Providing comfort through chicanery

December 23, 2009

Some nonsense yesterday and today on Twitter and elsewhere on Neuro-Linguistic Processing (NLP), including an absurd notion that the complex domain of Cynefin is about magic! NLP according to this one commentator is a form of magic and should be permitted, along with any other pseudo-science that happens to pop up with commercial potential. My best response paraphrased from the tweet, was to say that I would: “ accept Magic in the sense of 19C spiritualists”, given that “providing comfort through chicanery would be a good description of NLP”. This all came about as a result of my tweeting this reference to NLP as a cargo-cult psychology. I like the article and the imagery produced and it’s from a serious academic. In fact as anyone knows who looks into the area, all the serious commentary rejects NLP on the grounds that it is a pseudo-science. Its also worth reading this article by Beyerstein which bundles NLP with Re-birthing and Primal Scream Therapy. Patrick Lamb picked this up after I referenced it on the ActKM listserv which also experienced a NLP incident. His interesting post deserves thought and a response in the new year.

I rather like the bundling in the Beyerstein article, it gives me a really good Christmas Curse (forget all this new age fluffy bunny being nice to each other stuff).

May all those who take NLP seriously be traumatically re-born into a special circle of the Inferno (Circle 3a I think or maybe a special section of the eighth around Bolgia 8 although Ulysses deserves better company) where they can attempt to cure their neurosis by mirroring each others screaming.

On a more charitable day I might consider a switch from Inferno to Pergatorio (In which case it would be Terrace 5a I think). All hope abandon, ye who enter here

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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