Silverington - Personal Strategies

William S. Dockens III

- A Psychohistorian‘s Alter Ego
Educated in public schools, and universities, trained in USA government sponsored bio-behavioral laboratories, cutting-edge military science served as a foundation for William S. Dockens III. Nevertheless, as a student of anthropology, comparative philosophy, martial arts and military strategy, the subtle, natural ways of Chinese Taoism became his second foundation. Finally, James Lovelock’s Gaia in combination with mapping of the Neanderthal and Homo sapiens genome provided the perspective that led him into psychohistory. This resume and CV recounts transdisciplinary research that erased the boundaries between a behavioral science paradigm, and science fiction. It mirrors a significant shift in power, from physics, which dominated the 20th century, to biology, which has begun to dominate the 21st. It also helps to define and clarify mathematical psychology’s crucial role as the mediator in the chaos and crisis during the radical changes and transitions necessary for our primitive civilization to bear the weight alarming new concepts.
CV Part Two is about applied the mathematical psychologist and martial artist who travelled the world and did the research. William Silverington Dockens III was born May 19, 1936 in Baltimore Maryland, the first of two sons of a twenty-four year old professional fighter and an eighteen year old housewife. His family, ten mentors and a very long street in a rustbelt city combined to put him on his direct path to DARPA and mould him into what is tantamount to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s alter ego.
William’s father and mother were not a typical pair. His father, William S. Dockens Sr. was son of a professional fighter, William Aldinger Dockens, who fought in the lightweight division. His ambition was to become a doctor, but as the oldest son in a family of thirteen, eight years old William Sr. started delivering papers and helping his father do odd jobs. His best hope to pay for an education was professional boxing. He excelled. Though only a welterweight, he won professional championships in Pennsylvania welterweight, middle weight and heavy weight divisions. He had earned a degree in safety engineering, but was still boxing when he met the youngest daughter of a Baptist minister.
At fourteen, Thelma Mae Sawyer graduated number two in her high school class, but was forced to wait two years before enrolling in college. Shortly after they met, the college dropout eloped with a twenty-four year old professional boxer and joined him on his campaign. So, about a year later, while his father fought a middleweight match, William S. Dockens III was born in Baltimore. As soon as his mother was fit to resume travel, the trio returned to their home in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Thelma, William Sr. and William III would campaign together at the beginning of a sixty-six year journey through life. For Thelma, the journey would be interrupted only by her husband’s death at the age of ninety, but William III would experience a dramatic change after just two and a half years.
Reverend J. L. Sawyer and his wife, Minerva L. were not pleased when their youngest daughter left Bennett College to marry a “prize fighter.” Nevertheless, if the graduate of Morehouse Baptist College in Atlanta, whose bride withdrew from Spelman College, ever had intended to hold a grudge against his daughter and her fierce husband, there was a good chance that William III would have squelched it. The devout Baptist couple had three children, two daughters and a six year old son who drowned. So when Thelma’s second son was born, a little over a year later after William, her parents agreed to take care of William, while his father boxed, took various odd jobs and his mother tended her second child—Reginald Delano.
William III’s complex, nomadic, life-style began as he shuttled, back and forth, between Harrisburg and Snow Hill Maryland. Frequent, abrupt changes intensified intimate, relationships with his parents, his brother, his grandparents and his mother’s older sister Jessye, who taught in a college. His grandparents nicknamed him “Goldchild,” and everyone, except his brother, was convinced that he was. His mother was convinced because he walked early, was toilet trained before his first birthday and learned to read when he was five. His father was impressed by his oldest son’s boxing skills at three years old. His grandparents were pleased with his behavior in church services, twice and sometimes three times a week. The congregation was entertained by the three year olds enthusiastic attempts to sing and they marveled when he recited a short poem during the Christmas pageant. Nevertheless, all of the adults in William III’s life held a profound belief in the cliché, “spare the rod and spoil the child,” and grammatically correct English as a prelude to a college education was assumed.
Startling contrasts between the rough neighborhoods and community housing his parents and brother inhabited in Harrisburg and the sleepy small-town parish house in Snow Hill made adapting to the radically diverse roles of son of a champion boxer and grandson of the pastor increasingly difficult. Shortly after his grandparents and aunt moved to Dover Delaware, his life became much worse.
William was five when the shuttling ceased and the fighting started, sometimes because he was the son of a champion boxer, sometimes for no apparent reason. The first significant fight was the shortest. He was six years old. His first day of school, the first grade teacher asked the class to draw a picture that showed her their best work. A boy sitting across from him compared their pictures, scribbled on William III’s picture and laughed. One punch, and the boy was crying, his mouth bleeding on his inferior drawing and the boxer’s son had to stay after school. Thus the teacher met a worried Thelma, who lamented the fact, but upon seeing the evidence believed the boy deserved to be punched. The teacher seized the opportunity presented by overcrowding in the first year class and two few students in the second. William was the first of a few students chosen to be taught by the second grade teacher. Consequently, after a few preliminary tests, William’s first year of school was as a second grader, but his second year was at Kinsman Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio’s largest rust-belt city. William III’s first year in Harrisburg would seem like an extended picnic in comparison.

Escape to and from Lower-Kinsman
Rev. J. L. Sawyer purchased the large mansion that would be renovated to become an apartment house and serve as the foundation of what became a moderately successful real estate business. The lower floor was divided into two large apartments. The Sawyers, which included the reverend, his wife and his oldest daughter (when she was on summer vacation), would occupy the front apartment, His youngest daughter and her family lived in back apartment. In addition to his extended family, Rev. Sawyer’s two sisters and their families also lived in Cleveland, but not in the Kinsman area.
Kinsman School was named after Kinsman Road, the street that was to become the social psychological measuring rod with which William S. Dockens III’s would measure and compare urban environments on three continents. Lower Kinsman was a ghetto that rapidly developed into a slum. There were three kinds of kids: those who could fight well, those who could run fast and those whose mothers had to take them to and from school every day. Plentiful jobs during the war no doubt contributed mightily to the fact that a disproportionate number of Cleveland’s famous champion boxers and athletes on Ohio’s state championship track teams grew up in the Lower Kinsman area. Fear of violence, lack of money, crime and alcohol created anger in many. The Dockens and the Sawyers responded with rage. Whereas extreme anger can provoke murder, extreme rage can provoke mass murder. Rage was useful on Lower Kinsman, but World War II and three mentors would help the extended family to break their clinch with Lower Kinsman’s expanding slum, forever.
William S. Dockens Sr., who was a recreation worker at a religious daycare center, found a mentor in the Commissioner of Parks, Culture and Recreation for Cleveland Ohio. The draft created an opening as the supervisor in Cleveland’s toughest slum area. It would require a couple of college courses, but the safety engineer, former champion, professional boxer ranked highest on the list of qualifiers. The family’s second mentor, principal of an elementary school, encouraged Thelma Dockens, then secretary, to attend night school and become a teacher. That both William III’s parents attended Western Reserve University at the same time, while living on Lower Kinsman determined this Curriculum Vita in ways that are obvious now, but would have seemed quite implausible at the time.
