Tag Archives: cross cultural education

1 September 1988 Personal Correspondence on Cross-cultural Science Translation (PDF)

Sept. 1, ’88.

REf. Native Science Conf.

Dear Pam

Here is my suggestion for the “Frame” for the Native Science Conference. There is nothing I can say to you that you do not already know. I only attempt to write out some ideas that might make you feel assured. You are honoring me by taking the posture of asking for help. Whether I could help or not, I have to respond.

I gave you a picture of the Matrix. So this time I shall explain the Matrix and add notes. The picture is simple, but it has to be so. Once you get into discussions, however, the picture turns quite complex. Perhaps, it may be better explained in several “Levels”. As to the trick of “Simplicity” which constitutes the backbone of European “Science”, there are several philosophical problems. But I shall explain them later (see Appendix A).

Level I. Nominal Comparison

Imagine average North American White Male University students, and consider a task of explaining Native Science in contrast to European Science, such as;

(1) That Native Science is not “alienated” from its practice.

(2) Native Science/Counseling is more “Supportive” than “Clinical”

(3) Native Science is an integral part of Communal Living, not Individualistic Assertion of Knowledge. There is no Intellectual Hero in Native Science.

Having such a task in our mind, let us look at a “Comparison Table” (Map) such as below, and think about what questions the simple map might generate.

The basic idea here is to trace 4 items in relation, not just pairing comparison of 2 in antagonism. Dialectics of conflicts must be presented, but at the same time if we can shift our attention to the relational dynamics in looking at 4 items, that would be nice. I am trying “Quadra-lectics”.


[Table 1]

European Native American



Therapy Medicine

Ritual Healing



Medical Science Clinical


Medicine ( ? )

Social Sciences Social Works Community

Participation /


( ? )

– – – – – – –

I–1. The Question on the Existence of Native Science.

The first reaction of the students is to question “Does Native Science Exist?” They might say, “Science” has to be “documented” knowledge (book knowledge). Therefore, (in the nominal sense) Native Science does not exist.”

You have gone through the question thousands of times, and you even feel angry about the ignorance of the students. [Besides, for the participants of the planes conference, the answer is already clear. There is no need to go back to the rudimentary question.] But, be patient. The question is not trivial.

Let us look at possible questions/debates the table might generate. i.e.

a. “What example of Native Science do we have?”

b. “Where and how can one find Native Science?”

c. “What use does it serve to find Native Science?”

d. “Why do we need to elaborate/document on Native Science?”

“Does it help anybody?”

e. Do not Natives have/want “Wisdom”, not “Book Knowledge” sense of “Science”? Do they wish to be “Scientific” in the sense “Technical” or “Intellectual”?

If “Science” means “to reduce anything into simple mechanical routines”, is it not reducing Wisdom/Spirit into Machine?

f. “Suppose there is a set of basic ideas, guiding principles, metaphysics, or world-view, for the Native Praxis. Can we call it “Science” without modifying, correcting, or enlarging the European notion of Science?” “If so, on what ground can we justify the change?” “Is the change necessary?” “Does the change help anybody”? “Why do we need alternative sense of Science?”.


I-2. Questions on European Science.

But then, there are questions about European Science. The advantage of Quadra-lectics is that it makes easy to see there also exists conflicts/problems/antagonism/tension inside European Science. One has to look at every combination (there are 6 of them) of the 4 in relation.

a. There are problems in asserting that (European) Psychoanalysis is a “Science”.

European “Medicine” may be more of an Art than a Science.

How Scientific are the Sciences, such as Social Sciences or Physics?

b. What is the relation/connection between “Science” (Theory/Knowledge) and Practices?

What good does Theoretical Science provide to the Praxis? (What roles does “Theology” play in Religions as social/psychological phenomena?)

Is the theoretical sense of science only for edifying?

c. How relevant are “Social Sciences” to “Social Works”?

How useful is it to elaborate “Theory” for the people who practice routines which are nominally associated (subjugated) to the Theory?

What does the science of Economy say about the bureaucratic system/technique/procedure of the Social Work/Service/Welfare?

To be sure, it is reasonable to question if the Economics that we have in our academia today is a “Science”. It is sometimes said to be “Dismal Science”, but it may not be a “Science” at all.

Interestingly, by some strict definition, Physics is not a Science. Some physicists even “proudly” say that they are “Artists”.

d. What is wrong with being a “Non-Scientist”? Why should every good thing be a “science”? Is not being a “Humanitarian” enough?

Those questions have to be asked to make a comparative match with questions in I-1.

[See for the problems of European Medicine; Charles E. Rosenberg in The Care of Strangers, Basic Books 1987, talks of the inconsistency of “Vocation” and “Stewardship” which are nonetheless made into a “marriage of convenience” between Healers and Hospital. Illich, Foucault, et al likewise criticized the Medical Profession/Institution. And even our conservative governments are aware of some of the problems, because it costs too much.

I suspect the institutions of “Clinical Social Work” have similar problems with “Medicine”. The “Success” of Institutionalization/Professionalization always brings problems.

And, this leads to the question of the Social Cost (Pollution, Entropy) of the Mechanical Thinking that is worshiped as “Scientific”.]

I-3. Why bother making a comparison?

