Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chapter 5: Summary

Hubbard presents a condensed version of the last four chapters complete with a mathematical equation for the potential value of an individual.

The summary with a description of the four dynamics for survival: sex, self, mankind, and group. As I have just written about them here, I will not go over them again.

Hubbard then lists the "fundamental axioms of Dianetics". It would be worth reproducing these in full, but they cover 4 pages. I will instead quote the important ones and briefly address most the others, reminding you of my previous interpretations in brackets.

The Fundamental Axioms of Dianetics

Man's "dynamical principle of existence is survival." [This was an unsupported assertion.]

There are four dynamics to survival: sex, self, mankind, and the group. [These were said to fit some "equation" that was never presented. It is my belief that Hubbard mostly likely found these to be a solution to a thought experiment (I use experiment very loosely here.) and not scientific equations.]

The absolute goal of survival is immortality or infinite survival.
[This again is just an assertion.]
...the purpose of perceptions, retention, concluding and resolving problems is to direct its own organism and symbiotes and other organisms and symbiotes along the four dynamics toward survival.
The dynamics ["the tenacity of life and vigor and persistence in survival"] are inhibited by engrams, which lie across them and disperse life force.

Intelligence is inhibited by engrams which feel false or improperly graded data into the analyzer ["the analytical mind"]
[The definition of engram was very muddled and the existence of engrams was asserted, not proven.]

The analytical mind thinking is terms of comparisons; the reactive mind "things only in identities"; and the somatic mind "places solutions into effect on the physical level. [arbitrary definitions]

Engrams cause aberrations.
Psychosomatic ills are caused by engragms [which are the only source of aberrations].
[Proof is needed.]

Engrams are only received when unconscious.
The engram is a moment of "unconsciousness" containing physical pain or the painful emotion and all perceptions, and is not available to the analytical mind as experience.
[See above brackets.]

And most interestingly,
The potential value of an individual or a group may be expressed by the equation
where I is Intelligence and D is Dynamic.

The worth of an individual is computed in
terms of the alignment, on any dynamic, of his potential value with optimum survival along that dynamic. A high PV may, by reversed vector [Vector is defines as "a physical quantity with both magnitude and direction, such as a force of velocity". The phrase "by reversed vector" is meaningless.], result in a negative worth as in some severely aberrated persons. A high PV on and dynamic assures a high worth only in the unaberrated persons.
This equation is what I would like to focus on for the remainder of this post as there are a number of points to address. First of all, there are no units mentioned in which to measure any of the variables. What are potential value, intelligence and dyamic measured in? Engrams? More importantly, what is x? It is an entirely undefined variable. Is x the worth a man or species? If it is, why does worth only increase dynamic and not intelligence, or are there missing parentheses? Also, how does high PV make worth both negative and positive according the this equation? Which variable accounts for aberrations? This equation is beyond meaningless. It's only purpose on the page is so Hubbard can point to it and say how he's scientific because there is a mathematical equation in his book. It's pathetic, scientifically pathetic.

Words defined: analyzer, attenuate, vector

Next: Book 2: Chapter 1: The Analytical Mind and the Standard Memory Banks

Note: All quotes are from
Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics. Los Angeles, CA: Bridge Publications, Inc, 1986, unless noted otherwise.

Question for the Reader
: I would like to take this moment to ask if you, the reader would like to see anything different from these posts. The next chapters are much longer than these of the introductory book, and with the next semester starting soon, I will not be able to keep up the pace and detail of these previous posts. Also, I believe Dianetics has amply demonstrated it's absurdity. The following chapters are much more detailed, and it seems it will take me some research into neurology and psychology to be able to fully address Hubbard's claims. I guess what I am asking is, are you enjoying these summaries, and do you think it's worth my time to continue? There is still a long way to go. Thanks for sticking with me!


Blake Stacey said...

If you'll permit me an anachronism, I think it's fair to say that L. Ron Hubbard went to the Salvador Cordova school of equation-writing.

Theodote Carthage said...

