Posts Tagged ‘controversy’

Welcoming controversy vs Condemning the unfamiliar

April 12, 2015

What if many people are quite challenged by the unfamiliar primarily because they have had so much regularity in their time in public school (or similar settings)? They are not used to spontaneous learning. They are used to being instructed (and then repeating back whatever they are trained to repeat back in order to get social validation from the instructor for their conformity).

Based on adapting to school settings, they have a set of familiar social habits and comfortable topics of conversation. In particular, they are used to an authority telling them what to focus on and how to interpret it.
They are trained to blindly repeat the answer given to them by the authority. They expect rewards and reinforcement for their unexamined conformity. They may be completely unfamiliar with calmly handling controversies of logic.
For instance, what if someone questions a presumption which they have been programmed to accept without skepticism? Are they curious or defensive? Do they reactively panic and justify their sacred presumption?

Do they listen with an open mind or are they suddenly scared and compulsively looking for justifications to dismiss the unfamiliar? Do they actively resist or attack unfamiliar ideas in order to preserve their comfort with their familiar but unexamined presumptions?

Of course, people who did not attend school can still display close-mindedness and hysterical panics. If their family and culture oppose curiosity as a presumed threat, then they will still flee from controversy or reactively attack unfamiliar ideas to avoid being faced with overwhelming evidence of their naivete.

A humble person may directly signal that they have no confidence in their “book-learning” because it did not come from experience. They might not be interested In a subject, but they also will not condemn unfamiliar ideas while saying “I am not interested In talking about this.” They are not reactive (defensive).

However, less humble people may also attempt to hide their lack of real competence through arrogant antagonisms. They may be terrified of their blind naivete being revealed as blind naivete.

Are they expecting their teacher to reward them for their loyalty to their programmed blind presumptions? Are they condescending toward people who dare to voice skepticism toward their sacred, unexamined presumptions?

Or, are they relaxed enough to be open to intelligent questions? Do they value intelligent questioning of their own habitual presumptions (or even seek it out and pay for it)?

Who is brave enough to admit that they have been terrified of ideas that challenge familiar presumptions? Who is so terrified of criticism that they pretend they have never been naive and are now free of all conceptual presumptions?

Presumptions can be very efficient and helpful, especially when we are committed to frequently updating them to correspond with the rest of reality. Some resist reality in a terrified effort to preserve familiar presumptions (even when inconsistent with obvious reality). They may launch hysterical campaigns to reform reality to fit with their sacred presumptions (or to prevent some disturbing controversy).

It is one thing to advocate for a particular change of policy. It is quite another thing to hysterically panic in the face of the slightest controversy or any inquiry about the logical foundations of a particular conclusion.


Could the media promote paranoia (like about global warming)?

May 26, 2014

RR wrote:

– The arguments against the relation between global warming and CO2 emissions are probably the result of financial interests having hired scientists to do studies that discredit global warming theories and create inaction through lack of faith in existing science. I strongly suspect that the confusion is by design, not by lack of good global warming science.



JR replies:

For the record, I am not aware of any scientific research that attempts to “discredit” certain popular theories of global warming. There is research that goes item by item and conclusively establishes the falsehood of various popular presumptions, but that is not an atttempt to discredit anything, but just to clarify the actual data. 

What I am aware of is research that conclusively establishes that variations in solar radiation are the predominant factor in changes in the climate of the earth (and other planets). I am aware of absolutely no controversy in regard to that research.

So, on the one hand, there is a massive amount of paranoid research (at least some of which is in controversy) clearly funded by special interest groups, plus there is is some poorly publicized research in no controversy. Why doesn’t the media focus on the “solar warming” model? The research is not sensationalist. That is a problem since the media is interested in ratings.

There is also research on what factors alter CO2 levels and how that has changed things across long periods of time (thousands of years, etc). Again, there is no controversy that I am aware of.

So, there are lots of uninformed people in a panic about controversial research (which is publicized by the media). Further, there is a much smaller number of people who are not in a panic at all and whose research is not in the least controversial (or sensationalist), but of course there has been little attention from the media.

Since I have already posted links a few times to some of the “solar-based warming” research on Robert’s facebook pages, I will assume that either (1) he is actually not really interested in the specifics of the issue or (2) he lacks the composure and logical skills to identify what is competent research and what is sensationalist “media fodder” funded by special interests. Based on my history with Robert, I will go with #1- that you do not actually care enough about the issue to research it.


priority, accuracy, and mere sincerity- a letter to Lucy

January 2, 2013
The following is a personal email to Lucy that I am sharing on my blog for your exploration. This is exactly what I just sent her, except for these first two lines and one in brackets below (and the images).