You might say; “I have made comparisons. So what?” In fact, you showed me many articles which are written on comparisons. Ones which attack European Science always carry some comparisons as the basis of attack.

On the basis of comparisons, one can go to

(i) Assimilation (Surrender) to European Science,

(ii) Rejection of Science without assertion of an alternative.

(iii) Rejection of Science, with assertion of Pure Humanism, Spiritualism, or Wisdom.

(iv) Compromise, Reconciliation, Integration.

(v) Construction of Strategy to deal with the Conflicts/Problems.

(vi) Emergence of Alternative Science, with a creative vision of World Community.

In terms of questions, students might ask

a. Is it not a step in assimilating Natives inot the Domination by European Intellect?

Just because European Culture/Civilization has a distinct fragment called “Science”, why should Natives have it?

b. Is not the show of difference a device to “demonstrate” the Intellectual inferiority of Natives?

c. When European Science itself is having troubles, if not in crisis, why should Natives look for “Science” to copy the troubles?

d. What are we going to do with the differences? Are we to eliminate the differences, say by making one of them extinct?

e. Are we not interested in Native Science, because we have troubles with our European Science? [Turning Point, et al]

II. Level II Case Studies at Level I

Here, we consider Graduate School level of talking/thinking. They presumably had exposure to the level I questions, at least some of them. You are a Professor supervising young Ph.D. candidates who are working on Native Science. What would you tell them?

 For Master’s Thesis, an articulation/elaboration on the Level I questions is a good exercise. They must do one. They must read and know a body of materials (book knowledge) and do at least one “Field Work” to see what the written materials are talking about. I point out here that even if one does work on one aspect, having awareness of the overall picture is helpful. That is the Table I is worth looking at repeatedly. The Map tells where one is.

This level of work is publishable in academic journals. In fact, many are published. But they are “academic” in that they are not intended to help people.

One might select a thesis that Native Communities (Culture) ought to reject European Science in totality and live in an “Ideal Isolation”. I concede that this might be a possible and viable strategy for some nations. When an African Economist proposed it as an answer to the problem of Economic Colonialism, I agreed. The Burmese Socialist Government, which is talked about in News Media today, tried this. Pol Pot Communists went to the extreme of even eliminating “science” along with “Intellectuals”. [Mao’s Red Guard was anti-intellectual, but respected “Science”. What Mao might have thought or hoped of “Science” — that is, there is a dialectics of “Destructive Technology/Constructive Science — may be a topic at Level III.]

I acknowledge the value of Warning Statements, pointing out problems of European Science. But I wonder what the writers are thinking as to what to do about the problems that they saw.

One can write and talk about “Rejection of European Science” and “Back to Traditional Native Medicine”. However, the comparison to European Science is there. Even if the comparison is rhetorically avoided, such works can hardly escape from being a “Reaction” to European Science.

What is worse, by the “angry rejection”, they may be taken as implicit acknowledgement that they cannot overcome European Science — i.e. acknowledgement of unquestionable superior “rationality”, “intelligence”, “power”, etc. of European Science. Saying “I cannot help Europeans from going down to Hell with their Science” may be taken as an equivalent of saying Native Wisdom has no capability to help.

That leads us into Level III. (Critical Reflection), and IV. (Creation of Alternative Science).

III. Critical Reflection

III-1. Supportive Counseling versus Clinical Operation.

As an example, let us take up the differences between “Clinical Therapy” and “supportive Counseling”. Native Healing is “Supportive”. It is not done in the sense of “putting a totally incapacitated patient, knocked unconscious, on a table to operate on it”. (The pardigmatic Metaphor of European Medical Science). Native Medicine often involve Family and Community. It was not done on an Individual basis. All powers (love relations and functions) are solicited for help. Medicine men/women are “Mediums” and “Facilitators” for the power to come together, not power itself.

In the beginning, I said “North American White Male Students”. Female students are excluded, because in the “Macho Science”, they may not talk/think/behave in the “typical” ways. There is usually considered to be a weakness and “unscientific” tendency in Females. they do not like to play the role of (Male) God in cutting up people on the operation table, even if the ultimate aim is to help the guy. Females tend to see “People” being sick or in trouble, rather than entertain the glorious mission of fighting a War against Disease (Evil) as Male Doctors often do. Male Doctors do acknowledge “Will To Live” in patients, but such “help” is solicited in “their” Fight against Disease. “Conquer the Disease” is the main paradigm of Male Medical profession. “Care of person” is the job of nurses, not doctors.

It is not that Females are dysfunctional in Clinical situations. In fact many are engaged in Clinical Social Works — except that they tend to take a posture of either (i) “being told” what to do, alienating them from personal involvement/responsibility, or (ii) like the case of the Big Nurse, identifying themselves with the Power Structure. they are more at home with “Supportive Counseling”, if not merely “Comforting”.

That makes interesting “observation” what Native Healing (Medicine, Science) is “Feminine”. Calling upon the help of the Power Spirit is not the same thing as having a sense of Power within oneself.

In the context of Social Works, what are the role/function of the workers? And what kind of Science would be helpful for them?

For the Clinical works, there Power Science justifies, and even what they do is a false sense of compelling workers to do.

Is there any “Science” behind supportive Counseling?