Blatant ambitions and latent potential in Harrisburg became aggressively executed reality in Cleveland where William Sr.’s career in recreation combined with his passion for boxing, medicine and his ambitions for his two sons. Boxing lessons, fun for William as a three-year-old, became mandatory and at five. William III was the youngest to complete the long hike requirements for Harrisburg Boy Scouts. He became a Cub Scout, and partially due to his fighting ability, patrol leader of the Kinsman Homes scout troop. William III learned chess at seven. At ten, he easily defeat his father and any of the adults in his father’s new circle of professional friends. Both sons where altar boys at St. Andrews Episcopal Church and William took over Reginald’s paper route when his brother tiered of it. William III enjoyed watching boxing matches, listening to Opera with his father and imitating Larry Adler’s a classical harmonica performances from his father’s record collection. His father read poetry with a passion. And of course there were his father’s books, on what seemed to be every imaginable subject: medicine, athletics, history, sex and even a translation of Hitler’s Mien Kampf. However, race-relations were the central theme that dominated William S. Dockens Sr.’s intellect, focused his rage, determined his politics, influenced his profession and his practically monopolized his conversation. That William S. Dockens Sr.’s father, William A. Dockens was the son of a Zulu and a missionary’s daughter was a source of pride. It also complicated things, because Dockens and Sawyer mixed ancestry made racial hate irrational.
Thelma’s influence, though much less dramatic, also had immediate and profound effects for her son’s survival. William liked to see his mother and father dance to jazz music, sing and sometimes recite poetry together. William III thought it peculiar, she love to sing jazz, but her piano playing skills were limited to church songs of the most boring kind. Of crucial importance to her son’s future resume’s, as secretary, his mother was responsible for cleaning out her school’s attic and disposing of “old” books. She threw most of them away, but gave science books and Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Tanglewood Tales & Wonder Book to her sons. With help from a dictionary, William completed all of the books and delighted in reading the family dictionary—cover to cover. Most important, William discovered his mother’s psychology course book. Its tests for color perception were so fascinating; he, at ten years old, read the whole book and decided he wanted to be a psychologist—the kind that “was smart in color vision.”
Thelma’s rage was Yin to her husband’s Yang. Though equally as dynamic and quite vocal at home, her conversation in public was minimal. She preferred to listen. Thus the consequences of his parents’ move to Kinsman Road, the influence of their mentors, and the determination to change lives and professions would have profound and immediate consequences for their sons’ education and, more dangerously, on their sons’ rage. In stark contrast to psychology’s color perception tests, that inspired and delighted young William, events directly attributable to the educational aspect of psychological testing would magnify his and his family’s rage into a major psychological problem—at school.
Unlike the clichés about “new kids on the block,” seven year old William III had no trouble convincing boys, even two to three years older; his proper place was near the top of the pecking order as far as fighting was concerned. The education system was much more difficult. Without testing, William was placed in a class that would demonstrate how different Cleveland’s school system was from Harrisburg’s. Weeks passed before the mistake was discovered. His group was about to read a book that William had already read. Three years later, psychology came to Kinsman with an ambitious, city-wide program to upgrade the quality of education, for those with learning difficulties and for “gifted” students. Test results placed William in Kinsman’s newly created class for gifted students, where he would meet the family’s third mentor. After almost three years of learning practically nothing in school, the new teacher discovered what William had learned from the books his mother had brought home. William and a white boy from Tennessee were so far ahead of the class that they were given an IQ test and promoted to the next grade level. Disaster resulted.
Despite their equality in overall performance, William was younger so his IQ was higher. Instant acknowledgement that he was not only the smartest kid in the class of “gifted” students, but also the smartest kid in Kinsman School was bound to have repercussions. William immediately became the darling of all but one of the few black teachers and the target of two of the three white teachers most responsible for evaluating his work. And Thelma’s insistence that he wear a white shirt and tie to school every day was like painting a target on his back. At first, a few demonstrations of his fighting ability prevented bullying by students two to four years older than he was. But while his opponents increased greatly in size and strength, William’s growth would be delayed for five years, and he would not have to shave until twenty. So, the fights outside of the classroom grew more frequent, more difficult and for the first time in his life, he started losing.
Worse, he lost practically all of the fights inside the classroom. The science teacher, in charge if the “enrichment,” class and William III were natural enemies. He could pass all of her science tests with the information from the books Thelma brought home. His performance was outstanding when he was tested on the names of star constellations because he remembered the gods and heroes from Hawthorn’s books. Experiments in his back yard where he plotted the course of Orion with the aid of a shoebox camera and observed a war between two ant colonies was much more interesting. Children’s classes at Cleveland’s Art Museum gave William an unsurpassable advantage in anything that required illustrations. And, when a visiting inspector from the Cleveland Board of Education introduced statistics to the social studies class, William alone understood enough to ask questions. The previously skeptical social studies became a supporter, but the science teacher’s attitude remained the same. Other kids expressed their hostility by joking about her hostility toward William. His performance reflected the new school environment. His father, alarmed by his son’s sudden dislike for school and low grades in spelling visited the school and talked to the principal. But the science teacher’s had no problems convincing William Sr. that she “only had his son’s best interest at heart.” William III was punished and threatened with punishment because the “Goldchild” was not living up to an amazingly high IQ score learned to avoid punishment, remain calm and take revenge whenever and wherever possible His father was busy and away a large part of the day and often attended classes and studied at night. His mother did the same. His brother made friends: but William III’s part Collie was his only, constant companion and dependable ally; his grandmother his only comfort during a year and a half of what felt like hell. His fierce rage and unusual patience were his weapons and his salvation on Lower Kinsman.

Escape to and from Middle-Kinsman
The United States was entering the cold war when William began studies at Rawlings Junior High School. Adapting promised, at first, to be an extension of Kinsman Elementary School, with one exception. Low scores on a standard tests placed William III in the group of slow learners. His performance improved, however, partially because lack of resources led to his inclusion in a science class with a teacher he respected, and a metal class taught by the husband of one of one of his mother’s friends. And, most important, Thelma was a teaching apprentice at the school. Again, a fight became a life changing event.
Fights at Rawlings were more frequent and fiercer than at Kinsman, especially among the girls. Three of William’s many incidents with older boys would increase his rage and change his life radically. The first was with a boy who, though not much bigger than William, bullied William’s much larger cousin. One day the bully attacked William with a sucker punch from behind that knocked William to the floor. William’s father warned that when hit you might see five people instead of one: and the one in the middle did it. “Get up and dance until your head clears!” William’s first punch was to the bully’s solar plexus. It took about five minutes for the gym teacher to revive the bully. The second fight was with a white boy who was a little older, but again about the same size. It started in the woodwork class and was resumed on the street. William gave him a broken nose and two black eyes that brought his mother to the school, complaining to the principal. The third was a argument with his perpetual rival who said bad things about Thelma. It never developed into a fight, but William and the boy were forced to stay after school. The woodshop opponent, who had recovered from the two black eyes, and two tough black girls were also in the same detention room. The girls and the woodshop opponent got into a fight and everybody was sent to the principal’s office. William was not involved. Nevertheless, the girls were given a reprimand and the boys were given a choice between either corporal punishment or suspension. William, feeling wronged and alone, chose suspension, a choice that led to Thelma’s meeting with their principal, who would ultimately evaluate Thelma’s practice teaching.
