Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Circle jerking conflicts of interest

Further commenting on the satires, recall what Laske said in this post:

"I am also concerned with effects of systems on human agents because systems are typically used to classify, constrain, and subdue individuals, often with the pretension of 'helping' them (as in 'developmental coaching')."

Compare with p. 6 of the satires:

“The number of people doing massage far outnumbers the number of people that actually exist! So we have to use our imagination in creating a market by telling people what they really need […] by judging them according to our 'programs' and telling them what they should do to be healthy.”

Most all of these developmentalists (including Laske) are not strictly theorists doing pure research but also make their living by selling such developmental coaching. I do not doubt their sincerely in wanting to help people, but they do not account for a very basic premise inherent to a worldcentric paradigm, i.e., that due to the financial remuneration there is likely a conflict of interest, and such a conflict may very well be influencing their classifying people to fit programs they are selling. Whereas pure research without a financial reward attached to specific results would yield a much less biased scheme. Granted there is no such thing as 'pure' research, but when one's paycheck isn't directly tied to reinforcing a particular outcome there is far less chance of a circle jerk.

More from Laske:

"We need to be [...] very aware of our biases and the history of our profession. [...] I don’t think of development in terms of tasks or performances which is a constraint imposed by our present society and more or less blindly carried into the theory as a methodological constraint. I would suggest, then, that we take dialectics out of the developmental field to begin with."

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