Evidently, the Support is needed, appreciated, and recognized as effective. But “Science”?

European Science came from “Fighting”. Humans, faced With Fear, either get aggressive or regress into inability. In that “Science” is “empowering” — to make humans assertive, aggressive, active —. “Love Play” has always been in Science, particularly in creative works, but it has always been “subservient”, “secondary”, “helping side” of the Power side. There have been many talks by great scientists about “Love” in science, but texts in Science do not intend to “teach” about that.

I would imagine even Clinical Social Works is motivated by “Love/Care”. But “Love/Care” is not the main “Operational Principle” of the Clinical Social Work, but the “Power of Technical Routines” is the main concern. Having or seeing Problems, the Clinical Operation set itself up as the means to Fight — the “War” to eliminate the problem —.

“Supportive Counseling” may be seen as “weak”; some might perceive it as “ineffective”, if they do not know the performance, say in terms of quantified “Success Rate”. This is because the Support gives an impression that it leaves the problem unresolved. It is not attacking the problem directly, but merely caring for the person.

The separation/dichotomy of “Being” and “Problem” is a heritage from Ancient Atomism. Being is a Dynamics and Problem is a Dynamics. Although the “level” of Dynamics may be different they are both Dynamics (Interaction). The Mechanical Science whch sees “Beings” as “Objects” is totally inadequate. There exists the awareness of such an inadequacy in some sciences, but it is far away from the “Science” of the Clinical Social Works. And because the majority in Social Works is Clinical, the Social Works as a whole has not yet come to construct “Science” for the “supportive counseling”. It is left for a few brave (or rather bleeding) souls to practice on ad hoc basis.

It is not only Native Science that is unrecognized and repressed, but all “Love Sciences” are.

This is a topic for the Level III works.

III-2. The Difficulty of Translation

Another possible topic at Level III is that of “Translation”, “Cross Cultural Understanding”, “Bridging”, “Interfacing”.

It is understandable that the Native Community entertains an Ideology of Separation/Rejection. After all, it has been European Culture that separated, rejected Natives. European Domination accepts only total Surrender of Natives, territory, culture, bodies, souls, and even history.

Therefore, naturally any attempt in the direction of “understanding” is suspected or viewed as “Compromise”, “Betrayal”, “Sell Out”, “Contamination”.

In many Colonized countries, a certain portion of natives became “Translators” for the European Power. They enjoyed somewhat privileged positions in the power structure, while others were mercilessly exploited, oppressed, killed and even sold as slaves. East Indians were often imported into other colonies to serve as lower class officers for European Administrators. Even after these colonies gained independence, the “Class Distinction” remained. [Japan narrowly escaped that owing to the late coming of Europeans to the Far East.] Native Americans have never developed such a “Class Distinction”, but nonetheless there are resentments against those who sell services to Europeans.

Eber Hampton in “The Sweat Lodge and Modern Society” mentions the destruction of Native Agriculture, which David Riesman missed in his Harvard lecture. Indeed, that is a “deliberately forgotten history” (The Big Brother erased it). But many Natives themselves seem to have erased the history when they refer to “Traditional Fur Trade”. The Fur Trade, when Iroquois Nations became addicted, destroyed their Agriculture and Community Craft Industry that they had. Hunting to provide for their own community needs is Traditional. Hunting to sell furs is not. I say this not as an accusation, but as an example of how easy it is for History to be destroyed by “Translators”.

And one thing which caught my attention is that Eber Hampton appears to be proud of “Indian English”, but it is strange for a guy like me who never learned English enough to develop “my own English”. I only manage to read an write in English as a “Foreign Language”. To me Indian English is not a Native Language. However, that betrays a tragic reality of Native Life today. Namely, without Translation into Academic English, Eber could have gotten nowhere.

You might say “Live with Native Language!” That is easy to say, as long as one is not going to do it in real life. Even without European Languages, what will Natives today do? What about the rifles that they use in their hunting? What about power boats? TVs, refrigerators, Trucks, Supermarket, Hospitals and Alcohol? The pens and papers used to apply for European Welfare? They are not “Languages” in the formal sense, but, they are the kind of idioms and vocabulary by which Native Living is spelled out.

There are millions of “Non-Reserve Indians” whose homes are on the streets of Whitemen’s Cities. Thousands of Native children were adopted by European families. Even if “Pure Blood Indians” opted for total separation in some Indian Territories (Nations, Reserves), there would be millions who will be “Outsiders”.

And what will the pure-blood Nations do about dealings with the rest of the World? A Closed State in political rhetoric is easy, but the problems of actually Living Life cannot be wiped off by the inflated hot rhetoric. Much as I admire and sympathize with the sentiment which might say, “Fuck European Science”, I cannot imagine any other way but to come to terms with European Science in one way or another.

And to come to terms with the other Science, one needs to have one’s own Science, or equivalent thereof. Ideally, the Native Science is so much better in that it can understand European Science, including its limitations, weaknesses, and faults, as well as strength and power. One cannot get that by closing the door and watching T.V. while drinking beer and liquor from European stores.

Let David Riesman be alone. He can rot in his ignorance. As far as he is concerned, he is doing very well without knowing about Natives. Even if he happened to know about Natives, he is not obliged to restore Native Farming for Education. Therefore criticizing David Riesman is a waste of time. It can only be done by Natives.