These have been a lot of fun to read, but I would not wish more Dianetics on anyone. Only post as long as you are having fun.

Ben said...

I think more importantly, is anyone getting anything out of my critique so far?

Blake Stacey said...

It's always nice to see total lunacy exposed for what it is, but I think you've gone far enough with this particular example (there's no particular reason to eat the whole egg when the first bite is rotten). If you think you can find more zaniness in later chapters, and if you're having fun, then go ahead — otherwise, let yourself move on to another topic!

Flavin said...

There is information from later in the book that I'd like to know: auditing, for instance. So perhaps only analyzing what hasn't been babbled ten times already would be helpful.

Prazzie said...

I've been enjoying your posts very much, but understand that reading this type of nonsense can be tedious.

I would like to know what the rest of the book contains. It is up to you to decide whether it is worth your time to continue. My input would be yes, it is: you could be saving people from Scientology with this!

Also, I have some ocd issues when it comes to finishing what you started. *twitch*

If it helps, you can write shorter summaries highlighting only the most insane bits that caught your eye. And take your time. Read the book while you're in the loo and jot down notes for when you have time to blog.

Ben said...

There is a list of all the chapter titles on the sidebar on the main page of the blog. I think I will continue but the summaries will be must shorter unless Hubbard brings up new points which I fell need to be addressed in full. I did enjoy doing these first five chapters.

Anonymous said...

If you were to do anything with Dianetics, I think the most useful thing to debunk would be the prenatal memories. On page 219 (at least in the version I currently have) Hubbard makes the statement that the acceptance of prenatal memories is what makes "clears" possible. Debunk the possibility of prenatal memories, and you have just destroyed the cornerstone of therapeutic practice described in Dianetics.

Anonymous said...

I guess I can't edit my post cause it was anonymous, but that was the wrong page number. It is actually page 129 in my book.

Ben said...

Ok thanks. I'm working my way through the book slowly. After a while, it's a little annoying to read so I'm only reading it when I feel motivated to do so.

Anonymous said...

I think you should continue, I like talking (and typing) about Dianetics and Scientology, for I believe I understand the topic very well having known about it and worked with it too. This equation is real easy to understand, you are trying to complicate it to make it seem wrong. You are guilty of what you accuse Hubbard of 'doing'!
Anyway, PV=IDX Potential Value equals Intelligence multiplied by their dynamic drive to a multiple variable of X (x is because everyone is different) The worth of any human being could be evaluated by taking a person's smarts by their following the ethical greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics (something may be good for yourself but harms your family (Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, etc. etc. ) or helps your political party (Government spending into oblivion to help your political supporters only at the expense of the country and all the people more generlaly as a whole when you have to tax them to pay for it all) Do you see? People can be smart but can make all kinds of stupid acts that harm other areas worse then if they had chosen some other activity. Thus their VALUE would be LOWER. PV=IDx This is obvious. Get it?

Flavin said...

The worth of any human being could be evaluated by taking a person's smarts by their following the ethical greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics (something may be good for yourself but harms your family (Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, etc. etc. ) or helps your political party (Government spending into oblivion to help your political supporters only at the expense of the country and all the people more generlaly as a whole when you have to tax them to pay for it all) Do you see?

This is an equation, right? Like, there are numbers involved here?

So, let's see some numbers. How do you measure the worth of a human being? What units are that measurement in? (For example, you know what one foot is.The "foot" is a unit of distance. What is the "foot" of the worth of a person? What is its unit?)

How do I know these "measurements" are not just subjective judgements by you? (For example, let's say one person rates my intelligence very high, but another person rates it very low. Who is right? How do we make an objective measurement that anyone could verify?)

This "value" is also claimed to be a vector. That opens a whole can of mathematical worms that I am not sure you want to deal with. Like, how many directions are there? What are the basis vectors? Is there an ordinary scalar product, or a more complicated one? Since one side of the equation is a vector, the other must be (it is, after all, an equation), so why is it not mentioned that IDx is a vector as well?