A delicate situation was made worse by a principal, whose cold blue eyes, authoritarian speech and German name, could reinforce WW II, Hollywood’s most blatant stereotype of “the enemy.” His views on the necessity of minimal standards for the school’s Lower Kinsman area residents raised Thelma’s silent rage to its boiling point, but he never knew it. The principal approved that phase of her apprentice performance. William did not receive any punishment.

Negative Knowledge
Complex relationships between William III’s performance and Human Resources statistics would become increasingly complex and critical. Nevertheless, the result of that meeting provoked the calm methodical Thelma into radically changing her career, William’s school and the history of the Dockens family. William Sr. went into action. He used his Supervisor of Recreation powers to get a special transfer permitting both sons to attend Alexander Hamilton Junior High School in the Middle Kinsman area—starting the following term. And Thelma, after completing final phases of her practice teaching and her Masters Degree in history, returned to Western Reserve for a conversion course. She changed her teaching level specialty from high schools to elementary schools. Like when she was fourteen years old, and second in her high school class, Thelma received highest honors in college and graduate school. On the other hand, the disappointment she suffered from her son’s fights and poor performance, already profound, was about be to get deeper.
The Kinsman trolley, that William III rode to reach Alexander Hamilton Junior High School, crossed the railroad tracks, passed a lush, green, park area surrounded by elegantly moderate, middle class houses, on its route that included a stop on the corner across the street from his new school. There were not many black students and no black teachers. The principal had a perfectly bald head, a Scottish name, and a calm reassuring manner that earned him the respect and admiration of students and teachers. William and Reginald, who were dressed like identical twins, though by no means outstanding, were among the best dressed students. Without testing, Thelma’s sons were admitted to the lower levels of classes, where they remained until the senior year, when the elected courses determined the composition of the classes. William continued to read outside literature, and ignore the school’s textbooks, but the main public library replaced the books that Thelma no longer supplied. A gold child among many gold children, William III was not outstanding in any respect.
The rage of the minority Jewish and black students was apparent. Their rage was not like William Sr.’s, Reginald’s or William III’s, but like Thelma’s and her father’s rage. The aggressiveness in the Middle Kinsman district was every bit as violent. The difference between Middle Kinsman and Upper Kinsman aggressiveness led to exceptionally bright Jewish students choosing Alexander Hamilton over an affluent suburban school where they said bullying based on class, religion, and outstanding scholarship could make life intolerable both physically and psychologically. With the exception of some tough Italian kids and tough blacks, Middle Kinsman aggressiveness tended to be more psychological than physical. Despite ranking low on the puberty growth curve, William III’s fighting ability made bullying risky, but there were physical attacks by much larger opponents and gangs. Permanent damage to his right eye by a teenage gang from a neighborhood similar to Lower Kinsman and an attack by a gang in his home neighborhood transformed William into a patient, and determined avenger.
Patience and his growth curve would solve the problem of physical attacks, but were less than useless against a subtle, far more dangerous problem. In contrast to physical attacks, adapting to Middle Kinsman psychological violence proved a severe challenge, especially from his social studies teacher. With few exceptions, William III had few problems with teachers, but Middle Kinsman teachers made class and political distinctions that he had never encountered. The Cold War, start of the Korean War and the rise of Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist campaign in the United States Senate justified raising the topic at the junior high school level, but the enthusiastic social studies teacher accused some of his students, including William III and a pretty olive skinned girl, of having “possible Communist sympathies.” The olive skinned girl called the teacher an son-of-a bitch and was ordered to leave the class room.
The concept, as presented, was incomprehensible to William, but he understood that being accused of having Communist sympathies was not a compliment. He related the encounter for his parents along with a question. What is a Communist? His parents were furious and the ensuing argument as to how the Dockens family should respond was fierce. Their argument touched complex union, racial and political issues that confused their teenage son. Union membership was a particularly sensitive topic, because William Sr. had been a union organizer for the AFL-CIO labor union, an organization that had gone through a phase where they expelled communist affiliated organizations. So, he wanted to demand a meeting in the principal’s office where the social studies teacher would have to apologize to their son. Thelma thought her husband’s idea was heroic, but stupid, since the teacher, and all of the teacher’s friends would make William III pay for the social studies teacher’s forced apology—plus interest. His mother won. William was commanded to say nothing, but his parents agreed that he should know how to react if it occurred again. If, and only if, he were asked, he should simply say he doesn’t “know what they mean.” And, in respect to real Communists, whom his father had met, his father gave him three negative rules to follow. Don’t join them. Don’t oppose them. And, no matter what, don’t trust them or any other politician!
He followed his parent’s instructions and survived the social studies class, otherwise, William’s academic performance was mixed. Alexander Hamilton’s art teacher inspired his class with his WW II exploits in the tank corps in Germany and humorous criticism of their work. His class responded by winning an extraordinary number of prizes in the scholastic art show. William III’s two monochrome oil chalk drawings, a nude on the back of a hydra and a view from an urban rooftop earned him a first place gold and third place certificate. William scored highest number of points to rank first in the senior year science class taught by an inspiring lecturer, who showed remaining effects of a childhood polio attack. He failed algebra. The algebra teacher, without asking for any details, told him that she saw the fight between William and a tough Italian kid through her classroom window. William, whose wrestling ability surprised his rival, thought the fight was the reason for his failure. It was not. At John Adams, and again in college, he would suffer the pain of discovering the real reason—algebra.
William entered John Adams High School the next year after Alexander Hamilton had given him his first academic failure and last Middle Kinsman scholastic triumphs. Academic failures at John Adams merely compounded the negative effects of Middle Kinsman on William III as they combined with increasingly complex relationships between members of his extended family. Problems began when a returning WW II veteran reclaimed the supervisor position that had promoted William Sr. He could not return to boxing, so his best option was a job on a conveyer belt at Fisher Bodies, a subcontractor with General Motors. William Sr. adapted to working in the factory that manufactured car doors when another opportunity came. Seville Homes, a suburb community, needed a recreation supervisor that demanded William Sr.’s special talents and a few more. In addition to professional boxing skills, commission as a special police officer and a permit to carry Colt 38 police special revolver were essential. The opening came as his wife was also adapting to difficult problems on a new job. Thelma’s mentor had placed her on the fast track to becoming a school principal. Consequently, after a short teaching career at the school where she had been her mentor’s secretary, she became an assistant principal, serving at another school, under a demanding stranger.
The Dockens adapted quickly. William Sr. taught his extended family how to safely handle his new weapon. The gun was exciting, but two teenage boys had to sit quietly on countless occasions as Thelma and her husband had long discussions about middle management that often began at the dinner table and continued into the night. The immediate effects of their parents’ changes in status and occupations on the lives of their sons seemed at first to be minimal: but stark danger signs soon warned the ambitious couple of serious problems.