The atrocities, sufferings and pains inflicted on Natives, pureblood or otherwise, inside reserves or outside, are Real. They are there, whether one likes it or not. They cannot be ignored. Europeans imposed them on Natives, but if Natives do not remove them, Europeans would not. That makes dealing with European Science unavoidable. There, Translators have very important roles to play. If European Science is the Enemy, one has to know it to fight it. One might even think about the possibility of “Beating the Enemy at his own Game”.

Righteous indignation is natural, and there ought to be more of it. That is the Passion needed. I would venture to say that is the Fire Way. However, sooner or later, one has to come to the question of “What To Do About The Problems?”

To face the question of “What To Do About the Problems?” is a Science. Describing the problems, so that many people come to know the problems and can start building basis of co-operation, is the important first step in the Science. But one cannot let one’s passion be exhausted by that. There is a next step, which is harder.

If we attempt Science, we need

(1) The “Science of knowing what problems are, and

(2) The Science of knowing what to do about them.

The second step has to be persistent. I would characterize it as the Water Way.

[There is the Earth Way to make things concrete, and the Wind Way has to help with Creativity needed. Then must come the Tree Way to Integrate and gently embrace the whole. But that is the topic of Level IV.]

Let me try here my armchair psychoanalysis. Natives are brave, and they are not afraid of European Science. What they Fear is not that. They are not “running away” from European Science under the disguise of righteous indignation — though European Science is indeed horrible —. The psychological trouble is that any Learning involves Love. Learning of Science is “Erotic”. Traditionalists may indeed Fear this “Love Affair”. They are afraid of “Seduction” by European Science.

Education can be “Sweet”. Yet my grandfather rioted against the Japanese Government when it imposed the school system on his village. He said, “It is bad enough that peasants are forced to pay high Tax, but now the Government is taking our children away”. He appeared to stand against Education. That is strange for one who learned to read and write on his own. He was not afraid of Science, but eagerly read and learned. Besides, he often took care of “troublesome kids” from villages around, and was known as a great educator (Therapist/Counselor). But his sense of Education was not “School Education”. Being a peasant himself, he knew what was needed to be learned. He never lost his Peasant Spirit. I have known a Scholar in the same village who was reading works of French Linguist in 1945 when most Japanese did not have any more than one pair of shoes, in the aftermath of WWII. In 1945, the life of Japanese was worse than that in, say, Nigeria then, a lot less than “Bushmen” in Canada. He did not become a Frenchman but stayed as a Peasant even after he became the president of a college. He was entirely self-taught. It is unfortunate that Japanese Peasants are not well known as “Samurais” who constituted less than 10% of the Japanese population.

I am not saying the Japanese are any better in comparison with Native Americans. They have a lot of problems. But the point is that learning European Science without selling our souls is possible. One jus has to remember that accumulation of “knowledge” is not of any value, but how much help one can offer to others in community is the measure of Science.

Level IV. Tree Science

This is Pam’s Science. I am not qualified to talk about it. The Conference hopefully comes to the Vision of it. Or better yet, Pam will bring a Prophecy. I am merely guessing at your dream. By introducing “Quadra-lectics”, you are overcoming the antagonistic paradigm in European Dialectics and introducing “relational science” which is a better Format for Healing/Love. You suggested the idea of 4-in-Relations not by so much words, but by dream-pictures.

I imagine you would talk about concrete, real, direct and personal experiences in Community Counseling. It is always good that talk is made “concrete”. But, You are “Counseling” the World Community by the same talk. If you can help the Healing of a Native Community, the very same Science can heal the World Community.

You might talk about your Science that you are raising.

There was one thing You said that was something to the effect of “in some cases there may not be a cure”. I do not know what you were referring to. Therefore I may be totally off the mark. But if you mean by “cure” in the “Clinical” sense, there is no cure for any case. The community has to recognize its own problem. The community has to do its own healing. Agencies from outside can only be helpers. Suppose the agencies of the dominant culture find a situation in some native community is a “problem”, then it is likely that the “problem” is, by a large measure, caused by the dominant culture. [If a child is behaving badly, it is likely that the family is in trouble.] And if so, then Clinical Therapy ought to be applied to the dominant culture, first of all.

If the Clinical Therapy is either not workable or not acceptable to the dominant culture, it is silly to expect the same would work for, or be acceptable to, the Native Community in question. One cannot apply the Principle of “Do as I tell you, not do as I do”. Science ought, at least, to be honest.

One of the advantages you have is that you are in a position to practice the therapy of the dominant culture, though yours is not the “clinical” kind. If you remember, that is where I met you, namely in Peace Research which is a science for “counseling” the World, in particular the most powerful of European Nations. It is what I might call “Social Therapy”.

Here, I like to tell you that Newtonian Mechanics was a very powerful “Therapy” (Brainwashing) which “empowered” Europeans to Industrialize. Yet, Newtonian Mechanics is made of nothing but “Words” and “Metaphors”.

You might think about why the “Story” called Newtonian Mechanics was so effective, so powerful. If you were in the Europe of the 16th century, you might have said that there was no “cure”. Germany did not come into the “Scientific Revolution” until the 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, Russians and Italians were no more ahead of the Japanese who started to learn European Science some 20 years before that time. And the learning of European Science in any country came at a horrendous cost.

