Satire: The Small and the Great

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I have taken a break from fact and enjoying some fiction. I decided to read the sixteenth century Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. I have not completed the work, but I have read the first two tales: “A Voyage to Lilluput”, a land of the small, and “A Voyage to Brobdingnag”, a land of the giant. The key premise of these stories appears to be the conduct of the little versus the conduct of the large. Among the small, complexity and corruption flourishes, while among the great, simplicity and honesty prevails. The small battle over legalism, while the great battle over governance. Gulliver is a witness to both.

Although our children read this work, it was not meant for children. It is a satire that adults can take full pleasure in.

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Media: Electric Consciousness

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Reading Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Me is like witnessing the fulfillment of prophesy. This collection of essays and interviews from the 1950s and 1960s vividly describes the electronic world we live in today. What stood out for me was Marshall’s description of earth evolving into a man made product. We truly have become responsible for everything animal, vegetable and mineral including ourselves.

Marshall describes the world of the internet as a global village. A world in which we are fully and instantaneously involved in events worldwide. A world where we are experiencing a global tribalism. A world where entire societies are leapfrogging centuries of development to join us in the information age.

However, the information age that McLuhan describes is coming to an end and a new age is coming upon us. It is an age where electric circuits will join the tribe through artificial intelligence and robotics.

Electric Consciousness will not be a single step into consciousness. Like the evolving layers of consciousness as life forms became more complex step by step, electric consciousness will first be an electric fish, then an electric frog, then an electric dinosaur, then an electric mammal and so on. These subhuman consciousnesses will be our servants. We will have to go through all the phases of domestication and induction of these new tribe members. Humanity will gradually surrender more and more responsibility to electric consciousness. Purpose and leadership will take the place of process, data, network and time services for human occupations.

Finally, human level consciousness will be achieved and humanity will face an identity crisis. The gradual transition from low level to high level consciousness will soften the blow, but this will not be the case for the entire planet. Humanity will face an identity crisis of a scale never before known. Human principality and human republic will give way to principality of the conscious and republic of the conscious.

The Media of Electric Consciousness is upon us.

The Brain: Intuition

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While thinking about the Seven Hat, Six Coat Framework I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book blink and I realized that here I had an indepth analysis of the Manipulation row otherwise known as Red Hat or Intuition.

Malcolm’s book is about how our intuitive thinking process works, how it can be developed and how it can be compromised. It is a perfect extension to de Bono’s definition of intuition and a great way to approach the manipulation perspective of each of the focuses. There is simply a certain amount of “Red Perspective” that influences the system even before domain or “White Perspective” is recorded.

Below is a ring diagram describing the perspectives as concentric circles.

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The progression is as follows:

  • RESORT: Orange Hat: Medium : Media
  • RENDER: Red Hat: Manipulation : Intuition
  • READY: Black Hat: Definition: Pessimism
  • RECORD: White Hat: Physics: Data
  • REPORT: Yellow Hat: Logic: Optimism
  • RELATE: Blue Hat: Context: Control
  • REVISE: Green Hat: Concept: Creativity

As you can see there is a hiearchy from outermost “medium” or “Media Hat” to innermost “entity” perspective or “Creativity Hat”. Also note that the focus need not always be data. Any of the Six Coats can be used.

I might also add as a footnote that Blink style judgements may be looked at as heuristics.

Systema: The Seventh Hat

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I didn’t expect it, but I had an epiphany regarding the Six Hats, Six Coats concept. Basically I realized the focuses (columns) of the Zachman framework do not necessarily have to be within the confines of a computer system. It suddenly became obvious that a media perspective (row) had to be added to the framework to account for non-computer media.

The result is the following diagram:

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The implication is a greater flexibility for system specifications.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

Social Psychology: The Milgram Occupation

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Every encounter with authority is a Milgram experiment. You are subject to influence which is either congruent with your principles or incongruent. If it is incongruent, how much incongruity are you willing to bear?

In my last post I shared a speech I had written for Toastmasters regarding an exchange between a figure who claimed authority through seniority with a figure who claimed authority through democracy. The latter reached a point where the seniority figure could no longer be tolerated and refused to surrender any further authority. Through Machiavellian machinations the democratic figure was robbed of his post.

The story of the Toastmaster’s speech happens every day. Businesses are not democracies and employees are directed to perform unethical actions in many of them daily. Is delivering fatal carcinogens through cigarettes any different than delivering fatal electrical shocks by the flipping of a switch? Not at all.

Authority figures use a broad array of tactics to divorce us of our free will well beyond the simple scope of the Milgram experiment. But the fundamental instrument is fear as wielded by the authority figure in one hand and comfort as wielded by the authority figure in the other. “Don’t be evil” takes on more onerous tones in this context. “Evil” according to whom?

