The right way is not always the correct way to solve intractable problems
We help those with long standing and apparently intractable personal and interpersonal difficulties, where previous solutions based on common-sense have failed and where experts disagree amongst themselves over what you should do and how you should do it. What is radical about our approach is that it deals -in a tool-like manner- with the generic problem of the hegemony of the /right/ and the specific problem of an individual's world-view theorising. Together they explain why the 'right way' is not always the correct way. Indeed for some it is the wrong and most harmful way of acting. The hegemon /right/ presents a backcloth and hence hidden difficulty that is unique for English speakers since it has four overlapping meanings:
- right - not left
- wright - indicating craftsmanship as in: arkwright ....playwright ... wainwright
- rite - with its role in ritual
- write - 'thinking' with pen on paper- and its variants
Intractable difficulties reside within the greater meta-problem rooted in the notion that the 'right way' is generally taken to be synonymous with the 'good', 'proper' and 'correct' way; the origins of which can be traced back at least as far as - via the Ancient Romans and Ancient Greeks - the Ancient Egyptians. The Ancient Egyptians identified the good ever-lasting (after) life geocentrically as existing on the right bank of the Nile, when facing south. It is but a short step from labelling the hand pointing to the 'good side' as the 'right' hand to formulating this as an egocentric world-view about human entitlements and for its negative aspect personified in Herr Hitler's pathological hatred of Leftists aka Bolshevism and by extension Judaism.
The hegemon /right/ infiltrates everything the English (Anglo-Saxons) say, hear, see, think, feel and do. This makes it difficult for speakers of different languages to inhabit the same common-ground since translating any one version of the utterance "right" into any other language inevitably results in a less nuanced interpretation. Another way of saying the same thing is that Anglo-Saxon speakers' personal identity or sense of selfhood is shaped by this hegemon. And for this reason alone potentially intractable difficulties lie in wait for left handers because - to cite just one instance- when writing correctly with their left hand they are obviously not writing right!
Self-identity / efficacy is defined and identified in terms of:
- what we handle, literally and metaphorically and the seemingly effortless ease with which we do so,
- who we interact with, how and whether to mutual benefit or not,
- the words and labels we use and how we use them.
Transforming personal difficulties into Pepperian puzzles
Intractable personal difficulties are those for which there are no obvious solutions; and where even trying to do the right thing, the right way, at the right time and in the right order seldom achieves the right result. One meta-difficulty is that such difficulties are generally framed as problems. Here they are tackled as puzzles; starting with the meta-puzzle of why experts so often disagree amongst themselves in telling others what to do and how to do it. You would not be alone in finding their disagreements confusing. This meta-puzzle, however, is solved relatively easily using Stephen Pepper's world-view theorising.
Strategic objectives: multi-faceted and multi-purposed
We know difficulties have been correctly framed when they have been solved. Thus when we say "I have tried everything, but nothing works!" we can be reasonably certain we have failed to consider the hegemony of the /right/ and how to handle it. Doing so also involves amending both our strategies and our objectives but within a puzzling framework. This approach renders difficulties more tractable in general by making explicit the interplay between the how and the what; and in particular the realization that tasks-lie -within-tasks, problems-within-problems, purposes-within-purposes and puzzles-wthin-puzzles. Our over-arching strategic objectives include:
- informing parents, professionals, non-professionals, academics and the media about the consequences and implications of using the non-adept hand as the adept hand,
- helping to prevent children and adults developing intractable educational, fitness-to-work and general well-being difficulties,
- confirming or rejecting a possible mis-match between the writing and non-adept hand as a co-factor in those with apparently intractable difficulties,
- offering 'treatment' programmes to resolve intractable difficulties,
- introducing users to Popper's interpretation-laden view of objective facts and to Pepper's world-views explanatory framework,
- emulating the work of Dr Sattler (in Germany) by building a network of 'wrightminded' practitioners.
Common sense, self-efficacy and handling the hegemony of the /right/
One person's commonsense is another's nonsense. What we accept as commonsense depends on how we construe the relationships amongst the various aspects of /right/: some believing each /right/ refracts a different facet of a single core body-mind entity while others believe each reflects instead a fundamentally separate and superficially different body-mind entity.
Ignoring or denying the hegemony of the /right/ exacerbates intractable personal difficulties: it also results in having to accept one of two 'non-/rights/' explanations for the origin and persistence of intractable difficulties. The pessimistic one is that we are born fated to endure intractable difficulties. A more optimistic one is that we frame difficulties as challenges or problems to be overcome or solved. The most optimistic is to frame difficulties as puzzles because puzzling compels us to attend as much to apparently insignificant detail as to the emerging and often changing bigger picture.
Our explanation for the existence of apparently enduring intractable personal difficulties is that we are insufficiently tool (or wright) focussed. In short, we overlook what hand-use tells us since hands are tools par excellence which work as-one with the brain. Mistakenly we tend to focus on what hands achieve, rather than watching how they perform. This oversight leads us to place people incorrectly in either or: either they are good with their brains or they are good with their hands. This dichotomy is invalid since brains and hands evolved co-extensively: the brain 'controlling ' the hand via feed-forward from the hand to the brain.
Given these pieces of the picture, the overarching puzzle is, why is a possible mis-match between the writing and the adept hand not eliminated as a co-factor in personal difficulties by those who conduct personal, educational medico-legal and legal evaluations? Solving this puzzle lies at the heart of transforming a multitude of poor self-efficacy conditions - such as dyslexia, poor literacy and many others, including adhd - into tractable ones.
Dyslexia, dyspraxia and a hidden body-mind condition: latent / converted handedness!
The adept hand is the one which executes complex manipulations with seemingly effortless ease. Using the non-adept hand as though it were the adept one is defined as latent or converted handedness. In the context of literacy this condition manifests itself with the writing-hand's inability to competently re-present the confident mind's-eye words and images on the page. As a core mind-body condition it is a co-factor in dyslexia and dyspraxia and a variety of other conditions apparently unrelated to reading-writing.
Technically 'latent' signifies unwittingly using the non-adept hand as the adept hand. The condition appears to be hidden from the self and from others. 'Converted' signifies knowing that one has been induced or coerced into using the non-adept hand as the adept one at some past time.
Non-recognition of latent / converted handedness, its non-diagnosis and non-management is widespread throughout the English speaking world. The consequence? Unnecessarily burdensome costs - emotional and financial - on individuals, their families, industry, and the entire gamut of education, legal-judicial, penal and health-care systems: in short, on society as a whole.
Pepper and Sattler: systemic perspectives
Systemic factors always lie beneath the surface of seemingly intractable personal, educational and work-related difficulties. These can be placed within the neglected work of Stephen Pepper (mind) and the ignored work of Barbara Sattler (body). Pepper provides a conceptual framework for mapping the world-views of those offering and those in need of help. Sattler offers detailed practical case-studies on the direct and indirect consequences of being a converted left-hander. Her publications evidence the need for 'behaviour change agents' in the non-German speaking world, to note both the writing and the adept hand of those with educational, occupational and well-being difficulties. She states the position succinctly: to paraphrase - writing with the wrong hand causes 'knots in the brain' with attendant educational, relationship, mental health, and behavioural consequences.
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