Your Native Science (or Tree Science) may appear powerless. Because the only thing you can do at this moment is just make up “stories”. You may not foresee the consequences of what you are making up, any more than Galileo, Descartes and Newton did about their “Stories”. But, that does not mean there is no consequence, no effect. You might get a big surprise. It is not defending the traditional Native Culture that I am concerned about, but rather I am interested in Native Science as a Creation of Alternative Science which works for the World. It is a gift from Native Culture.

That brings me to say a few things about “Science”. “Science” is not an object of Archeological Study of some Dead Knowledge. It has a life, dynamic, development, creativity. At least, Science responds to the problems of community of the time. Or rather, Science is created and manifested as the response of Community to its problems. Just as Love takes a particular form of expression in a particular relationship, Science is particular to the situation; The Vision that one seeks is particular to the one who is in the particular circumstance. I respect ancient Wisdom. but Wisdom is wisdom, only if it is alive in the minds and souls of people today and functioning. That is why the learning of wisdom takes creativity. And I hope all the suffering Natives have had to go through was not vain.


This is incomplete, but I send this to you for now. The Appendix A shall follow.


Sam K.

P.S. Thank Chyna for me. I appreciated her patience. She is an impressively well-behaved, happy child. Her mother must be a very loving person. I wonder if I am wrong in saying “Looking at a Child is looking at Parents”.

The Need of Sensitivity in Science: As the foundation of Cross-Cultural Science Education

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 1



—As the foundation of

Cross-Cultural Science Education—

“Science sets forth this formative process in all its detail and

necessity, exposing the mature configuration of everything which

has been reduced to a moment and property of Spirit. The goal is

Spirit’s insight into what knowing is. ”

[Hegel: Phenomenology Of Spirit. 1807.]

1. That what we usually think as “Science” is “Power Science”

and lacks Sensitivity.

The image of Powerful Science bulldozing through problems

and resistances to get things done is very strong in our mind.

And, therefore, it is hard to talk about “Sensitivity” as an

important element in Science.

Occasionally we do talk about beauty, poetry in science,

such as Fabre’s The Diary of Insects, and Einstein’s Cosmic

Vision. But, I am afraid, we tell such stories as “diversions”

from the main instructional materials. Perhaps we tell more jokes

of dubious value to entertain students more frequently than

telling about the “sensitive” tender elements in Science.

By and large we treat the sensitivity in Science as of

secondary importance. As a consequence, teaching practices of

Science tend to be that of imposing the Powerful Science on the

minds of students. We may not be conscious of us doing that. But

if we step back and look at our practices, it appears that we are

teaching Power side of Science almost exclusively and neglecting

I think it is unfortunate, for the creative thinking, the

sensitivity is essential. Even if the majority of human

population has to perform mechanical routines to make a living,

our children deserve an educational period where they are treated

with the delicacy of the Sensitive Science. For that reason, I

would try here a “scientific explanation” of

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 2

the Sensitivity, is a rational to stress the importance of it in

Science. I hope, my explanation is sufficiently general to

encourage Sensitivity in human life in general.

And, I have a feeling that what I meant by Sensitivity also

has some meaning to the Cross Cultural Education. Since I am not

familiar with the Cross Cultural Education that experts here are

engaged, I do not make a claim. Rather, I would like to ask you

if what I am going to discuss here has any relevance to the Cross

Cultural Education. I would be grateful if you kindly give me

back responses and reactions to what I said.

2. Where can Sensitivity be located in our Intelligence?

In order to introduce the Sensitivity, let me talk briefly

about “Science” in general. To save time, I present a simplified

archeological diagram here.

Science is a part of human intelligence to use the

faculties of our brain/mind.

(i) The first level of intelligence on the surface is Object

Recognition level. This is what Atomism does. We recognize

objects and identify them. We sometimes decide to ignore things

as well at this level.

(ii) The second level is Relation Recognition level. There we

think of relations between Objects. Statistical Correlations,

Causal linkages may be recognized and identified. Basically, the

relations recognized are of the “Linear” kind. [*See Subnote 1.]

(iii) The third level is Utility Recognition level. We sense what

we can do with the objects and relations we recognized.

(iv) The fourth level is Strategic Construction. This is often

referred to as “Problem Solving” intelligence. We take the

situation at hand as the starting point, and see the desired

state as the final point. If we find “The Means” to connect these

two points, we call it “The Solution” of the problem.

As such, the fourth level resembles the second level,

except that the “Connection” (Relation) is imposed by us. And,

often times, the task of finding the “means” to connect the two

points is accomplished by ignoring and cutting off relations that

existed. The image for this “problem

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 3

solving” is Alexander The Great cutting a knotted ball of string

with a sword in one blow. The sword is the imposed connection

cutting through all pre-existing relations. Unfortunately, this

happened too many times when a powerful dominant Culture met

In these 4 levels, there is no need of the Sensitivity.

Rather, we would think of the “Minimum” that is necessary for

what is desired. We deem that is “Efficient” and “Rational”

within the contexts considered.

