What is Unlearning LO10132

John Zavacki (jzavacki@wolff.com)
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 04:56:05 -0400

Replying to LO10122 --

jack hirschfeld <jack@his.com>, Replying to LO10106, says;

(previous quote snipped),(introductory paragraph snipped)

> If. for example, we have learned, as most Americans do, that white people
> are better than non-white people, each piece of evidence that this is not
> so may be confronted by "argument" which denies the relevance of the data.
> Although some people are successful at letting go of racist ideas
> (unlearning), it is usually not by reasoning with new data, or evaluating
> their old ideas in the light of new data, but more often and more likely
> by experiences which challenge many underlying assumptions, of which the
> racist ideology is only one.

If some people are successful at "letting go" of racist ideas, they are
learning tolerance, community, and broadening their cultural perspective.
The premises which initially resulted in a racist conclusion has been
reconnected to other premises and have established a non-racist
conclusion. Something has been learned. The knowledge base has grown.
The rule base has grown. The old arguments are still remembered, as well
as the old conclusions and will be used in explaining the new knowledge to

What has occurred (in particular, with such a powerful example) is a
change in the deep structure of the socio-linguistic structures. Deep

Such learning occurs in metanoia, whether it be from 2nd generation
manufacturing to TQM, socio-economic anarchy to LO, or non-religion to
deep faith. It is learning. Mind and brain have both changed-additively.
To me, "unlearning" implies the removal of tissue and connectivity.


jzavacki@wolff.com John Zavacki The Wolff Group 800-282-1218

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>