Communication (Photo credit: P Shanks)

You called me this morning on your way to work. I will write about it a bit and maybe make it in to a blog, but maybe not. These details may be so personally specific that they are only valuable to you and I and not to anyone else but you and I.
So, you called me. That is an important detail. There is no controversy there. 
There were lots of things spoken, but all of those details are “inside” of the more basic detail that you, Lucy, called me, J.R., to communicate with me. So, let’s get that fully before we move on. 
Next, what was the purpose of you calling me? There could be controversy about this, but let’s focus on a simple, obvious detail that is not very controversial. Maybe you were most interested in communicating something TO me. Maybe it was several things or just one thing at first, but then you thought of other things. 
Maybe you were committed to having someone “get” you, and so you specifically called me, J.R., with an openness to giving some communication to me and then to notice what I do with what you communicated. Would I make you wrong? Would I make a long response like this? Would I “just get you?” Maybe you were really interested in how I would respond and maybe you even had a few conflicting expectations and were testing to see which expectation would be fulfilled.
Now, let’s jump to another uncontroversial detail. At the end of the call, you said “you do not get me.”
I did not argue with that. I did not agree either. I probably gave another “mm hmmm” response that you could habitually and automatically interpret like this: whenever he says “mm hmmm,” then it must mean that he cannot take criticism and is afraid of the threat. Then, you can conclude; “Aha, what I said threatened him!” 
Well, if you did not intend to threaten me but you think that I experienced threat (or might have), that could be important feedback. You might unintentionally “push someone away,” which is similar to intentionally pushing someone away, but perhaps without the awareness of exactly how you did it. “Was it something that I said? What did I ever do that they would they would jump me!?!? Why were they so threatened? Why were they so angry? Why were they so reactive? Why do they keep walking by and looking at me?” You might be really sincerely curious about how your behavior influences other people and contributes to various kinds of dynamics/ways of relating.
Eating Shiva

Eating (Photo credit: Mirror | imaging reality)

Now, I return to the basic statement “you do not get me.” Maybe I got some but not all. Maybe I got none.  Maybe I did get exactly what you were offering at the time, but there could still be more for you to share.
So, whenever you communicate, we can presume that there is some commitment behind your activity of communicating, so your every communication can be assessed by you for your effectiveness in fulfilling your commitment, whatever that commitment may have been- maybe even an undistinguished commitment. [At the end, are you satisfied, disappointed, angry, delighted, tense, relieved, or what? ]
Sometimes, the whole point of communicating is simply to clarify a commitment- even to deliver it to someone else, but also perhaps just to become clear about it or even create a new commitment. Maybe you want to influence another specific person, such as J.R., in order to nourish some attractive possibility or avoid some repulsive possibility (or both). 
Maybe you want to influence or “manipulate” your future and your life. That could be called “responsibility” and “initiative” or “assertiveness” or “creativity.” Any particular method of influence might work well or might not work at all. You might invest in a particular method repeatedly, like nearly every day for 3 years or 30 days or 30 years. Why would you do that? Because it consistently produces value for you. Because it is a priority to you- at least for as long as it is. Your priorities can change over time, too, right? 
However, almost every day you eat. That is a priority. Some weeks, you call me every single day, even several times a day or for several hours total per week. That shows your priorities and values and interests. 
Eating daily is apparently more important to you than talking to me daily, but maybe eating is not as intriguing or challenging or controversial, so you may also think about talking with me a lot more than you think about eating. You may not have any issue with eating. You just do it day after day. It is a priority and it will remain a priority and all of that is simple and clear. Then, there are other things that in contrast are not quite as simple or not quite as clear. You are still weighing or assessing or evaluating or testing. 
How important to you is it, for instance, to study the Bible? That may be a mere curiosity or an intense fascination or passion or pre-occupation… or totally boring and even confusing. How is it important to you? How important is it? How is it important? Those are questions of priority or importance or relevance. Do you invest time in studying the Bible more than in studying the Book of Mormon? Why?
Lucy reading

Someoone named “Lucy” reading some book (Photo credit: leekelleher)


