the greed for reward, the fear for punishment. Personal independent judgment and responsibility are in effect neglected, and their role reduced. Without sufficient integrity and competence from the individual, rules can easily detoriate into empty symbolic rituals, or sultry bureaucracy. Also, regulation can be taken as a challenge for evation, fraud, etc..

    Confusing meand and ends.

    As soon as a certain approach is chosen, we often see that the means gets raised to be the goal, surpasses the goal, gets to live on its own, or turns out to be worse than the ailment (counterproductive results).

    Such systematic fallacies and shortcomings have an impact on judgment and functioning of professionals in all areas of society. As a result, many plans and solutions again and again show certain errors of design and compistion. They are therefore characterized by high chances of error.
    The most typical thing is that the structural causes and mechanisms are not addressed, with the result that solutions are not really 'sustainable': they are not sufficient, they have adverse side-effects and their possible desired effects do not last on longer terms. This becomes clear with the constant stacking of arrangements and regulations. While after all, these do not always produce the substantial progress in the problem area that was expected (or, promised). We also see the same problems come back time after time, and often in in aggravated form. Or we see dat the one problem (i.e. symptom ) is temporarily solved, (or suppressed, camouflaged) while at other places new disadventages and symptoms rise: the well-known 'waterbed effect'.
    Inadequat solutions not only maintain the problem, but also themselves: they require ever more of the available resources, while delivering ever again and ever more failings ( vicious circles, spiral-effects). The loops for feedback adjustment sometimes become unmeasurable long, so that harmful 'side-effects' can long have an impact. The disadventageous effects can long stay hidden for public opinion (the sensus communis), because of mechanisms such as wishful thinking , self-fulfilling prophecy, groupthink, etc.. (E.g. see the immense destructions of natural resources, eco-systems and bio-diversity).
    It is then just waiting for catastrophes to happen, and then 'the coast has to turn the ship'. (See e.g. the credits, banking and debts crisis). However, in the end the coast is most times stronger..
    The fundamental cause of poorly working solutions is in virtually all cases the same: The focus is on content-driven solutions, while neither the designers nor the executors of those solutions have enough knowledge and skills concerning the before mentioned elementary components of judgment. As a consquence, the most decisive structural factors are neglected that play a part on every area, ie the laws in the mentioned four dimensions of information that are most fundamentally defining for both the problem as the possible solutions. This is a structural problem of immense size, with far-reaching consequences. It leads to damage - or missed opportunities - of astronomic severit and scale: economical, humane or social, ecological and cultural. These systemical errors could keep on growing and spreading untill now, because - at least in de western world - there was always money to leave consequences for the future and for next generations.

    Suppose now that we investigate the immense societal problems and complications that exist on national level, and we look also at economical and global relations, developments and perspectives. Then it becomes clear that it's now up to politics, that is to say, the responsibility both politicians and peoples. More then ever I would say. No longer will there be the luxury to stick at ideological, party-political or populist lines while working at solutions. After all, mechanisms in reality don't take notice of these lines - they never did anyhow.
    This all makes the sense and the need for a goal-directed methodology all the more urgent. In that way I think there is also a considerable international competitetive adventage to gain.
    The question now is what a 'minimal' solution would be that will produce a maximum of improvement and profit. It is only logical that this is to be found in controlling most serious falacies. First prerequisite is then that substantial falacies be recognized in an early stage, and called into discussion. In an 'ideal' state of affairs it would thus be quite normal and daily practise for professions and civil servants - from workplace to government - that undeniable falacies can be identified, named, checked and corrected at any moment in all occurring operations and activities of policy and decision-making. That in itself would already mean an enormous, almost revolutionary improvement.
    This possible future scenario does hoewever require that all actors have insinghts and skills concerning valid jundgment and information processing. These abilities should satisfy clear guidelines and criteria, - of which everybody subsequently can be called on. Thus, the 'norms' should be understandable and immediately consultable for everybody. Therefore they should be worden recorded in short, systematic overviews, summaries, manuals and checklists. (Somewhat the way it is done untill now, mainly with bookkeeping numbers and demographic and financial data).
    The required principles should be directly applicable in all occurring practical settings to all possible information: i.e. empirical data, texts, argumentation schemes, data-structures, calculations, computer programs and algorithms, analyses, proposals, plans, etc.. In other words, the required skills and tools should be 'content-free', which means valid and applicable regardless of the subject, intention, purpose, context and domain of application. So, surely regardless of political direction or ideology, left, right ot middle..

    Arc of Essentials ©

    most crucial components for solid judgment are incorporated. It comprizes all elements and adventitious tools that have been mentioned above, in a reasonable complete way.

"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your


. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common.
If you always keep that in mind you will find a meaning in life and work and acquire the right attitude toward other nations and ages.
(Albert Einstein, Teachers and Pupils, 1934).

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.
It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
.. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
(Albert Einstein, The world as I see it, 1931; 1954; 1994).

See also:

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