William III, who had grown into a middle weight over one summer, had avenged most perceived wrongs by Lower Kinsman, Middle Kinsman opponents and gangs that took advantage of him when he was small. His father’s prosecution of the perpetrators through the courts saved one member of the gang that injured William III’s eye and a psychological tormentor escaped by attending school in a neighborhood far away were regretted exceptions. However, his school performance was not nearly as successful. Though entrance tests classified him among students with the highest potential, he failed algebra and another crucial course his first term at John Adams. Worse, William Sr. discovered his younger son’s name an official police teenage gang’s register. He had the name removed and forced Reginald to withdraw from the gang.
Further action swiftly followed. The boys were shocked by radical changes in their lives when the Dockens’ part of the extended family moved to Middle Kinsman: away from Thelma’s parents, away from his grandmother and away from William’s dog. Their new, very ordinary, single family, house was within easy walking distance to Alexander Hamilton Jr. High School and a mere half mile from the Shaker Heights boarder that marked the beginning of Upper Kinsman. Their parent’s reactions to their nearest to the class border left no doubt in their son’s minds that the move to Middle Kinsman was intended to be merely an intermediate stop on the way to crossing the border to Upper Kinsman and beyond.
William III had a room to himself, but he missed his grandparents and was not allowed to move his dog. He visited them sometimes. Plastic covers on new, colonial style furniture in an immaculately kept new home irritated him. Isolated in his room, he used Vicente Gomez records borrowed from the public library to teach himself to play classical and flamenco guitar. Through the guitar expressed his darkest and deepest thoughts and emotions far better than anything he cared to share with anybody he knew. It became a way of talking to himself and not caring if anyone or everyone was listening. At school, long and middle distance running on for John Adams state championship track team created the illusion for his parents that their son had become a team player. And, his duties as caretaker in the science laboratory instead of attending study halls hid the fact that he hadn’t. A reputation gained during his first, avenging year was enough to avoid conflicts for the next two years of high school. He continued to read only the books that interested him. Predictably, his choices included practically none of those assigned by his teachers.
No one was surprised when, competing for grades with Middle Kinsman’s “gold children,” William graduated in the lower 15% of his class. On the other hand, his college entrance exam scores surprised everyone by placing him among the upper 15% of those expected to graduate. Test scores and athletic ability were the reasons he was admitted to Ohio State University’s College of Arts & Sciences. Thus, continued the already exceedingly complex relationship between William III’s performance and Human Resources statistics, a relationship that would become increasingly complex and critical.

The Moral Obligation
William’s mother understood, but his father had difficulty accepting the fact that punishment and negative measures were ineffective against their teen age son’s rage and determination. However, to guard against future academic catastrophes, William’s parents agreed to offer him a privileged opportunity that no College students from Lower Kinsman could afford. They promised to pay for his education through medical school, if he would be practical, and study medicine instead of psychology. Convincing his parents that a career in studying color vision was a viable alternative to becoming a doctor or a lawyer was absurd. So William III offered his parents a compromise. He would take premedical courses with a major in psychology.
The possible divergent roles of the parent’s and the son’s Ohio State University and Kinsman Road strategies were apparent from the moment William Sr. and Thelma left William III at Freshman Camp. Fears of academic failure were definitely justified, but a danger from another, far more potent source surfaced. The novelty of his appearance, classical and flamenco solos on his guitar, leadership and acting ability in presenting a humorous skit combined with student camp leaders’ determination to make him feel comfortable. Impressed by the advantage of the knowledge he had gained by attending the freshman camp, his seventeen roommates elected William room captain. Thus the unexpected, pleasurable experience continued when he moved into a dormitory room built into the side of Ohio State’s football stadium, with but one exception. A student, who had transferred from John Adams to a Beyond Kinsman high school, made no secret of requesting a room change to avoid sharing a room with two black students. William III’s new reality came into sharp focus when his faculty advisor, inadvertently, explained clearly and in painful detail the complex statistical relationships between Upper Kinsman, Middle Kinsman, Lower Kinsman, Beyond Kinsman and Ohio State’s Medical School, statistical relationships that would determine the rest of his academic life.
Upper Kinsman and Middle Kinsman parents preferred Ivy League, eastern schools and often chose Ohio State when economics and/or academic qualifications precluded acceptance. She warned William III not to be fooled by the ease that he was admitted to the College of Arts & Sciences. Fifty percent of the students admitted to the freshman class would not survive the first year. But he need not worry. His score on the admissions test predicted an 85% chance of graduation. As for medical school, there were two quotas, one for Jewish students and one for black students. Again, William need not worry. The Jewish quota was an upper limit that was always filled, making competition between qualified Jewish students intense. The quota for qualified black students was a lower limit that was seldom reached, let alone exceeded. Finally, extra-curricular activities like athletics, student senate and leadership could play a decisive role in considering medical school candidates.
The influences of human resources statistics, and people’s reactions to them, would not immediately effect William III’s determination to fulfill his bargain with his parents and their Kinsman Road strategy. They were mere abstractions, the first time heard them, but they were to be repeated, ad infinitum. They would be paired with psychology courses, confirmed by his experiences and finally included as an essential aspect of his profession. Some statistics would seem like potent forces. Others were myths and metaphors that people in power lived by. Most people, like his parents, were ignorant of the central role these quasi magical numbers played in their lives. William was too, until a charismatic statistics professor explained how a WW I ambulance driver predicted the beginning of WW II, within a month of its start. He also showed how shrewd, commonsense question may, in some cases, be superior to a sophisticated, statistics model applied to selecting combat pilots. Lectures in signal detection combined with Air Force Reserve Officers Training instilled a lasting respect for military research strategies. Reinforcement came when William’s psychology faculty advisor used game theory to show how decisions contrary to those suggested by statistical principles could have serious consequences for decision making.
Despite problems adapting and roller coaster report cards that threatened to end his medical school bargain with his parents; life at Ohio State University gave their son everything that Middle Kinsman and John Adams High School did not. The assigned reading for psychology courses was as interesting as his mother’s psychology book, but the professor in psychophysics practically ignored color vision chapters as “unessential.” Worse, the professor for learning and cognition, a Skinnerian, omitted cognition as “unessential.” It was the opposite in premedical sciences, where detail of every course was treated as if someone’s life depended on it. A fact became increasingly apparent. With the exception of the introduction to philosophy and a couple of courses in English composition, William found courses that lacked laboratories surreal. His struggle with mathematics became an enigma to his parents, faculty advisor, psychology department advisor and William. His failures in abstract mathematics threatened his academic future he had no problems applying algebra and geometry to psychological statistics, quantum physics and relativity. His grades in chemistry were a disaster. Early difficulties in anatomy were overcome and he received an instructor’s special permission to attend graduate seminars regarding the “organizer” in embryology.
William III’s erratic academic performance confused his views regarding the psychology and psychiatry combination and began threatening the basis for his bargain with his parents. He was sure they would not understand, but deep respect for his parents’ Kinsman Road dreams prevented him from ever sharing: the bulk of his growing knowledge in science, the significance of his increasing rage, the growing conflicts and deep doubts about his future. His quest for answers would include destinations on three continents. It began in Washington D. C.