So, again, I have only covered two uncontroversial details so far: you called me and you said to me at the end “you do not get me.” I deliberately focus on certain details in particular- which I consider important. I deliberately respond to particular details- which I consider important. I may “talk around” or “talk over” other details- maybe to avoid controversy- as well as introduce new details… maybe to spark a particular inquiry or controversy… which I may consider important. I may have some commitment in the background as well- whether any commitment of mine is distinguished or undistinguished.
When you called, I was in that very moment thinking about you and thinking about sharing with you the distinction between sincerity and accuracy, then between accuracy and prioritizing importance or relevance. I do not need to go any deeper in to that now, but that is another detail I am introducing. I think I will just focus on the issue of sincerity for now.
I texted you “thank you for your sincerity.” Sometimes people “believe” something and they are interested in who also believes the same. Who will accept their perception without any further comment? Who is interested enough in their perception to listen and then just accept quietly with maybe just a few clarifying questions to show their interest and to show their commitment to “getting it?” Who will “agree?” Who will recognize Lucy’s conclusions as valid? Who will simply support her current conclusions?
You may value KNOWING (are you sure?) that I “get it.” Or, you want to know WHETHER I “get it” and you want SOMEONE to “get you,” whether that is me or a girlfriend of yours or what.
So, now I could add lots of details of what you said in the phone call. You told me new information that I did not already know. Maybe it is “weird” to you which details seem most interesting to me. Maybe my responses (or lack of comment about particular things) are notable in the context of you wanting to organize some new specific clarity. Did I get how important certain things are to you? Do I even care? 
Maybe you had a specific outcome already in mind, and having one in mind could be very useful in effectively producing that outcome, right? Did you satisfy it? At the end, you said, “you do not get me,” perhaps like this: “see there, this is just as I suspected/expected, even you do not get me- EVEN YOU, J.R.! You should though. You really should. Do you get that? DO YOU!?!?!”
So there can be controversies and conflicts among sincere people. They can sincerely disagree and sincerely argue. They can argue about the Bible or about what happened six minutes ago or six years ago or about “what is the right way to” be a good husband or “what my mom should do about _______.”

Sometimes, people can also get “buried in details.” When I make a broad comment like “so I get that you were really upset,” that is obviously a broad comment. It is not an argument against any specific detail or a request for more detail. It is just a broad, general comment. It could be side-stepping one controversy or topic or commitment. It could be making room for another.

What might happen is that I actually do get you, but you do not get that I get you. That could be an important commitment of yours- that you KNOW that you can RELY on me to get you or TRUST me to get you. It could be a breakdown or a problem or an issue if you value me getting you but you do not know if I did or not- or you sincerely believe that I did not get you.

You might even really be concerned already (before you start talking or even before you dial the phone) that I won’t or that I don’t or that I should or that I can’t. You might be sincere about how “no one gets you” or “obviously he does not get me because if he did then there is no way that he would _____.” However, sincerity is not accuracy.

Sincerity is just the formation of one conclusion. The conclusion has not been established as accurate or, more importantly, as important. But the sincere conclusion could be important…. maybe.

It could be important to you to create a “safe” relationship (as in a dynamic of conversation that is “calm, steady, peaceful, open, sincere, honest, interesting, valuable, a high priority”). You might not want to add controversy to it by adding physical interactions that can be “complications” or “challenges.” You might want the relationship to be “kept sacred.” You might not want to risk losing that safety or value. It might be so important to you that you avoid risking “too much.”

It could be important to you to have a relationship in which controversy is welcome and where controversy can be openly stated and directly addressed and explored and resolved. New conclusions can be created. Old conclusions can be tested, confirmed, invalidated, revised, or discarded.
Old commitments can be distinguished. New commitments can be created. That is called communication- and not just any conversation, but high-value communication. Or, maybe that kind of communication is not a priority. Maybe eating is a higher priority.
I ate these - ants in the Amazon 2003

I ate these – ants in the Amazon 2003 (Photo credit: exfordy)

However, when a controversy arises, who do you call? You may even stop eating (because the sauce is just way too hot anyway) at least long enough to call someone when you are upset about work or about a court case or about a friend, and who do you consistently choose to communicate with? Who do you share yourself with? Why? 
Who do you want to “get” you? Who do you know might be able to get you (like when other people CLEARLY do not)? Who do you know does get you?  Who gets you the most? Who gets the most of you?