For example, we recognize two towns on both sides of a

mountain. That is at the Object Recognition level. We see people

going back and forth between the two towns. This is the Relation

Recognition level of thinking. We see the Utility of the

exchanges. And we Bulldoze to make a Highway between them and

think that the problem is solved.

The “Science” in our ordinary sense is an organized and

formalized “knowledge” at the above 4 levels of intelligence. It

empowers people in that sense. Let me call this Power Science. It

lets us do things. But there are levels below this, if we dig

into our minds deeper.

(v) Although we seldom think any deeper than the Power Science

levels, we occasionally do “Think Twice”. We ask whether or not

the construction of the Highway was a good thing. Let me call

this 5th level intelligence as the “Reflective Level”.

We do have this intellectual capacity to “Think Twice”

about what we have done, and also sometimes what we are about to

do. That is where the Sensitivity comes in. Although we have the

Power to do and to get a certain thing that we desire, we ask

ourselves if doing so might not hurt someone. We exercise a care

to protect other’s safety, interests, wellbeing. This takes a

fair amount of imagination as to the situations that we are about

This requires thinking of the whole system of things in a

complex web of relations. It is different from the kind of

thinking of Power science which can be metaphored as that of

“Drawing a line from a point A to a point B”. For, in the complex

web of relations, there are lines from the point B to the other

point C, which in turn relates to other points. All linked in

that sense, the circle of the linkage most likely comes back to

the initial point A. That complicates the situation. A

straightforward thinking is only applicable

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 4

to linking nearby points. The whole circle of relation is not

“straightforward”, but rather “Non-Linear”. That makes thinking

[Linear/ Non-Linear distinction is explained in Subnote 1.]

But the strange thing is that Humans do have an intuitive

sense by which they can “Feel” the harmony or disharmony of the

whole system. Even in highly theoretical works, physicists often

came to “Feel” the whole thing and said it is a “Poetical

Beauty”, or “Poetical Unity”.

That is the “Care” that one exercises to understand the

whole of the cyclic relationships and the “Beauty” that one feels

about the whole are related.

I think it is highly desirable that children are given the

opportunity to experience the “Care” and “Beauty”. It requires

Sensitivity to experience it. But the Sensitivity cannot be

developed without experiencing it. I think this is a great

challenge of Science Education.

I would like to suggest that Science Education has to aim

at the caring level of intelligence. And I think it is possible

to lead students to that level by asking them to “Think Twice” as

often as possible. The Science Education has to contain exercises

for saying “I can do this But on the other hand…” Such exercises

are training for Sensitivity.

We might call this “The Sensitivity Science Education”, in

a contrast to the “Power Science Education” that we have been

And I hope that they enjoy seeing the “Beauty” attained

after many exercises of “Thinking Twice”.

3. The Sensitivity Science is a “Pragmatic” necessity for

Human Survival, and Cross Cultural Science Education is a

beautiful way of the Sensitivity Science Education.

In view of what we are doing nowadays to our Environment

and to our fellow Human beings, I would say that without

Sensitivity, we will not survive the 21st century. For the

sensitive eyes, the bad consequences of the Power Science are

visible almost everywhere. Even if we do not want to see them,

things such as Acid Rains descend

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 5

upon us. Incidences such as Chernobyl happens and force us to

know what we are doing to ourselves.

In the line-like thinking of Power Science, we do not see

the remote consequences of our actions. But the fruits of our

deeds loop around and come back on ourselves.

In that, I am not a Romantic Idealist to advocate the

Sensitivity Science. I have a “Pragmatic” concern about the

future of the World in which our children live or die. Either we

educate ourselves and change to become Caring Beings, or we

annihilate ourselves. It is not possible to evade the choice.

Fortunately, however, we have a marvelous educational

opportunity called Cross Cultural Education.

It gives very good opportunity to Think Twice about the

Power Science that our dominant Culture has been practicing up to

The Cross Cultural Education is one way of giving our

children the opportunity, and a beautiful way of doing the

Sensitivity Science Education. Here, remarkably, we have a

consistency of the means and the aim. We have the way of studying

which cal1s for Sensitivity. And we have the aim that is the

I look upon Cross Cultural Education to be not a “Tokenism”

to satisfy disgruntled minority races, or “Window Dressing” to

soothe the “Guilt” from the colonial oppressions and the racial

discrimination in the historical past. But I consider it as a

Golden Opportunity for every one to learn the way of Survival and

at the same time the way of constructing a beautifu1 Future.

Beyond that, I would like to stress here that this is not a

subject of “social studies”, but of “Science”.

I am not saying this because I am a scientist and wanted to

externalize the power of science. You must realize that I am a

“scientist” only in the Power Science. Among other things it was

the prejudice of the “Power Science” that used to say that Euro

Americans have the Science.

And, I have to learn Cross Cultural Science for my own

sake. And people here are great help to me. I wish I could go

back to school again and experience beautiful education that you

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 6

– – – – – – – –

I add one, perhaps, “Bad” example for the advocacy of Cross

Cultural Science Education. It is from General Relativity.

General Relativity can be viewed as an “art” of how to

connect a small local Linear way of thinking (analogous to making

a short sentence) to the next. The connections of many small

Linear descriptions (analogous to a whole “story” made of many

sentences) make up a Global Geometry which may be “Non-linear”.