Howard University in Washington D.C.
Proud ambitious parents and a subliminal rage lurking beneath the surface was practically ubiquitous. Ironically, events during his next five years would transform all William III’s academic knowledge into hyphenated disciplines and reduce what had been, seething rage, to disciplined, soft, breathing exercises. He would first amplify, and then combine them into the integrated resolution that Asimov and he would call Psychohistory.
Howard University is in Washington D.C. Government employment and the University combined to give the nation’s capital the largest, most affluent middle class black community in the country. A relic of the civil war, the East Coast epicenter of the civil rights struggle, and the intellectual cradle where black parents with ambitions like the Dockens sent their children, the university was an oasis of relative calm in a neighborhood that resembled Lower Kinsman in every violent respect except; there were no organized teenage gangs in 1960. William’s Kinsman Road experienced added to the zeitgeist of contemporary USA’s Washington D.C. to make Washington the crucible where the rage from Kinsman Road would boil over: and Howard University the fire that would drive the reaction.
Here, William’s entrance exam scores and undergraduate training at Ohio State University, distinguished between William S. Dockens III and other graduate students. Though he hardly appreciated all of the advantages at the time, psychology professors at Howard University were excellent and his advisor was superb. The head of the department, a strict, no nonsense experimental psychologist, was his faculty advisor. Philosophy of science was paramount. So, learning theory, perception and experimental methods, courses were difficult, but as exciting as he could have wished. The combined influences of Hull’s mathematical learning theory, Egon Brunswick’s conceptual framework of psychology and Edward C. Tolman’s learning theory would determine the course of William’s career. On the other hand, C. G. Jung’s theory of clinical psychology raised uncomfortable questions regarding the relationships between psychiatry and experimental psychology. And ominously, his faculty advisor’s course in the history of psychology, combined with a course in social psychology to reveal Social Darwinism’s gross, racist, and misogynist elements as crucial elements in the very fabric of theoretical assumptions in both psychology and biology.
Most disappointing, William wanted to extend Christine Ladd-Franklin’s research on color-theories and evolution: but his advisor said the department lacked the material resources to follow a path created by a woman whose theory would be difficult to defend, a research that had been in suspension for three decades. As a distant second choice research project, William was forced to substitute an experiment requiring rigidity, anxiety and intelligence tests, a poor replacement for his childhood dream of color perception. If he could not follow his heart, he would study the enemy.
It took only one year, a record in the department at the time, for the highly motivated William III to complete all course work and have his thesis plans approved. His grades were good. So, his pleased faculty adviser arranged a summer job at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) and, he was admitted to Howard University’s Medical School.

Mathematics in Megaprojects
Social Science Analyst was an impressive job title and the pay was good for someone whose duties were confined to editing a series of biannual conferences. The official name of the project was Conference of Social and Physical Environmental Variables as Determinants of Mental Health. Participants were from practically the whole spectrum of scientific disciplines and social professions that could reasonably be associated with the urban condition. The ecological perspective, the primarily focus on environmental issues, along with the broad scope of the conference fit very neatly into Egon Brunswick’s The Conceptual Framework of Psychology. William III had embraced Brunswick’s ecological psychology as the basis of his psychology/psychiatry agreement with his parents.
At first, it seemed that summers at NIMH would prove to be equivalent to all his years of academic training, but he inevitably became emotionally, as opposed to scientifically, involved in the project. As he read, it became increasingly clear post WWII Europe encountered urban problems on the same scale as those he had experienced on Kinsman Road, with Jews as victims instead of Negroes. And, nearby Baltimore, where William was born, was their prime example. Thus an increasingly puzzled, enraged and somewhat confused graduate student was introduced to futuristic research methods and advanced elements of General Systems Theory.
For William, mathematical biology unexpectedly became the pivotal issue. In one paper, experiments by the group’s ethologist attracted attention because crowding produced pathologically aggressiveness and bizarre sexual behavior in both wild and domesticated rats. The group’s mathematical biophysicist suggested his specialty as the mathematical foundations of biology, including human social behavior. Competition between a Hull’s mathematical learning theory and the cognitive learning theory adopted by ecological psychologist Egon Brunswik had been the basis of a conflict between William and the Howard University’s learning theory specialist. On the other hand, the lasting influence of his premedical and statistical courses at Ohio State University instilled a deep respect for mathematical data. Nevertheless, the gap between his academic training and Social and Physical Environmental Variables as Determinants of Mental Health was enormous, because in William III’s Kinsman/Baltimore context, the variables were unnamed and not quantified. Revelations regarding Germany, the Holocaust and the US government’s execution of the Marshall Plan for reconstruction of post-war Europe amplified the role of political decisions in determining the differences in pragmatic approaches to European and United States urban problems.
Relationships with the family of an Austrian, Jewish, psychologist would radically change William III’s perception of the Holocaust. They met at one of the quasi professional NIMH staff parties. He visited his new friend’s family regularly, on Sundays. They usually played Chess, before dinner and afterward, the Austrian family trio played classical music, with the psychologist accompanying his two daughters on piano. Then William would play. He always played last and always solo. At a Sunday dinner, William learned that the family had lost over fifty relatives in the Holocaust, the number almost equally divided between the psychologist and his wife. Immediately a stronger bond formed, because William felt he had experienced consequences similar to the senseless rage and aggression that Hitler and his party had vented against high IQs like Einstein, Freud and William’s new friend and colleague.
The primary consequence of William’s NIMH experience was his increasing awareness of the paramount role government and politics in every aspect of his formal education. His education on Kinsman was in public schools. His education at Ohio State University was at a state institution that was partially financed by a United States government land grant. Howard University was a government institution. The United States government was serving him well, but its actions were contradictory: its motives conflicting, the education confusing. From editing the conferences and conversations at his parent’s breakfast table, William understood why the government would fund a study of Baltimore that would suggest solutions that would never be implemented. He also understood why the Marshall Plan employed in Europe would be implemented and would be affective.
He had also learned a great deal from editing psychologist friend’s theoretical papers. However, its theory included compassion as a critical therapeutic element while the conferences suggested biomathematics statistics architectural solutions, all of them impersonal. Medical school would amplify the problem. Consequently, dilemma resulting from conflicts between public and private priorities would dictate the path that William III’s life would follow and his formulation of psychohistory. Nevertheless, the agreement he made with his parents kept his direction on course continued through medicine and psychiatry on course.
Howard University’s Medical School admitted William III among its usual number of “golden” children. Bright students from the Caribbean were notable exceptions, but Middle Kinsman and Lower Kinsman type backgrounds, proud ambitious parents and a subliminal rage lurking beneath the surface was practically ubiquitous among his USA classmates. Events relating to an institution in transition amplified this rage and directed it toward a generation collision between generations. Transition between administrations and staff is often difficult, but acrimonious relationships between some staff members and one instructor’s ambitious misuse of statistics in evaluating class performance ignited everybody’s latent rage, the result a veritable firestorm.