Who do you trust? How do you trust them? How do not you NOT trust them… that is important to you? How would you value trusting them that you do not… yet. Maybe you never will. Maybe not them. Maybe not anyone.

What commitment is active, evident, alive? What value is motivating the interaction, the exploration, the creativity? What is the priority?

Why do you keep calling me? Why do you keep texting me? What do you want from me!?!? 
When interacting with me, what do you notice that you want for yourself? What do you value most? What is important to you? What is important to you about what happened six days ago or six years ago or how your mom should be or what makes a husband a good husband? 
What is SINCERELY important to you? Sincerity is a foundation for clarity and prioritizing. Clarity includes the issue of accuracy of perceptions. Prioritizing is about clearly sorting through some accurate perceptions- perceptions in which there is a lot of confidence, so no defensiveness or argumentativeness or controversy. There is no frightened desperation for approval. There is just clarity.
Some conversations stir up controversy. That can be attractive but often that can be quite repelling. Some interactions cause controversy. Some relationships stir up lots of controversy. Other relationships allow for controversy to be voiced and then resolved… peacefully, reliably, consistently, trustworthily.
Other relationships are so valuable that in spite of controversy and challenges, we continue them- such as a job that is not ideal, but is valuable. Until a better job is found to replace it, that job “serves a purpose” and so the controversy or challenge is “worth the drama.”
But some relationships are so valuable that a dozen different jobs may come and go or a dozen different controversies, but that relationship has so much value in the communication that the relationship is maintained for years or even decades. That is very distinct from a pattern of relationships that last for weeks or months- which may also serve some valued purpose- but do not have the lasting priority… of eating.
I may say “this food is too hot for me” and then a few times a year I remind myself “yes, it is definitely too hot.” That is probably not a priority. That may be an expression of boredom. Or, maybe I want to know if I have changed so that I can “take the heat.”
“Please, do not rely on hints, J.R., okay!?!?!” Why not? What if they are serving my purposes quite satisfactorily… for now?
What if there is a foundation for interaction that is so stable and steady that it can have a strong enough system of deep roots that when the storms come inevitably- controversy and breakdowns- the tree is firm and reliable? It is good to recognize the contrast between sincerity and effectiveness. What if one woman builds all of her romantic relationships on sand- on sinking and shifting sand- for a long, long time (SINCERELY!) but eventually is VERY frustrated by the results of that (even resigned and dismissive and cynical), but then SUDDENLY discovers that she can build her relationship not on sand but on a rock- a firm, solid foundation? Is there even such a thing? Is that possible?
Do you BELIEVE? Do you TRUST? Do you have FAITH? 
If not, that could be important to get. If so, that could also be important to get.
Cover of "Holy Bible: 10th Anniversary Ed...

Cover of Holy Bible: 10th Anniversary Edition

Sincerity is not reliable. If someone really “gets its,” then they are not “stuck” on issues of sincerity or approval or agreement. They just go in to action. They assess priorities and risks and opportunities- with a focus on accuracy- and then they act.
Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 6:
 47I will show you what someone is like who comes to Mehears My words,and acts on them48He is like a man building a housewho dug deep and laid the foundation on the rockWhen the flood camethe river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake itbecause it was well built49But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundationThe river crashed against itand immediately it collapsedAnd the destruction of that house was great! ”
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010):
 47“Every person who comes to me and has heard my words and does them, I shall show you what he is like”: 48“He is like a man who built a house and he dug and he went deep and laid the foundation on the rock, and when there was a flood, the flood beat on that house and it could not shake it, for its foundation was founded on the rock.” 49“And he who heard and did not do it [did not GET it!] is like the man who built his house on the soil without a foundation, and when the river beat on it, immediately it fell, and the fall of that house was great.”

blame the EU: developing public demand for your business through “harnessing controversy”

May 29, 2012

The key to the future of your business is developing public demand



To develop public demand, an awareness of existing public demand is essential. Further, if you are not clear about how public demand changes, then eventually you will be surprised when it changes, such as when gas prices soared and prices of real estate and stocks declined.

