So, which do you prefer? A wedding or a divorce? If you prefer the latter but are stuck in the former 24 X 7 (like BD00), what’s your strategy for achieving the transition, even if only temporarily? AFAIK, the practice of meditation is one healthy approach for distancing oneself from one’s thoughts. Is it the only way?
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!
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.
I’m intellectually lazy. I’m a fan of empiricism; it’s just a drag to have to practice. If you’re anything like me, you don’t make up your mind about important issues by doing original research, poring over primary sources and coming to your own conclusions; you listen to people who claim to know what they’re talking about—“experts”—and try to determine which of them is more credible. You do your best to gauge who’s authentically well-informed and unbiased, who has an agenda and what it is—who’s a corporate flack, a partisan hack, or a wacko. – Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing).
Who amongst us is not like Tim? Thanks to the web, even though accessibility to primary sources and original research is at unprecedentedly high levels, there’s just not enough time to perform “due diligence” in order to form (so-called) objective opinions on issues that tug at our souls. Whether we admit it or not, we all use a form of the BD00 bozometer, which is reproduced below for your viewing displeasure.
If you’re a regular reader of this blawg, then you’ve probably pegged BD00 as “Is A Bozo” – and you’re right!
In “We Learn Nothing“, uber-essayist Tim Kreider said something like “it’s sad to see people disengage from life as they get older.” OMG! When I read that, I felt like Timbo had just articulated one of my greatest fears.
Except for a handful of painful but relatively short times when I’ve totally disengaged from participating in life, I’ve been committed to desperately holding on to the tiger’s tail and racing through the jungle of life with (almost) reckless abandon.
How about you? Do you feel yourself sloooowly disengaging from life as the years tick by? If not, then good for you. If so, then do you think you should wake up and start searching for that tiger tail?