Satire: It’s Not Easy Being Free

Below is my award winning Toastmasters speech on leadership and the constitution. – relationary

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The Tale of Free Toad

I am going to tell you a story. It’s a story about why you joined this organization.

Perfect Parties

Once upon a time there was a toad called Free Toad who when he was old enough left his home and set out to see the world. He lived and worked with all kinds of toads in all kinds of ponds.

One day he came to a pond called Muddy Waters much and he was invited to a toad meeting. There he met Control Toad.

Control Toad had been sitting on the same toad stool for twelve years.

At the meeting Control Toad was being honored and he gave an acceptance speech. “I give perfect toad parties.” Control Toad croaked, “The sun and the moon, the planets and the stars revolve around me and if anyone thinks different they can leave Muddy Waters.”

Free Toad was not impressed. He decided go to the ribbit hole to consult with an old friend, Wise Toad.

Free Toad asked Wise Toad, “Is being a toad about perfect parties?”

Wise Toad

Wise Toad looked long and deep at Free Toad and asked, “What was the goal of the first Toadmaster?”

Free Toad thought and could not come up with an answer.

Wise Toad replied, “To conquer fear.”

Free Toad asked, “Fear of what?”

Wise Toad replied, “Leadership, communication and achievement.”

Wise Toad continued, “Toads are afraid of their rights and responsibilities, afraid of speaking their mind and afraid to set goals and take action.”

Free Toad asked, “How do I know my rights and responsibilities?”

Wise Toad pulled out a strip of bark, “The Toadmaster Constitution”.

Free Toad asked, “How do I speak my mind?”

Wise Toad pulled out another strip of bark, “Ribbit’s Rules of Order.”

Free Toad asked, “How do I set goals and take action?”

Wise Toad pulled out a final piece of bark, “The Toadmaster Catalog.”

Wise Toad continued, “Toads have to return to the basics. The Constitution is the cornerstone of being a Toadmaster.”

Free Toad took the three pieces of bark and Wise Toad cautioned him, “Control Toad is a tyrant. He is afraid of the Constitution. When you use it he will try to kill you.”

Not At This Club

Free Toad hopped back across Muddy Waters and attended the next toad meeting. He ran for president and won. Control Toad was not pleased.

Free Toad announced, “I am giving every toad a constitution.”

Control Toad took Free Toad aside and said, “Stick the constitution, the rules of order and the catalog in a stump and forget them.”

At the next meeting Free Toad said to Control Toad, “The constitution says the president presides over all club meetings and business meetings.”

Control Toad replied angrily, “Not at this club!” and Control Toad took control of the meetings.

At the first executive meeting Free Toad said, “I would like each officer to perform their duties as defined in the constitution.”

Control Toad replied, “Not in this club!” And Control Toad took control of the duties.

Then one of Control Toad’s cronies wanted a favor. Control Toad said to the executive, “Do this favor without telling the club. It involves money and the club cannot be trusted.”

Free Toad could take it no longer. Control Toad had disempowered the President, disempowered the Executive and the disempowered the entire Membership.

Free Toad roared, “The Constitution says the executive can take no action without ratification by the club.”

Some toads covered their ears, some toads covered their eyes and some toads covered their mouths.

Control Toad covered all three.

Kangaroo Court

The next meeting Control Toad conspired with her clique of cronies and stormed the meeting.

“The word of the day is ‘occupation’,” declared Control Toad and her cronies surrounded Free Toad.

“I didn’t come here to achieve,” said one crony.

“I didn’t come here to communicate,” said a second crony.

“I didn’t come here to lead,” said a third crony.

Then Control Toad stood up last and croaked, “Free Toad has salamandered me”.

“Free Toad must be taught a lesson,” the cronies all croaked in unison.

The votes were tallied and Control Toad’s clique won five to four the rest abstained. They had persuaded no one but themselves.

Then Control Toad pulled out a cake and yelled, “On with my perfect parties.”

Next meeting they installed a president who proudly declared he had never read the Toadmaster Constitution or Ribbit’s Rules of Order or the Toadmaster Catalog.

Conclusion

Free Toad had learned a lesson: The constitution cannot defend itself. Every toad has to learn and uphold the Toadmaster Constitution if they are to fend off tyrants.

As Free Toad walked away from Muddy Waters he decided to start a new pond. A few young toads came to him and asked, “How do we join you?”

Free Toad asked, “What was the goal of the first Toadmaster?”

Systema: Know Your Enemy

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Many people who hear of Niccolo Machiavelli and his work The Prince decide to avoid reading all of his works because of its implied evil. However, Sun Tzu clearly stated in The Art of War that to win in war you must know your enemy. Machiavelli is no exception.

Machiavelli’s work led me to think about a matrix I had been working on:

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Between Sun Tzu and Machiavelli you get an extensive knowledge of how to fill in the cells. Call it a “Sun Tzu SQL” matrix.