Just over twenty years ago, I wrote an article with the same title as above. In that piece, which can be viewed here and was written when George W. Bush was president, I noted that our society has been infected with a “disease of reversals.” I provided some examples in the article.
The reversals have continued since GW to the point now where an entire party — the GOP — has adopted opposites as a mainstay. Trump, who has engaged his entire life in grift, fraud, and theft, is their man. The “radical left” has “weaponized” the law and the judiciary (even while Trump used the DOJ as his personal lawyer and then engaged in an alleged conspiracy to overturn the election). “They” want to rob “us” of our “freedoms” — even while MAGA followers tried to stop Congress from counting the electoral votes. Biden represents and does the bidding of the “Deep State” (although he’s so old and senile, he can’t even walk on a beach).
It’s not only the Right that is now fully engaged in reverse thinking. Mystifyingly, many people formerly of the so-called “radical Left” have adopted the reversals propagated by the hard Right or by Donald Trump.
Because of this huge proliferation of reverse thinking, I would like to discuss something I learned about way back in the late 1970’s: the work of a scientist named Bettina Olivier, who had made a major discovery that even today is virtually unknown.
I was attending the Gallatin Division at New York University. I had taken a master writing class (as it was called) taught by the eminent classics Professor Albert Hazen Smith. The class was amazing, but more significant for this article, it was through him that I learned about a class being offered titled “Mind Structure,” taught by former attorney and theoretical scientist, Bettina Olivier.
Olivier had discovered twelve different types of brain structure she called “mind structures” that had evolved in humans. She wrote about the last three of these in her book titled “Einsteinian, Newtonian, and Darwinian Mind Structures.” (Unfortunately, you cannot find this book in print or online and Olivier herself is no longer here. I hope to work with her family to get it properly republished at some point.)
The Einsteinian mind structure was, according to Olivier, the twelfth one to have evolved. As with all other mind structures, the Einsteinian one contains both a learning and an organizing structure. By structure is meant “the three-dimensional, literal juxtaposition of neurons in the brain,” according to Olivier. Thus, she called the Einsteinian mind structure: the 12–12 (learning and organizing) mind structure. The Newtonian mind structure is the 11–11 one. Darwin, the 10–10.
Most people now are genetically 12–12’s, according to Olivier, but sometime back in the 1950’s, society had started to filter out 12–12 and had begun to promote what she called “12–11 abstractions.”
You cannot BE a 12–11 (or an 11–12). Your learning and organizing structures must match.
Nor can an 12–12 produce 11–11. An Einsteinian can use what a Newtonian does but cannot produce it himself. (However, one cannot see above one’s own mind structure, so a Newtonian can neither produce nor use what an Einsteinian produces.)
So Olivier believed that what may have happened that caused the proliferation of 12–11 was that at some point, as more 12–12’s came into existence and 11–11’s began to disappear, many 12–12’s were born who had, say, an 11–11 parent.
The demands of one’s mind structure are hard-wired by your genetics. You can’t change your mind structure or the requirements for you to learn and organize information.
So, the mind structure of an 11–11 requires that person to learn and organize information the way an 11–11 must. The demand of an 11–11 parent on a 12–12 child , however, causes the child to try to do what he or she is not able to do — or, in other words, to do the impossible, opposite or reverse.
These days, you will see a LOT of people (who are not 11–11’s) spouting what is essentially the demand of the 11–11 mind structure.
Here is the 11–11 demand on itself in order to obtain “information meaning”: it requires “If and only if conditions precedent, if X then Y.”
The ways in which the 11–11 mind structure demand is copied and pasted into our daily lives are alarmingly myriad and vast. We are so used to “if x then y” assertions, we don’t even find them offensive, although they often twist logic so extremely they make no sense at all.
It is important to recognize that those illogical twists and fallacies are not what an 11–11 does. They are what a 12–12 does when trying to meet the demand of an 11–11.
That demand is not obvious or conscious. It comes from our early childhoods, from parents who were either 11–11’s themselves or were carrying on the “legacy” of their parents. Again, we are so accustomed to this demand, we take it for granted as “logical,” even when it’s not.
What an Einsteinian mind structure requires in order to obtain “information meaning” is probably harder for most people to grasp these days, due to the proliferation of 12–11 abstractions and by-rote 11–11 framing.
In order for the Einsteinian mind structure to obtain meaning, we require “the juxtaposition of two universes of discourse, in invariant relation, such that where one is in existence, the other is not.”
What in the world does that mean??
