The Animals In The Barnyard Are Nervous

Posted Feb 23, 2016 at 17:53. Revised Sep 24, 2019 at 19:01.

For many years, farmers in Central and South America noticed that occasionally their animals would become restless, and would sometimes attempt to smash their way out of their pens or corrals. Many farmers believed this behavior was because the animals knew a major earthquake was imminent.

Knowledgeable people thought this was just ignorance and superstition on the part of the farmers, but over time, there was a growing realization that the animals knew something. No one was able to explain with certainty how they were detecting impending earthquakes, but there is much evidence that they knew when an earthquake was coming.

The 2016 political situation in America was similar. Many people (the animals) knew that something was wrong and that there was trouble ahead, but they weren’t sure what to do about it or whom to blame. The people in the Establishment, like the farmers in Central and South America, had a hard time believing that many in the ordinary rank and file (the animals) could know something that the elite did not.

By 2016 politics had manifested itself in two extreme groups of people, a group of conservatives who wanted to throw the rascals out and replace them with people who respected traditional values, and a group of extreme progressives who wanted to throw the rascals out and then massively redistribute wealth.

Even though these factions regarded each other as enemies, they had a great deal in common. Both wanted to tear up the current order and replace it with something much more to their liking. In each case, the people of these two extremes were often ignorant and simple, having simple-minded solutions that would create more problems than they would solve. Because of this, the Establishment had difficulty listening to inarticulate outsiders. Ironically, the Establishment itself was also ignorant and uninformed about what was happening in the world beneath its feet.

Much of what was happening was a result of the ever-growing complexity of society, technology, and current life. This complexity guaranteed that people would be progressively less informed about what was going on because there was too much for any one person to absorb. It also resulted in ever-increasing specialization to deal with the fragmenting pieces of everything.

The people best able to master a world of growing complexity and keep it running become increasingly more valuable and thus can demand bigger paychecks. Those less able to stay on top of developments are less valuable economically and paid accordingly. Neither a return to the traditional values of earlier years nor wealth redistribution can reverse the forces of growing complexity.

Since 1981, there have been many conservative and liberal income-tax changes that promised to produce more tax fairness and less extreme wealth distribution. The result of each reform was the inequality increased, partly because increasing tax complexity makes the most successful people more able to game the growing tax system’s rules. Tax revisions suit the self-interest of tax accountants and tax attorneys because even a simplification to the tax code usually requires more compliance advice. Each tax revision helps tax practitioners to become ever bigger leeches on the economically productive segments of society. It is simple: more tax law complexity (and change) generates more wealth for tax specialists. The beauty in this scam is the people will demand tax revisions forever, thereby giving the legislators a perfect excuse for saying: “We are only complying with what our electorate has requested – which is what our job requires us to do!” (And we are laughing all the way to the bank in the process!).

If pro is the opposite of con,
then what is the opposite of progress?
Congress!

As complexity grows, it places an increasing drag on people’s lives. They then seek simplicity by oversimplifying everything in their lives. Ever-increasing complexity ultimately generates a complexity trap that ends each complexity sub-cycle. The result is the situation devolves into chaos and a new simplicity, which can be far more perverse than the original simplicity was.

The biggest complexity cycle, consisting of all the smaller cycles, similarly has an ultimate complexity trap. What the limits to complexity are, when they might happen, and how our complexity will simplify and will correct itself is not known. We do know that nothing can grow exponentially forever.

All this is unfolding before our very eyes, and we don’t believe what we are seeing.

Now you can honestly say “Nobody told me.”

Copyright © 2016-2019 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.
Posted Feb 23, 2016 at 17:53. Revised Sep 24, 2019 at 19:01. –> Retrieved Oct 23, 2019 at 00:41.
Transcript News Feed: https://ct.complexitytrap.org/feed/

America’s State Religion

Posted Feb 22, 2016 at 20:23. Revised Jul 8, 2019 at 06:53.

Contrary to popular opinion, America has an established state religion that has the full support of the government and the people. That religion is Utilitarianism, and its creed believes in and practices pragmatism over all else. Practicing this religion requires no sacrifice, inconvenience, or financial contribution by its members. It only requires one to act pragmatically in all matters.

