W/RIGHT OR W/RITE ? THE INVISIBLE BACKLOTH TO MANY INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS
At least one unacknowledged framing problem -concerning the hegemony of the wright, wright, write and rite - lies behind many presenting intractable problems. This problem which at worst has suffered from willful blindness and at best from willful negligence therefore needs to be tackled head on. The reason is simple. There is an interplay amongst their meanings which both creates (and when grasped helps to resolve / treat) long standing personal and interpersonal problems. One source of evidence for how this backcloth operates is to be found in its frequent use when other words could be used; and another is in it's use as a verbal tag: "Know what I mean, right?"
The root of the problem concerns the interplay between two senses: sight (spelling) and sound (pronunciation). Focusing on the spelling aspect there are two roots: 'right' and 'rite' - with and without the 'w'. This right / rite difference embodies a tension between nature -being biologically right (or left) handed and nurture - the obligation to perform cultural rites right!
Intractable problems are defined as those long standing personal, inter-personal and interactional problems which endure despite one's best attempts at resolving them; even when using common-sense and trying to follow experts' advice. Our radical solution involves asking the meta-problem question:
"What constitutes necessary or sufficient evidence that handedness is not a co-factor causing or sustaining presenting problems, whatever those problems might be?"
We seldom ask this question because being immersed in the hegemony of the /right/ we fail to see it!. (It should be noted that 'handedness' is short hand for a whole mind-body organization-orientation phenomenon).
Two types of question:
Two types of question are asked against the hegemony of this /right/ backcloth:
- What is ... ? these are conceptual problems concerned primarily with the meaning or definition of entities of one sort or another. They are identified by their "What is ....?" nature, eg dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, PTSD, learning difficulty or learning disability? This consultancy's overarching conceptual questions are "What is converted / latent handedness?" and "What does the 'hegemony of the /right/ mean?". Problems which are conceptual in emphasis are solved 'suddenly' either by personal insight or by accepting the diktat of some authority or other.
- What if ..../ How to ... ? these are practical problems concerned primarily with effecting change. They are identified by their "What if we do this instead of that?"nature. For example what do we need to do (differently) to cure anorexia, improve educational performance, ensure that reasonable adjustments have been made in the workplace for those with disabilities, or prevent young offenders becoming persistent offenders? Here the overarching practical questions are: "What do we need to do to identify converted / latent handedness?" and "What can we do to handle the hegemony of the /right/?" Primarily practical problems are solved gradually and in a step-wise manner, if they ever are..
Having made this concept-practice dichotomy we need to take a side-step and accept that it is a human construction which is handled better as two sides of the same coin. Or better still, as the two sides of a sheet of paper with each 'page' labelled technically as recto and verso. Two implications follow. First, for every seemingly practical problem there are corresponding conceptual implications and for every seemingly conceptual question there are practical consequences. Second, since problems often reside within other problems and confusions within other confusions there is a need to turn from page to page. When positive progess is achieved this page turning can be characterised as progressive and when no progress is achieved as degenerative problem shifting.
These issues culminate in the meta-problem of getting various agencies to acknowledge the role of (latent / converted) handedness as a co-factor in a variety of apparently intractable problems when those directly involved as clients or working in the interests of clients do Failure to acknowledge the issue of handedness has deleterious implications for the correct identification of personal and interpersonal problems and the consequent conduct of recommended 'treatment' programmes.
This consultancy's radical approach has helped individuals, agencies, corporations, and institutions solve a variety of, to quote Karl Popper, 'concrete miseries' while dealing with ignorance about three related phenomena:
- World-views:ignorance about world-views, sometimes known as mind-sets, explanatory schemas or frameworks among both professionals and the public. Differences in world-view explains why experts working in the same field often disagree among themselves - for world-views determine which facts are accepted as evidence and what is not.
- Latent / converted handedness:this core body-mind condition is identified when we find individuals writing with their non-adept hand. The label latent / converted hander isshort-hand for the fact that more than the hand is involved in the condition. Failure to eliminate it as a co-factor in any presenting problem when conducting evaluations for psychological, educational, medico-legal or legal purposes incurs heavy financial and emotional costs, particularly for the entire education system. Its neglect will also result in ineffectual Personalised Education, Professional Development or Reasonable Adjustments in the Work Place for Fitness-to-Work treatment programmes
- Hegemony of the /right/: Ignorance about the role of the hegemony of the right, wright, rite and write in 'causing' seemingly intractable problems explains why they are sustained.
The hegemony of the /right/, latent / converted handedness and world views are interwoven and interlocking issues.
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