The evaluation conflict was especially traumatic for William III. A mere three months before, he had won a heated argument regarding statistics when his M.Sc. thesis project created controversy with a member of the graduate committee. Worse, the course in psychiatry was decades behind the methods and strategies he had learned at NIMH. His reaction was so intense, his disappointment so great he was in danger of failing out of medical school. Worst of all, his wife left home when increasing disappointment with the introductory course in psychiatry caused her to doubt his agreement with his parents and what she perceived to be the Dockens family’s obsessive dreams to escape Kinsman road. All combined to generate conditions that obliterated his marriage to his college sweetheart. Their marriage hadn’t survived a year. The complications of divorce and separation required two years—two years in professional, but not emotional, limbo. And, nothing his Jewish friend at NIMH or the psychiatrist at Howard University’s Medical School could help, though they sincerely tried.

Washington D.C.’s “In” Crowd
“Stellar evolution begins with the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud” 1)
Suddenly everything and everybody was transformed into one powerful emotion that enveloped William III like an enormous black cloud. A hurricane of anger, failure, and disappointment threatened. Would he be blown away by the raging wins fanned by racial conflict, the Cold War or emotionally collapse under the unredeemable debt he felt he owed his parents? Relief was to come from many unexpected sources.
He achieved a low-level economic independence concerning food and lodging by convincing the owners of a newly started jazz club that a classical and flamenco guitarist would add class, variety and support for the sophisticated trio. The female vocalist and star attraction agreed. So, William played alternate sets with jazz musicians and was given free Italian styled meals prepared by one of the club owner’s father—an excellent chef.
At the Bohemian Caverns, in the company jazz artists, the “In Crowd” could focus on the music: their relative anonymity guaranteed. No customer or club employee would recognize them when they were not in the club. For somewhat nefarious reasons, illegal activities such as prostitution and gambling were strictly forbidden, and, for the same reasons, anyone from the exceedingly tough neighborhood that attacked either an “In Crowd” customer, or any of the very attractive hostesses, risked serious reprisals, both from local police and from less restricted sources, known to be far more effective. Thus, as a guitarist, the medical school, graduate school, dropout had privileged and unobtrusive access to Washington D.C.’s power elite, when they were at play.
Nevertheless, temptations at the Bohemian Caverns could be exceedingly dangerous. His Puritan upbringing on Lower Kinsman gave him immunity against the host of sociopaths and drug dealers that prey on musicians. A jazz musician taught him the value of musical scales, sophisticated dress appropriate for “In Crowd” performers, and gave him valuable advice as to which club owners and engagements were reliable for extra jobs. When Mexican composer Manuel Ponce’s mazurka was unobtainable by normal means, William’s friend gave him a photo copy from the Library of Congress. Another friend, an internationally known jazz guitarist, arranged for William to have dinner with flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya. The result was a technique lesson from the guitarist and an arrangement to order a master guitar from an English importer.
On another whim, he played for a flamenco dancer who ran a mid-town dance studio. She made him lead guitarist for her dance troop that performed in theaters and embassies.
Many Europeans, visitors and embassy staff, frequented “the Cave:” but few possessed the one and only requirement to become an accepted member of “The In Crowd at the Bohemian Caverns—sincerity.” Sincerity was the essential element in the mystique, the sophistication and quality that pervaded the smoke filled, underground water hole of Washington D.C.’s jazz elites. Musicians who lacked it would not be invited, or even allowed, to play at Monday night jam sessions. Waitresses and members of the audience could not last long without it. An extremely profane expletive that started with the word “jive” was applied to the insincere people. Once earned it was never revoked. Subliminal rage and the Lower Kinsman type environment in the Howard University neighborhood were primary reasons for choosing to study martial arts during this crucial period and curiosity, merely secondary. For what are, in hindsight, obvious reasons: the rank and of his teacher were never revealed to William, but his duty assignment was given as, “translator” for Naval Intelligence. He told his students that he was giving private lessons in individual combat to “keep in shape.” Consequently, this naval intelligence officer and kung fu enthusiast stationed in Washington D.C. would teach the medical school dropout the Chinese art T’ai Chi Chuan—translated “Great Ultimate boxing.” And the definitive decision would have an avalanche affect that would profoundly and permanently alter William III’s professional priorities and his most intimate relationships: especially the precariously balanced triadic relationships between William Sr. and his two sons.
T’ai Chi is the conclusion to which the ancient Chinese collective mind came after contemplating itself for over three thousand years. It is supported by a philosophy of never-ending transition and change and concludes a concept of “Oneness.” William III would take fifty-three years to thoroughly understand this pattern of reasoning. Nevertheless, it was apparent from his first lesson that “Great Ultimate boxing” is worse than an inadequate translation of something that English language and logic strictly preclude. Tai Chi transformed his rage and anger into a softer, gentler, much more dangerous emotion—much like a jaguar’s paw. Whether the people around him accepted the “Oneness” of T’ai Chi Chuan as ultimate fact was irrelevant, but its consequences were not. His father and brother’s gladiator attitudes and professional boxing skills proved to be no match against the potentially lethal art. Effective techniques developed by Taoist monks and the no-rules-of- engagement ethics of William’s naval intelligence instructor mocked fighting as sport or entertainment.
That Oneness had succeeded where psychiatry and psychology had failed was a simple fact, nevertheless, two years elapsed before William III could answer the life defining question—if this is reality, then Who have I become?
Who indeed? Life as a professional musician in Washington D.C. gave new answers to countless, emotional questions, many that it would never have occurred to William to ask. Practicing T’ai Chi Chuan's forms and Segovia's musical scales increased his skills and ease his pain. Subtle techniques neutralized one physical attack in the club and prevented two others, one on the way home and another outside. Remarkably, all three cases resulted in frightened rather than injured opponents and mystery for surprised onlookers who witnessed the attempted attacks.
Deep within his T’ai Chi Chuan protected dark cloud; it became immediately obvious to William III that Middle Kinsman was “jive.” Much of his academic education in psychology, psychiatry, history, philosophy and medicine lacked sincerity. And, important aspects of science and religion were diligently engaged in rationalizing ethnic, and gender stereotypes. Their paradigms, like some religious dogmas, seemed to be institutionalized means for “Inheriting” conventional wisdom’s mistakes.
His parents were puzzled. Obviously, Kinsman Road’s guitarist and martial artist Bill Dockens crawled into the Bohemian Caverns cocoon and emerged Washington D.C.’s William S. Dockens III—ecological psychiatrist. But, the transition to psychohistorian would require decades. It took three years for T’ai Chi Chuan oneness to become the definitive to answer his emotional questions regarding Kinsman Road-rage and resolution of personal conflict. Changes were apparent in his music. The first year, jazz fans shared the rage of his flamenco and the ambitions of solos transposed from music by French and Spanish impressionist composers. He was a solitary figure on the stage—focused inward and very alone. He had minimal contact with the powerful and rich—beyond Kinsman types—who satisfied their curiosity about the “In Crowd” and sponsored the flamenco troops tours of embassies in the nation’s capitol. Depression at the beginning of the second year meant Shostakovich’s violin concerto and symphonies resonated with his emotions as he struggled to learn twelve tone scales and Manuel Ponce’s Mazurka and Sonata III. In his performance of classics, soft, velvet, crescendos replaced bombastic aggressive attacks on passages to expressions of anger and rage. Montoya’s one hand arpeggios gave his Flamencos better balance.