Well, first — think of Einstein’s E = Mc2. Energy is one “universe of discourse” and matter is the other. Where energy exists, matter does not (and vice versa). So these are two mutually exclusive universes. They are juxtaposed in the equation in an invariant relation.
Of course, that is about a topic of physics. How does that apply to us non-scientist 12–12’s?
It is simple. First of all, we separate out factual material: “This is this and not that.”
Let’s talk about Trump’s actions on January 6th. Trump exhorted people to come to D.C. and march on the Capitol. Did his actions incite insurrection or were they merely expressions of free speech? In order to answer that question, we need to know how to interpret the terms incitement, insurrection, and free speech. We need to distinguish insurrection from mere protest. We separate out First Amendment-protected speech from speech intended to incite violence.
Insurrection is “a violent uprising against an authority or government.” Do the actions of the January 6th march on the Capitol meet this definition?
Incitement is “the action of provoking unlawful behavior or urging someone to behave unlawfully.” What does “provoke” mean? What is “unlawful”? In defining these, we distinguish between actions that provoke and those that do not, those that are lawful and those that are unlawful. In order to do this, we need to know what the law is.
Actions that are unlawful are not the same as those that are lawful. In other words, where one exists, the other does not. They are mutually exclusive. We continue to make these distinctions until we are able to arrive at a conclusion that Trump’s actions do or do not constitute unlawful incitement of insurrection.
In a jury trial, each side — the prosecution and the defense — will have the opportunity to present facts, apply the law and draw conclusions. The jury will then decide what the facts are (what is credible, relevant, material), the judge will instruct the jury on the applicable law in relation to the facts, and the jury will then apply the law to the facts as they have found them and decide on a verdict. This is all 12–12.
Each of us has a right to our opinions. In a jury trial, jurors are asked to set aside any pre-existing opinions and come to their conclusions based only on the facts before them at trial.
So, it’s all well and good for you or me to say that Trump is a conman or that Biden is senile or Putin was justified in invading Ukraine or that there’s a Deep State undermining all the efforts of the working class. But those are just opinions. And many of these assertions may be based on unexamined assumptions, circular reasoning, and logical fallacies.
Meantime, without knowing how to use our 12–12 Einsteinian mind structures, most of us will rely on argument by authority, appeals to emotion, straw man arguments, reverse logic (projection), or other forms of thinking that don’t get us anywhere but back to the muck and quagmire.
Trump and Our System
Many people in this country have lost faith in our legal system. (Trump has a lot to do with that but he’s not the only cause.) But our legal system is still functioning. Judges are flawed and sometimes corrupt but the system is largely self-correcting. Decisions of judges such as Eileen Cannon in Miami, who is so obviously biased in favor of Trump it’s embarrassing, are appealable and reviewable by appellate judges with more experience. Federal District Court appellate opinions are reviewable by Circuit Courts and those may be petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court. By the time a question gets to the Supreme Court, it has been thoroughly hashed out and the issues narrowed. The High Court usually only decides a point of law.
We may not have faith in the Supreme Court but even though the Court may have what seems to be the final say, their opinions are not the end of any matter either.
Senator Samuel L. Mitchell (NY) is recorded in the Annals of Congress in February 1808 as saying the following:
The human mind does not acquire knowledge by intuition, but by experience. The march of understanding in the investigation of truth is slow. In cases of jurisprudence, as well as in every other intellectual research, the advances toward truth are gradual. Case after case must be studiously considered, judgment after judgment must be rendered and revised, and consequence after consequence traced to their terminations. In such a course of proceeding, it might happen, according to the amount of business which occurred, that generation might follow generation, and age succeed to age, before the summa ratio, the high result of reason on the subject, could be attained.
[“Lex est ratio summa, insita in natura, quae iubet ea quae facienda sunt, prohibetque contraria.” (Law is the highest reason, ingrafted in nature, which commands what must be done and prohibits the contrary.) Cicero]
This is what courts do.
The tripartite system of government that we have — with executive, judicial, and legislative branches — as long as it is responsive to the populace, is also self-correcting.
Trump’s attempts to steal the election by hook or by crook (yes, that’s my opinion) were attempts to destroy American democracy. We can denounce the actions of our leaders but that should not compel us to abandon the U.S. Constitution or the rule of law. Rather, we need to ensure its continued integrity by making sure nobody can again do what Trump and his followers attempted to do. We need to fix what’s broken or flawed, not throw it all out. Civil war in order to advance “freedom” is not the answer.