Saturday, August 13, 2011

Want to Go in a New Direction?

For those thinking things are not right and are looking for a new direction, here is a suggested set of guidelines directed at improving the current scene:

1) Discontinue communication with data sources promoting unethical conduct or criminality, including organized crime:

a. Hollywood

b. Rap music

c. Cults

Rationale: Should be obvious. Organized crime is a non-analytical, non-volitional compulsion to link up in a pyramid-form structure rather than confronting and facing up to participation in groups analytically.

2) Develop the ability to monitor yourself to stay out of the mob mentality or group think. Keep yourself in the analytical band of thought.

3) Reduce the size of the U.S. military. Do what you can to reduce its role to no more than defending our borders.


a) Our economy cannot afford for us to be the world’s policeman.

b) Reduce the chance of a military coup or planned and contrived martial law police state.

c) It is not trustable.

4) Learn how to study well, then study simple, practical knowledge.

5) Face up to the fact that organized religion has had its run and has failed. The Age of Religion should be declared to be over. In its place an Age of Philosophy should begin, but with the recognition that those exist who would pervert it, as organized religion has been perverted. To help to avoid such perversion, any legitimate philosophy should meet these criteria:

a. Should be simple and practical. No transcendental or metaphysical B.S. Should be able to be organized into a fully coherent set of data.

b. Should not ask for or require donations or financial support.

i. Any legitimate philosophy will support a more stable civilization where honest people will be able to have good life experience . The improvements in civilization should be payment enough for the small effort required to promulgate a legitimate, effective, pro-life philosophy.

ii. If it is viable then anyone applying it should be able to earn their own way without requiring financial support.

c. Should be based on increased competency rather than social connections.

d. Should recognize the self-determination of the individual as vital.

e. Should appeal to the reason of the individual rather than relying on subjugation, subordination or forcing in agreements against the will of the individual.

f. Should include mechanisms that protect society from the destructive use of self-determination by incompetent individuals.

g. Should support the resolution of problems or issues through the application of a known set of straightforward, coherent policy rather than arbitrary rule by the few or based on exclusive or hidden policy or laws.

h. Should be able to be studied, understood and applied by an individual independent of any organization or institution.

i. Use a peer-to-peer, consultant or mentoring paradigm rather than a central organization paradigm to ward off perversion.

6) Move civilization in a pro-life direction through education in sound, practical, simple philosophy and the application thereof.

7) Use strong, competent, well-organized groups directed to a specific practical purpose (not religious or philosophical) as a servo-mechanism to extend the reach of the will of the individual toward making improvements in society and civilization.

8) Put reliance on the application of individual competence rather than on God or a Supreme Being. If there is a God, He will be happy to see us making progress in the pro-life direction while protecting our purposes from perversion.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Value of Team Sports

The average man, despite not being taught much about it through education or religion, has some sense that teamwork is the right direction to go. In today’s world the best opportunity for supporting and emphasizing teamwork is team sports. In the USA, football, and to a lesser extent basketball are the primary team sports that lend themselves best to be learned from through participation, spectating and analysis of the game. In most other countries it is soccer that affords the best opportunity.

Basketball is more variable in its value for promoting teamwork because it can more easily be warped away from the ideal of teamwork in favor of an overweighting centered on a particular star player or players and still be successful. Mostly this is due to the smaller number of players. There are only five players on the court at one time, so it is much more possible for a single player to be a large part of the success of the whole team. In some cases all that is required of the other players on the team is to space themselves widely around the court and just stand there as a potential receiver of a pass from the “star”. These potential passes to an “open”, or undefended player, limit the ability of the defensive team to apply extra attention to the star player and allows him room to work in a given area of the court against a limited part of the defense. At this point the game has dropped away from being a true team sport and has taken on more of the character of an individual contest.

That doesn’t happen in football. There are no plays in football that will be successful when most of the players are standing around watching. The success of football plays requires each, or at least most of the players on the field to successfully carry out their assigned part of a coordinated team action. Such team actions are usually part of an overall strategy designed to make best use of team strengths and/or to exploit perceived weaknesses of the opponent’s defense. A good play is designed to have a lot more value and success than the sum of the individual efforts. That is the value of a group-- to be so configured and arranged as to maximize the betterment of results obtained over the individual group members working on their own in parallel.

The fact that teamwork in basketball can more easily be warped or degraded down towards the level of an individual contest is the minus side of the ledger, but there is a plus side also. There is much more of continuous action in basketball than American football, thus giving the game more “life” and therefore more opportunity for the players and spectators to observe and sense changes in the “flow” of the game (because there will often be more of such changes). The ability to observe these changes, and beyond that to make appropriate changes in response, is a valuable skill that can be carried on into other areas of life. That is because what is being observed or felt are changes in the state of communication or interchange with the environment of the team, or even a sub-unit of a team, and sometimes (most often in basketball) even of an individual player. These states can be called interchange states vis-a-vis the environment, or “interchange states” for short.

There is a scale of such interchange states that applies to any group, sub-group or individual in any activity in any area of life. The interchange states are always traveled up or down in the same order, one after another. The more “life” the group or individual has with respect to interchange with its environment, the more often these interchange states may be expected to change, and so have more value as a subject of study or observation for those who may want to develop a skill in recognizing and responding to changes in them. Team sports have a value in this regard—both through participation and spectating.

So, the states of communication are determined by the amount and quality of exchange of communication and production with the environment of the group, sub-group or individual. These states apply in every aspect of life, so that a single individual can be in different interchange states in the different parts of his life. Within a group, each separate hat that an individual wears will have its own interchange state, and be capable of moving up or down the scale of interchange states.

Some general rules that apply to the scale of interchange states:

1) They are arranged in a scale, with each state being a step or stage in the scale.

2) The higher stages govern higher levels of communication and interchange with the environment than lower stages. The higher stages can be considered to be more viable or “lively”.

3) They must be passed through in sequence, one by one—at least that is true in the upward direction.

4) Each interchange state has its own set of rules or actions appropriate to it. If these rules/actions are carried out fully then the next interchange state in the upward direction will be reached.

5) If too long of a time is spent in a particular interchange state without successfully applying the rules/actions appropriate to that state, then the group, sub-group or individual will fall down to the next lower interchange state.

Every individual, every group, every sub-group will always be in one of these states of interchange with their environment (whether they are aware of it or not). A group member will have a separate interchange state for each hat that he wears. You can probably imagine that an individual or group that is unaware of its interchange state is less likely to follow out the appropriate rules/actions to reach the next higher state, and so is more likely to eventually fall to the next lower interchange state.

See a later blog for a listing of the individual steps on the scale of interchange states and the rules/actions appropriate to each.