His T’ai Chi Chuan instructor’s redeployment to Germany, one and a half years after Bill’s first lesson, marked the beginning of William’s independent study of philosophy and mathematics. Gradually, James Legge’s translation of Taoist classics were followed by Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, Leibniz’s essay on monads, advanced books in philosophical ethics, and volumes from Schaum series of books in elementary set theory and mathematics. His studies were often aided by suggestions from a number of exceptional individuals, whom he met in sunlit libraries, curing the day, or in the artificial light under the stairs in the Bohemian Caverns. Compassionately they shared their unique gifts and experiences with him, their knowledge of music, art mathematics. Equally important, they shared their cultures, predominantly USA and European but some South and Central American.
One day, in 1962, time seemed to collapse as the force of history reduced William III’s past, present and future into a single insightful moment that would determine the rest of his life. The United States attempted to bring down Fidel Castro’s Cuban government, and failed. Encircling the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons added maximum tension to what had, up to this point, been a “Cold War.” The aftermath was a Soviet attempt to place intercontinental missiles on Cuba, followed swiftly by a narrow avoidance of nuclear holocaust on a global scale.
Of course, Washington D. C. would be a high priority target. Seeing his life, for the first time, as probable collateral damage to bellicose politics forced William III to make a series of critical decisions based solely on available information. He knew who he was and what he wanted. Psychology had been his number one priority since the age of ten. Consequently, his options seemed many, but his choices were virtually nonexistent. Egon Brunswik’s The Conceptual Framework of Psychology was the only paradigm that could accommodate NIMH’s general systems psychiatry, Howard University’s experimental psychology, mathematical biophysics, and T’ai Chi Chuan philosophy—in concert. It lacked a learning theory, but Brunswik embraced Edward C. Tolman’s paradigm. And, William was inspired by two University of Minnesota theoreticians’ brilliant critique of Tolman’s learning theory. They were professors. He would go to Minnesota, meet them, and perhaps attend their lectures.
Finally, researchers at NIMH repeatedly mentioned Switzerland and Sweden as admirable post-industrialized societies, the future of urban societies. Both were neutral in the Cold War. Scandinavians and Jazz musicians William met at the Bohemian Caverns and at the Latino club, around the corner, liked Sweden best. At NIMH, he learned of a department of scaling and psychophysics at the Royal University of Stockholm. If he could study mathematical psychology in Stockholm, he would not live anywhere near Kinsman Road or Cleveland Ohio. The move would free him of Kinsman Road and politics, perhaps forever.
Nevertheless, was an ex-medical school student, working as an underpaid guitarist, at a nightclub that was about to be sold. His knew his decision was a day dream, yet it seemed no more fantasy than academic psychology and psychiatry. It had become increasing apparent that psychology, as he had imagined it should be, simply did not exist, certainly not as an organized, unified discipline. Psychological reality was a hodge-podge of competing specialties distributed over several departments, each creating its own version. In the maze of things, color vision was so minor: it was hardly a specialty. Psychiatry was no better, a contradiction masquerading as an extension of biological science.
Viewed in the dark blue lights in the subterranean nightclub, William wrote prose and poetry and composed guitar solos that expressed the emotions generated by his new perspective. Politics was the only aspect of his reality that had remained the same. White men, accompanied by mistresses with rainbow skin hues, drank freely, forced themselves to laugh and flirted unabashedly with the beautiful, leotard clad waitresses. There is great irony, in how the words of these men, who often disagree bitterly; who frame language and information to fit their priorities, their ambiguous words are transformed by the Constitution into quasi sacred, moral, documents. Further, history, philosophy and conventional wisdom support this as fact, though the practice lacked even a pretense of being anything, except local, biased and often wrong. It was obvious. The Beyond Kinsman ethical values of Washington D. Cs’ power-elite differed from Lower Kinsman residents only in the former having access to greater resources.

So far, his education, from Middle Kinsman to medical school, had been devoted primarily to discovering ways of gaming a dysfunctional system. At least, the citizens of Lower Kinsman, the Washington D. C. elite and Middle Kinsman were not fooled into believing that they were part of the system. This dubious distinction, William III attributed to Upper Kinsman. Dogs held the key. Neither his friends nor his neighbors in Middle Kinsman had dogs as opposed to most of his friends and playmates on Lower Kinsman. And what he learned about protecting manicured lawns from neutered females and castrated males in Upper Kinsman areas was very unimpressive. Worst, Information available at NIMH, together with informal questions and conversations with relaxed Europeans and South Americans convinced him that the urban conditions of large cities differed very little from each other, regardless of nation or culture. Thus, his NIMH experience, forced him, begrudgingly, to accept as fact; Kinsman Road in Cleveland Ohio was the de-facto measuring rod for urban conditions.
So first, no more compromises: he would find a way to finance his education. He would get to the University of Minnesota and study under the two theoretical psychologists his professor in learning and experimental psychology at Howard University had admired. To accomplish this, he would have to apply almost everything he had learned from editing the general systems conferences at NIMH, what he had seen and heard at embassy performances, his T’ai Chi Chuan meditations and the emotional, common sense from the Bohemian Caverns and Kinsman Road.

DARPA’s Maryland “Matrix”
A United States Government civil service examination served as template for the carefully designed CV printed in a shop located a few doors up the street from the Bohemian Caverns. To prevent “potential problems,” the employment agency called William’s future friend, mentor and collaborator at the Institute of Behavioral Research (IBR) at the University of Maryland, to see if he would interview a “very qualified black applicant.” Like the National Institute of Mental Health, William III’s new employer prided itself on an exceptionally talented multidisciplinary staff. Also like NIMH, the behavioral research divisions included outstanding psychologists, mostly from one East Coast Ivy League schools, especially Harvard. It was immediately apparent however, that IBR was a quasi-military operation, including a colonel, (a former combat infantry platoon leader during World War II) with a joint appointment at the U.S. Army medical research institute as chief administrator. He trained the first United States monkey to be sent into outer space, consequently NASA space research, involving both humans and animals was IBR’s forte, but bio neurological research and behavioral pharmacology were tied for second. William would work in the behavioral pharmacology section.
At the interview, his new employer declared William “over qualified,” and promptly upgraded the position and the salary. A crash course in: operating, programming and building operant, equipment followed. Training and conditioning different species of animals: monkeys, rats and pigeons came next on a rapidly crowded agenda, followed by biomedical operating procedures. But, generating and interpreting reinforcement schedules were given his employer’s highest priority. Animals working in highly restricted, meticulously programmed, environments, generating data curves on rolls of paper and numbers on multiple counters: William was learning the advanced techniques and procedures and tactics of the Skinnerian learning paradigm, but under relatively unrestrained, generously funded, DARPA conditions.