General Relativity is concerned with the Whole of the Global

Connections. Needless to say, to make a comprehensible coherent

picture is not a trivial task. Some constructions are beautiful,

The “connected whole” is a “World View”. And among many

ways to make up the “connected whole(s)”, we can study how to

compare various ways of making “connected wholes”. In this sense,

General Relativity is interesting. It resembles “Cross Cultural”

However, as I said before, General Relativity is “perhaps a

bad example”. The trouble with this example from modern physics

is that it is by and large inaccessible to the general public.

There are “popular books” such as The Turning Point by F.

Capra etc. However, ordinary Science Education does not come

anywhere near to the “Way of Thinking” contained in those modern

developments in science. Schools, perhaps unconsciously, teach

the 300 year old physics and waste time in “beating the

established mechanical routines into blank minds of children”

under the name of Science Education. It so happens that the Old

Science also carries the Authoritarian Ideology of that

It also represents the “Alienated” mentality of the 19th

century European Intellectuals. [see] M. Berman. The

Reenchantment of The World.] That Science emerged in the 17th

century as a “Liberation of Thinking” is largely forgotten and

perverted, under the disguise of “Rigorous”, “Exact”, discipline.

Psychoanalysts ought to examine why so many scientists and

science teachers today still maintain the illusion of “rigorous,

exact science” as if they have never heard of the Uncertainty

Principle or Godel’s proof of Incompleteness of Mathematics.

Their quasi-religious belief may be within the Freedom of Belief

allowed by the Constitution, but the Authoritarian posture of

scientists talking down to the

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 7

public, as if they are the guardians of the Absolute Truth, is a

pedagogical disaster in barring the majority population from

access to the modern science.

That I have a considerable difficulty in talking about

fruits of the modern science in terms of “Ways of Thinking”

attests to the failure in Physics Education for which we

physicists are collectively responsible. We have spent Hundreds

of Billion Dollars of tax money, but we have not helped society

with cultural developments in terms of the Ways of Thinking. The

public money is used to edify a small group of specialists and

widen the gap of thinking inequality, not mentioning the North-
South disparity in science-technology and wealth. We ought to

think, for example, why we do not use science to make rudimental

water supply systems available to the poor half of Humanity. It

could be done at a fraction of the cost of sending a school

teacher to Space and getting killed in a Show of National

Superiority. I do not think it is excusable.

One very inexpensive way of introducing New Way of Thinking

to general public is to do Cross Cultural Science. Since most of

the “Sciences” from different cultures are accessible through

non-technical expressions, they are better suited for general

Education. (I fancy that “Hopi Relativity” is just as good in

conveying the main idea as General Relativity which is accessible

only through complicated mathematical manipulations.) That is to

say, we have discovered a mountain of treasures in the Native

Science. I recommend school teachers to seriously look into

Native Science and take advantages of the treasure.

(However, I would caution the teachers to pay proper respect in

exchange, lest be accused of stealing the last and the most

precious treasures of the Natives after taking everything away

from them. One way of expressing respect is to invite Native

Scientists and let them speak, rather than giving an

“Interpretation” to students as if that is genuine Native

Science. And if possible, let students learn from the way the

Natives live with the “Science in their actual life, rather than

substituting an “intellectualized version” for it.)

– – – – – – – –

My story here was perhaps tedious and technical and it was

from the background of the Power Science. But I hope it is of

Thank you for your patient listening.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 8

[Subnote 1. On Linearity.

“Linear” means “line-like”. When relations between pairs of

two quantities, such as “Input and Output” plotted on a graph

paper appear like lines, the relations are called Linear.

Most relations in Reality, however, are not Linear. Why,

then, do we favor Linearity? The most theories in science are

Linear ones. Economists use Linearized models; Political

Scientists and Politicians talk and think in Linear Language. We

usually think Linear, such as if something is good, then more of

it is better. It is not rare that sick people take more pills,

thinking that the more pills he or she takes, the faster the cure

is, then ends up with an Overdose. Or a man who makes hundred

thousand dollars a year thinking that he would be a twice bigger

man if he could make $200,000 etc.

But, the worship of Linearity is not just silly

superstition in numbers. There is a definite advantage in

Linearity. I cite an example.

Suppose a psychologist or social scientist is faced with an

unknown entity or system named, say, G. How will the scientist go

about knowing what G is?

The first principle of Science is the Principle of “Do

something and see what will happen”.

So the scientist does something, which in psychologist’s

jargon is called “Stimulus”. Sociologists might call it “Input”.

Something happens in Response (X) to the Stimulus (x), or Output

corresponding to the Input. By this, the scientist gets a data

(X) = {G} (x) or x → X

Of course this one data point is not enough for the

scientist to claim “Knowledge” on the entity. The scientists have

to try more Inputs and get Outputs. But if the entity (or system)

is Linear, it is easier to know what Response would be for any

Stimulus. For example, the Linear Entity G would produce a

Response 2X for Stimulus 2x, and 3X for 3x, and so on, i.e.;

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 9

What is more, provided the Entity (System) G is Linear, the

scientist can predict what the Response (Output) would be for an

arbitrary combination of various kinds of Stimulus, say like

(3X + 2Y – Z) = {G} (3x + 2y – z).