Utilitarianism is the most inclusive of all the world’s religions. Christian? Muslim? Atheist? All are welcome in the Utilitarian Church and need to make no adjustments to or repudiation of their respective creeds.

You don’t understand the things that are going on in society, business, and government? All you need to understand is the religion that binds it all together preaches that everything in the world is rooted in pragmatism.

Utilitarianism is both a balm and a bomb for dealing with complexity.

The 4 M’s are critically important to the pragmatism that endows a Utilitarian with power, prestige, and position. These four roles are particularly treacherous because people functioning in any of them are dangerous, but the imprecision of these parts is a tool that a skillful Utilitarian can manipulate.

The 4 M characteristics are:

  • A. Military
  • A. Missionary
  • B. Minister
  • B. Medical

It is important for you to understand that although these roles look unrelated, they have a strong common thread that makes them a single state religion topic. Each of these fields of endeavor attracts people who are focused less on the pragmatism of the moment than they are in service and dedication to others. It is common for more than one of these idealistic presentations to occur in the same person, so keeping such a person dedicated to the pursuit of pragmatism can be difficult.

When you understand the 4 M’s as well as do our model evangelists at FirtstU you will see clearly that their time-proven principles for church command and control are central to all bureaucracies everywhere. They owe part of their success to their insight into how to use the 4 M’s to advance their power and glory through pragmatism.

Understand also that these 4 roles consist of two pairs of counterbalancing opposites that nevertheless cooperate with each other most of the time. This ying-yang concept of Eastern cultures is one of the cornerstones of pragmatism. The effective evangelist understands when to use the Eastern concept of counterbalancing opposite pieces that also work cooperatively, but can easily shift into the Western cause and effect way of looking at things whenever it is pragmatic. We are most familiar with cause and effect thinking, which assumes that when something good or bad happens there is one thing primarily responsible for causing it and that either strengthening or smashing the cause giving the particular result serves pragmatism perfectly.

The particularly important military case is so often misunderstood. Make no mistake, my evangelists; these people are both pragmatists and idealists and that fact will work to your advantage with a little skill. There is an obvious benefit to having a person around that follows orders and is loyal to his buddies to the point of giving up his life for them. Just make sure that he identifies you in his mind as one of his buddies and a deserving object for his loyalty.

Observe that there is a thread of idealism in military behavior that can threaten the pragmatism of your operation. Paradoxically, the shadow side nature of this idealism makes it a valuable antidote for any idealism that might erupt in your organization. This antidote works because the typical militarist so hates his shadow side idealism and so loves following orders that he will lash out decisively at any infestation of idealism that might raise its head.

Now you can honestly say “Nobody told me.”

Copyright © 2016-2019 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at 20:23. Revised Jul 8, 2019 at 06:53. –> Retrieved Oct 23, 2019 at 00:41.
Transcript News Feed: https://ct.complexitytrap.org/feed/

The Importance of Being Nobody

Posted Feb 22, 2016 at 18:28. Revised Sep 24, 2019 at 19:15.

Being J.D. Nobody makes me a most important person. Indeed, millions of people quote me every day when they find themselves in a mess. The great beauty in being able to say “Nobody told me” is that no one can ever question you about whether it is true or false. You win either way when you quote me or pretend to quote me because it will be unclear to your listener whether the word “nobody” is a proper noun or just a convenient collective noun. Moreover, this gift which I am providing to the world is the perfect tool for keeping glib lawyers honest.

Panic-filled pragmatism is the typical result of twenty-first-century complexity. Also, the more complexities people find in the world around them the more likely they are to seek too much simplification. My mission is to give you the cover you need to truthfully say “Nobody told me” when someone challenges you. This response will be especially convenient when I, J.D. Nobody, have in fact told you something you don’t want to admit to knowing.

Now you can honestly say “Nobody told me.”

Copyright © 2016-2019 Charles E. Dial. All rights reserved.
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at 18:28. Revised Sep 24, 2019 at 19:15. –> Retrieved Oct 23, 2019 at 00:41.
Transcript News Feed: https://ct.complexitytrap.org/feed/