His bosses (two young, post-doctoral researchers) shared the Skinnerian paradigm the fledging discipline of psychopharmacology, and nothing else. The researcher who interviewed him was a polymath and generalist who included other behavioral sciences in his research program. The other was a specialist who treated Skinner’s system as an extension of Pavlov’s reflexology and was dedicated to exploring the potentials of both. They cooperated in teaching their new assistant how to use behavioral paradigms in the laboratory, in the academic world and his private life. To comply, William was forced to view reflexology from three perspectives, simultaneously. The result became his real-life tragicomedy. How could he believe that to by military acronyms systems specifically (NASA, DARPA at IBR) added to a civilian acronym, (NIMH) could: integrate everything he knew; resolve all professional conflicts, and together with a martial art, T’ai Chi Chuan, generate the critical decisions that would most likely determine the rest of his life? It was ironical that neither psychology nor psychiatry could offer viable solutions to the problems that made him drop out for two years—without help from DARPA. Nevertheless, events followed in a partially choreographed sequence that made it impossible for him to ignore the foundations of what was fast to become his new reality.
William III was surprised, fascinated and shocked upon discovering that mechanical procedures dictated by a learning theory trained the first monkey to send data from space, others to drive tractors, chimpanzees to communicate with humans by means of signs and symbols and humans to tolerate the lonely confined existence in space capsules—all near perfect for military purposes. On the other hand, Skinnerian research tactics and theoretical priorities unabashedly posed a threat to paradigms in physics, biology linguistics and philosophy, a threat far beyond the scope of all of the competing theories proposed by academic psychology. His brief introduction to DARPA was completed with a trip to Basic Systems Inc. in New York. There he observed another application of Skinner’s learning system, this time combined with the execution of a management strategy developed by the United States Navy for design and production of Polaris Ballistic Missile program. Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) is a method of organizing time and resources in a way that gives optimal control of both.
His employers, as an initiation, suggested that William test their combination of PERT and behavioral analysis by designing a program for completion of his M.Sc. degree. In addition to laboratory animals, Skinnerian procedures worked exquisitely on his landlady’s mongrel, the pedigree Pit-bull Terrier at the barbershop and an Alaskan Brown Bear in the National Zoo. PERT was equally successful, but the great increase in efficiency posed an immediate threat to the role of his thesis in William’s recent professional decisions. The two trials where he used his employers’ psychology classes as subjects went smoothly. However, disaster accompanied opportunity when William was substitute for his specialist instructor’s statistics class at the U.S. Pentagon. The class instruction went well, but high ranking officers and their secretaries used a speed writing technique that destroyed the validity of a crucial test. Neither William nor his advisor would want to present an argument before the thesis board to explain why they selected a psychological test that could have its validity destroyed by learned skills?
Learned skills were the crux of experiments in the psychopharmacology laboratory. Monkeys sat locked onto a chair that was programmed to supply them with food, water six hundred volts electrical shock and a powerful dose of morphine. At the beginning of the experiment, food and water dominated their priorities. At the end, morphine was paramount. The researcher’s Interpretation of the data was unambiguous. Their conclusions were relevant to drug problems and consistent with common sense. However, political ramifications, for the urban conditions in Baltimore Maryland, Cleveland Ohio and Kinsman Road were not so clear. Moral consequences for law enforcement and ethical treatment for animal experiments were also latent issues.
Though his visiting parents asked no questions directly involving politics and science, William Sr. asked a question that had profound significance for his son. “What about the animals? You have always loved animals. How do you really feel about this?” William III did not attempt an answer. Three decades later, the son was able to add a decade to his father’s life. Upon his death, he was able to add a decade to his mother’s life based on consequences he predicted, predictions he could not have made without the training he was receiving on this job.
More subtle questions, especially those regarding the role of mathematics in theoretical psychology, threatened William’s future research strategy. His primary task was to collect data generated by monkeys working twenty-four hours a day to produce numbers on counters and graphs on long sheets of paper. Skinnerian schedules were critical to laboratory procedures, as well as analysis of the data. Schedules were generated by mechanical timers and counters. Set theory mathematics was essential to programming the timers, counters and auxiliary electronic equipment. So, William, who had guardedly kept his night job, traded lessons in martial arts kicking for mathematical set theory lessons by an army mathematician whom he met at the Bohemian Caverns. The more he learned, the greater the number of inconsistencies appeared in his chosen professions.
Washington D.C. supplied one answer that, for the son of two civil service bureaucrats, made perfect sense—politics. William understood why most of his teachers had accused Skinner of being antagonistic to all theories and why Skinner opposed mathematical models. Nevertheless, Skinnerian procedures, in combination with DARPA strategies and university resources were extremely effective. Two facts were indelibly etched, deep in William’s psyche. Like NASA, the University of Maryland’s Institute of Behavioral Research performed civilian research with military efficiency and mathematics was the key. One unanswered question remained, however. Why were DARPA and NASA strategies and tactics not universally deployed?
The answer was politics! Fortunately William’s family background prepared him well, because it was impossible for to avoid involvement.
For William III, nineteen sixty-three was the year he allowed everything around him to change and transform him. August 23, 1983 was the day of transition that forever changed his life. It was the day the nation’s capital temporarily became hostage to Martin Luther King Jr’s dream, the day William and several of his laboratory colleagues, black and white, listened to the row of dignitaries that preceded King.
Like Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, King’s message was much too complex, its cadence too serious, its affect far too powerful to be remembered as a mere speech. It was a challenge hidden in a prayer. Reality seemed to slowly implode, taking with it the Kinsman years of political hopes and economic expectations. Everything William III had learned at the universities, the Bohemian Caverns, NIMH and the behavioral laboratory converged. By the time King finished the inspirational “I have a dream” speech, William was convinced that King and the residents of middle-Kinsman were facing a reality that was far more sinister and complex than they could ever imagine. Dreams could never be trusted, in the face of that black reality, not King’s, not his family’s and certainly not his own.
The dreams that were to be Martin Luther King Jr’s last hope, would not to be the Dockens family’s. Kinsman and D.C. reality had shown utter contempt and indifference to William III’s dreams. Instead of hope and dreams, William left Washington D.C.—destination, the University of Minnesota, by way of Detroit Michigan. His economy class seat was financed by a small drug company who would interview him as a prospect to head the psychopharmacology department. William glimpsed Sammy Davis Jr., who, of course, would take a seat in first class.
William S. Dockens III wondered what actor/performer Sammy Davis Jr. would be thinking and talking about on his way to Detroit. What questions were going through the actor’s mind? William III had one, serious question. Would behavioral science provide the same answers if someone from Kinsman Road was asking the questions? Part of his answer was in Michigan. Most of the answer was waiting for him in Minnesota, where his mentor, the University of Minnesota, Honeywell Inc., and the United States Army’s NASA projects would complete his bio-behavioral science training. And Minnesota state and national politics would prepare him for the tough psychological environment is Scandinavia, where psychophysics, scaling and anthropology would be added to his resume.
 1) From

© Copyright 2018 | Silverington – Personal Strategies

     design      top      design     
Valid XHTML 1.0
Valid CSS2