This predictability is an enormous savings in the cost of

the research to construct the Knowledge about the Entity (System)

Having this sense of Linearity in mind, one looks into

texts in Physics, Engineering, Economics, etc. One would find

that the majority of Theories are about Linear entities or linear

systems. Texts in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science,

Anthropology etc. are not explicit in what they mean by

“knowledge”. But when they do imply “knowledge”, they are usually

an implicit assumption of Linearity.

Most economic-politico-social policy recommendations from

the Power Science are of the Patch-work type which in effect says

“Granting that all other things stay constant, do x to get the

result X”. This is only justifiable on Linearity Assumption. The

characteristic of Linear Thinking is that it neglects all

complications. It only sees the starting point (the problem as

the initial state) and the desired end point, and finds the means

to connect the two points. It is like drawing a line between two

points without looking at other points around. Perhaps, it is

analogous to shooting an arrow at a target. As such, the

concentration of attention is necessary and it is not a bad thing

In real systems, however, when one thing is changed, all

others change. There would always be the second, third, fourth

order effects, like the ripples created by a stone dropped in a

lake. Linear Assumption is simple and convenient, but it is a bad

“superstition”, if it is worshiped as The Best Science. Yet the

Insensitivity of the Power Science neglects the higher order

Another trick of the Power Science is that, when the

uncertainties in the higher order effects are visible, it goes

for “Short Term” projections and makes decisions on that basis.

It is hoped that the higher order effects would not manifest in a

short time scale taken as the reference frame of the thinking.

Unfortunately, the neglected higher order effects do not

disappear; they “disappear” only in the short-term thinking.

People have to pay for them eventually. A funny thing about this

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science 10

is “scientific”. That is the Power Science; it provides an

edifying cover not only for the negligence, arrogance, and

insensitivity, but for the stupidity. I would think that the

Native Science which thinks on a long-term scale would be good

“medicine” for the Power Science.

Non-linear entities or systems are that which cannot be

treated by Linear Theory. That is the definition. Non-linear

entities and systems are nasty, for they defy the simple

“predictability” of the kind illustrated above.

Non-linear systems are “Unpredictable”, which means there

is no possibility of doing the “science” which usually means

“predicting power”. Of course, we can do a modified sense of

“science”. In fact, non-linear physics is now getting

fashionable, where things like “Catastrophe Phenomena” are

What is so-called “Ecology” in biology and geology is

largely confined to Linear cases. Some Biologists and Geologists

are aware that Nature is Non-linear and Catastrophic Instability

— such as mass extinction — is expected. But the prejudice

(or rather “superstition”) of majority of the scientists

demanding “Predictability” for “science” on some emotional ground

does not make the study of Non-Linearity in Nature popular.

As to knowledge in social and Humane areas, their implicit

Linear “Rhetoric” are yet to be recognized. “Causal Relation” is

often nothing more than a Linearized Expression. As a

consequence, people do not know they are assuming Linearity.

Hence, Linear Thinking is prevalent.

I do not think the “Linguistic Philosophers” are even aware

of Non-linearity, except perhaps in Logical Paradoxes. (The

“Paradox of Self-Reference” has a “loop structure” and as such it

is Non-linear. “Circular Argument” is also Non-linear. They

reject it. But interestingly the most “definitions” in sciences

are “circular”. Newton’s Laws of Motion and Darwin’s famous

statement “Survival of the Fittest” are well known examples.

Perhaps, because of these bad cases, philosophers do not like

Non-Linearity, But, their dislike prevents them from serious

studies of Non-Linearity. This is unfortunate.)

However, the Philosophy of Dialectics is a Non-linear one. [See

Thorn cited below] But I doubt Dialecticians themselves such as

Marx — are aware of the Non-linearity.

Sensitivity and Cross Culture Science

As to Mathematics of Non-Linearity, see Rene Thom: Structural

Stability and Morphogenesis. Benjamin. 1972. (Thom also had an

interesting thing to say about Math Education, Science 1972.)

Also, there are several texts on Non-Linear Physics. What

is called “Solution” is an unusually stable wave produced by Non-
Linearity. It is to be noted that “Stability” can be a

manifestation of Non-linearity. Non-linearity is not always

unstable and catastrophic. I suspect almost all biological and

social systems (such as human life) is “stable” because of Non-
linearity. They “die”, however, because of the Non-linearity that

maintained them to be stable for a while (quasi-stable).

The escalation of Nuclear Arms race which goes in a

“vicious circle” is an example of bad Non-linear Dynamics. On the

other hand, the “positive enforcement” effects in Education etc.

are also Non-linear Dynamics.

These examples show that Non-Linearity is important and

interesting. But here again, it is too technical to be taught

directly in schools. I would appreciate very much if you could

suggest to me some ways of bringing “awareness” of Non-Linearity

into school science education. Interestingly “Sensitivity” is a

highly Non-Linear Phenomenon. I wish some psychologists would

write about “Non-Linear Dynamics of Mind”. Hegel came close to

doing that, but his intellectual snobbism is too much for popular

reading. Perhaps, Native Science might have good stories to tell

Oct.18, ’87. S. Kounosu Phys. Dept. U. of L.