My twitter bio reads: “Fumbling, bumbling, stumbling, exploring, discovering, and being. So many ings!“. As that “ing-ful” first sentence implies, I’m always poking around for new ideas and alternative ways of looking at various aspects of the world. To BD00, ing-ing one’s way through life is a big part of really living life itself. Life is too short to stop ing-ing. But hey, it’s just badass BD00′s opinion; it doesn’t have to be yours.
When I first discover some novel and interesting work from someone I never heard of before, my levels of excitement and curiosity rise. I then dive a little deeper into the work in an honest attempt at ferreting out and understanding the real foundational substance of the work. If (heaven forbid!) I judge a newly discovered work as “meh“, then I move my attention onward toward the next adventurous expedition. There’s no sense in wasting time on something that doesn’t tingle my nerve endings with new meaning. Again, life is too short, no?
If (heaven forbid!) I judge that a newly discovered work is “good” or “bad“, then I get hooked and my current mental models of the world get rattled to an extent proportional to the work’s influence over me. Hell, my mental model(s) may even move off their concrete foundations a bit. In the areas of systems thinking and institutional behaving, the brilliant works of people like Deming, Ackoff, Argyris, MacGregor, Livingston, Warfield, Powers, Starkermann, Forrester, Meadows, Bateson, and Wheatley have considerably shaped my foundational views.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve decided to share with you below the relatively benign (compared to this people-oriented, blasphemous model) state transition diagram model of what I suppose goes on inside BD00′s forever ing-ing mind. As you can surmise, the external behaviors (speaking, writing) that I manifest while dwelling in the “sharing” state are bound to piss some people off. Also notice that, in homage to my man Shakespeare, I have inserted a “pausing” state in the model. It’s purpose, which doesn’t always get fulfilled, is to inhibit “the rush to judgment” malady that we all to some extent exhibit(?).
Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful – George Box
What does your thinking model look like? I’m especially interested in hearing from those of you who “think” you have transcended the innate human trait of judging objects – the set of which includes people. What would a world without judging look like? Would it be worth striving toward a world without any judging at all? Is it realistic to think there can be a world where people only judge “non-people” objects? BD00 doesn’t “think” so. D’oh!
For today’s post, I felt the need to lock BD00 away for just a bit and share this twitversation with y’all. I may have to delete it when the bastard breaks the lock and sees what I’ve done to his blasphemous blog. D’oh!
The title of this post somehow reminds me of the old cereal commercial: “Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs!“.
There comes into every life a time when the inner self can no longer be reached by things from without, when the soul craves that which it can supply to itself alone. – William Zinsser
What a wonderful quote from “Writing To Learn“, no? It resonates with me because it fits me like a glove. Despite the fact that societies expect their members to want, and actively strive for so-called “success“, I’m so over that.
For a long time, I beat myself up for not being more ambitious and not wanting to prove to the world how great I am. But at some point in my life, and I don’t know when or what triggered the change in behavior, I stopped trying to conform to the societal expectation of attempting to “reach my soul by things from without“. And I’m grateful for that.
How about you, dear reader? Are you constantly attempting to reach your immaterial soul by feeding it with material from without?
There’s quite a difference between thinking and behaving as if “the world should be better aligned with my wishes!” and “the world could be better aligned with my wishes“. If your psychic disposition is toward the former, you’ll most likely be walking around frustrated and bitchy most of the time. If it’s toward the latter, you’ll most likely be more accepting and graceful.
BD00 seems to think that he’s been experiencing a slow shift over the years from thinking in terms of “should!” to thinking in terms of “could“. But of course, it may be just another one of those self-delusions that are packed wall to wall inside of his crippled mind.
Nassim Taleb nails it with this simple but profound sentence:
Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but, rather, to get out of trouble rapidly and have progeny. – Nassim Taleb (Fooled By Randomness)
We human beings are so full of ourselves. With much hubris, we auto-assume that we are above all other life forms just because we can “think“. We concoct immortal and all-powerful gods in our minds who we “think” are watching over our well-being (but not the well being of those we don’t like). Then, when something terrible happens, we wonder “why” our gods could allow such a tragedy. Instead, maybe we should contemplate “why not?“.
The ability to “think” has unquestioningly made life more comfortable locally for the human race over time. However, it’s questionable whether “thinking” has made human life more comfortable globally. Unlike a “mindless” swarm of locusts that ravish the environment with a vengeance, we “mindful” humans seem to be ravishing our environment and other fellow humans at an increasingly alarming rate as our “thinking” supposedly evolves.
Years ago, I watched a televised debate between Deepak Chopra and atheist Sam Harris. Since Deepak came across at times as defensive, I’ve never felt the need to delve into any of Deepak’s books. Nevertheless, since I instantaneously fell in love with this telling picture from the Chopra LinkedIn post “The Conscious Lifestyle: Awareness Skills“, I just had to copy and paste it here:
In “The Selfish Gene“, proud atheist Richard Dawkins theorizes that we are just temporary “survival machines” doing the bidding of the selfish genes within us. These little buggers program us such that we live long enough to propagate “them” onward (via sexual reproduction, of course) from generation to generation – forever. Selfish genes don’t give a damn about the individual survival machines they temporarily use for transport. WTF!, and very depressing if you believe in his logically sound, equation-backed “derivation“, no?
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind – Albert Einstein