— S e b l o g g i n g


“Functional stupidity is organizationally-supported lack of reflexivity, substantive rea- soning, and justification. It entails a refusal to use intellectual resources outside a narrow and ‘safe’ terrain. It can provide a sense of certainty that allows organizations to function smoothly. This can save the organization and its members from the frictions provoked by doubt and reflection. Functional stupidity contributes to maintaining and strengthening organizational order. It can also motivate people, help them to cultivate their careers, and subordinate them to socially acceptable forms of management and leadership. Such positive outcomes can further reinforce functional stupidity. However, functional stu- pidity can also have negative consequences such as trapping individuals and organiza- tions into problematic patterns of thinking, which engender the conditions for individual and organizational dissonance. These negative outcomes may prompt individual and collective reflexivity in a way that can undermine functional stupidity…” (p. 1196).

Reference: Alvesson, M. & Spicer, A. (2012). A Stupidity-Based Theory of Organizations. Journal of Mangement Studies, 49(7), p. 1195-1220.

“Students in the having mode of existence will listen to a lecture, hearing the words and understanding their logical structure and their meaning and, as best they can, will write down every word in their looseleaf notebooks-so that, later on, they can memorize their notes and thus pass an examination. But the content does not become part of their own individual system of thought, enriching and widening it. Instead, they transform the words they hear into fixed clusters of thought, or whole theories, which they store up. The students and the content of the lectures remain strangers to each other, except that each student has become the owner of a collection of statements made by somebody else (who had either created them or taken them over from another source).

Students in the having mode have but one aim: to hold onto what they “learned,” either by entrusting it firmly to their memories or by carefully guarding their notes. They do not have to produce or create something new. In fact, the having-type individuals feel rather disturbed by new thoughts or ideas about a subject. because the new puts into question the fixed sum of information they have. Indeed, to one for whom having is the main form of relatedness to the world, ideas that cannot easily be pinned down (or penned down) are frightening-like everything else that grows and changes, and thus is not controllable.”

Reference: Fromm, E. (1976). To have or to be? London: Continuum

“The student has her educational being only insofar as she has a will to learn. The will to learn may not be everything, but without it nothing is possible, no knowing of any profundity, no acting with any seriousness, no meant engagement with those around her…(p.67)”

Reference: Barnett, R. (2007). A will to learn. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill

“…assimilation and accommodation are aspects of every human activity. Cognitive conflict is ubiquitous, as multiple action-cum-experience schemes organize and are brought to bear on every novel encounter in life, and the novel aspects of those encounters challenge the schemes to accommodate to each other and to the environment. Furthermore, all this activity occurs in the context of social relations, social systems, and cultures that are simultaneously organizing, maintaining, and affecting each individual’s activity. Social partners using culturally shared mediational tools evoke and direct one another’s attention to (a) novel experiences that conflict with prior assumptions, (b) conflicting understandings of experience, and (c) unanswered questions. Whenever there is conflict, there are opportunities for the construction of novel syntheses, which represent development. So adaptive challenges, developmental opportunities, and developmental processes are ubiquitous too” (p.55).


Basseches, M., & Mascolo, M. F. (2010). Psychotherapy as a developmental process. New York: Routledge.

“Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.”

Graham, P. (2006). How to do what you love.

There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.

To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.

Watts, A. (1951) The wisdom of insecurity: a message for an age of anxiety.

“It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They achieve what they want laboriously; they possess what they have achieved anxiously; and meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return. New preoccupations take the place of the old, hope excites more hope and ambition more ambition. They do not look for an end to their misery, but simply change the reason for it.”

Seneca. On the shortness of life.

“Not until we are lost
do we begin to understand ourselves”

– Henry David Thoreau

“In all helping professions, conceptual frameworks enable practitioners to make a distinction between their own personality and the professional Persona they need in oder to be successful at work. Professionals (in the empathetic sense of the term) share a knowledge base anchored in research that is quite independent of their own personality. Through their particular take on things, practitioners develop an idiosyncratic under-standing of frameworks absorbed through study. While intuition is always a fine thing to have, the more knowledge informs intuition, the more potent the intuition can be. Moving away from one’s own elementary intuitions and personality and standing outside of it – making it and object of reflection – is a developmental journey of great significance…”

Laske, O.E. (2011). Measuring hidden dimensions. Gloucester, MA: IDM Press.

“We can speak of the emergence of a new type of self-education technology in the information society — computer technology that characterizes self-education’s transition to a qualitatively new level, in which it comes to be a factor of material and intellectual production. The development of technology in the information society fosters the shaping of a type of social relations in which the individual, ridding himself of economic dependency and various forms of social oppression, can, through self-education, realize his creative potential and rise to a new level of spiritual and intellectual freedom” (p.75).


Shuklina, E. A. (2001). Technologies of self-education. Russian Education and Society, 43(2), 57-78.