I published forecasts in early 2003 of an emerging instability in real estate and stock markets. In 2004, my continuing analysis began to focus on the issue of a predictable long-term rising of prices for gasoline and crude oil which began in 1999. I asserted in 2004 that because of certain geological facts about fossil fuel, the rise of fuel prices since 1999 would accelerate until it would radically alter the economic behavior patterns of Europe and the US, just as I claimed had been happening since 1989 in Japan.
As you may know, by 2008, prices for a gallon of gasoline spiked above $11 in parts of Europe. Behavior changed radically. Consumption of gasoline decreased dramatically. Prices of gasoline then fell dramatically.
However, prior to that, people had been redirecting money from other investments (such as stocks or real estate or even travel and entertainment) toward paying for rising costs of fuel, especially to commute for work. Since 2004, my basic assertion has been that consumers would choose to pay rising prices for gasoline over buying more stocks, more real estate, as well as things like more furniture or more tickets to sporting events or music concerts. Since 2004, the evidence has strongly supported my forecast.
Another way of interpreting my analysis was that I claimed that the public (at least in the West) had been vastly overestimating the value of (demand for) real estate and stocks while underestimating the practical priority of fuel (and the huge increase in demand for fuel in Indo-China and even the EU). I also claimed (long before the public was aware of any “crisis” ) that much of the public next would engage in political arguments about who to blame, just as had been the case throughout the 1990s in Japan, which would ultimately be recognized as an unrewarding investment of time.
English: THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. President Vladim...

English: THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. President Vladimir Putin meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud. Русский: МОСКВА, КРЕМЛЬ. С министром иностранных дел Саудовской Аравии Саудом аль-Фейсалом Аль Саудом. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“How can politicians rescue us from geology? How can politicians rescue us from economics? How can politicians rescue us from our own preference for fuel over real estate and stocks? How can politicians rescue us from our own naive presumptions and denial and arrogance and antagonism?”
I dared to pose questions such as those PRIOR to the economic changes coming to the attention of the public. Again, I simply borrowed some ideas from what had already been developing in the conversations of the residents of Japan.
I have found that most Americans with whom I interact still think that gasoline prices in the US are primarily determined by issues specific to their own nation. If so, why do average gasoline prices vary from under $3.38 in South Carolina and Oklahoma to over $4.39 in California, or over $11 per gallon in Europe to under $1 per gallon in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela?
Is it possible that when Europeans are paying $11 per gallon, that is a factor in Americans paying as much as $4? Consider that if you had the exact same product to sell and you had two offers to buy it: one for $4 and one for $11, which buyer would you favor?
Would the person who only offers you $4 complain to their government if you choose to sell to the purchaser offering nearly three times as much? “Those people want me to pay $4.10 instead of 95 cents, which is what I consider fair!”
Yes, that is correct. Those people want to sell it for over $10 a gallon in Europe instead of for under $5 a gallon somewhere else. Wouldn’t you do the same? If someone offered you $10,000,000 to buy your house and someone else offered only $4,000,000, don’t you think that you might consider accepting the higher bid simply because it was a higher bid?
Petrol Prices

Petrol Prices (gasoline) in Europe soared in to mid-2008, then briefly retreated before resuming climbs to all-time highs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people certainly have been complaining that the international energy market has been selling fuel to Europe that it could have sold in the US for a huge reduction in profit. Consider that addicts have a tendency to resort to denial and blame and that Americans (as well as Europeans) are extremely addicted to cheap fuel.
Obviously, as American gasoline addicts facing the terror of withdrawal, we can blame the Europeans for outbidding us so much that fuel prices in the US doubled in a few years. However, prices for crude oil rose 1200% in 9 years (from 1999 to 2008) while Americans complained that gasoline more than doubled. Why don’t more Americans celebrate the fact that gallon prices rose less than 1000% and not even 500%? Well, that is just not in the nature of addicts, is it?
By the way, blaming Europeans for driving up fuel prices will not change fuel prices. People in Oklahoma can also blame Californians for paying $4.40 per gallon and driving up prices to over $3 in Oklahoma, but complaining and blaming will not change fuel prices. As long as Californians will keep paying higher prices for gasoline, people in Oklahoma will also face rising prices. As long as Europeans are paying over $10 per gallon, that will effect fuel prices in competing markets such as the US.
Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary-General of the Na...

Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary-General of the National Security Council of Saudi Arabia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, some people may want to elect a politician who will “make” international sellers favor receiving $4 over $11. Some of the same people then complain when their politicians arrange for some serious military force in order to coerce sellers to decline offers to sell for $11 in favor of accepting offers to sell for $4. That is extremely ironic.
By the way, instead of invading the middle east, if the US invaded the EU, that might be the best way to get fuel prices back down to $2 per gallon in the US. After all, it’s not the Arabs who are paying $11 per gallon and driving up prices in the US, right?
I know that the US invading the EU probably sounds ridiculous to you today, but 9 years ago when I predicted all of the major economic developments of the last several years, many people called my forecasts “ridiculous” then, too. The EU is in much worse economic trouble than the US and has nothing comparable to the centralized military of the US, plus the US is still the #3 producer of oil on the planet. Then again, invading the EU could be bad for US relations with OPEC nations, who are currently making huge profits from selling fuel to Europe, similar to the huge profits the US made on European exports in the 20th century.
Here is an easier question: which will be more important to the US in 10 years: relations with the EU (if it even still exists) or with OPEC? The chart below may help you to answer, showing that, within 15 years, OPEC countries are expected to produce twice as much crude oil as the rest of the world combined.
opec vs non opec
While I am not ready to forecast a formal US invasion of the EU, I am certain that the citizenry of the US fluctuates in regard to their sentiments toward war in general and any war in particular. Incidentally, I do not know how many military bases the US currently has in Europe (other than in Germany), but it might be more appropriate to reference an expansion of the current US military activity in Europe rather than use a term like invasion, which suggests that the US military is not already there.
Now, back to the future of your business, adapting to how public values are changing is essential, at least in periods when public values are shifting radically. Knowing when public values are about to shift is also extremely valuable.
My specialty is assessing how public values are about to change. 13 years ago, I also began to work as a consultant in the field of advertising and marketing. I can help your business to present itself to the public in ways that will be intriguing and distinctive, yet not so controversial as to be distracting.
Know how public demand is shifting. Know how to shift your business to develop the public demand for what you are offering.
If you do, then your business will grow faster than that of your competition. If you do not, then you will experience results that may eventually motivate you to invest in hiring a marketing consultant that understands how public demand is shifting and how to cultivate and develop public demand so that the public associates your business with their emerging values.

the controversy of conspiracy

April 26, 2012
Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Theory (Photo credit: wuji9981)

the controversy of conspiracy

Hysteria 2

Hysteria 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ideal condition of a herd is for the herd to maintain a state of moderate hysteria. Total panic is only favorable if there is a well-orchestrated strategy to contain and direct the momentum of the panic, which otherwise could lose coherence and dissolve in to a wild chaos.

There must be calming triggers installed, like sacred mantras of heroism and patriotism and morality and idealism. There must be agitation triggers installed as well, for a calm herd is vulnerable to a contagion of introspection and autonomy.

Every civil religion has sacred objects for ritual practices, such as colorful flags and constitutions made of shapes of ink on paper. These sacred objects can be used by those who are most skillful both to arouse and to calm the masses.
What is the best way to trigger a wave of social agitation? There must be an indoctrinated programming of expectations of what should be. Ideally, these expectations will be unresolvably conflicting with each other.

Herd of sheep

Herd of sheep (Photo credit: freefotouk)

Then, these expectations must be carefully violated- though only a few at a time. Different groups with different expectations must be agitated in to conflict with each other. Each group will have their pet issue that they are for or against. Each group will also have an opposing group. Constant vigilance is the theme of the religion of politics. Each group must be constantly anxious that a pause to the intensity of their activism could bring a terrifying and shameful defeat.

In order to sustain the tense paralysis of democracy, no political victory can ever be definitive. There is always another impending future to prevent, a threat to address, an eternal vulnerability to protect and defend.

If people were to stop defending their most cherished vulnerabilities, the whole network of paralyzing antagonism could relax. The eternal agitation, hysteria, anxiety, and mystery must be preserved at all costs, or the herd united in conflict could dissipate in to isolated pools of self-awareness, responsibility, and functionality.

Once the strategies for receiving a mild panic have been properly prepared, then people must be terrified with a

new_york_city-conspiracy theory idiots

new_york_city-conspiracy theory idiots (Photo credit: mädchenkrawall)

confusing array of references to impending threats, doom and collapse. A threat like global warming or health epidemics are perfect villains. There must be constant fear. There must be endless hysteria. There must be arguing, with a steady trickle of earnest demands for sacred principles to be set aside because of the severity of the latest threat, whether present or potential.

Impending armageddon and cataclysm are the eternal allies of the priesthoods of social engineering. Without the threat of some danger or enemy, what justification is there for the coercive tyranny of governments?

Drive the people in to mortgages. Drive the various people in to believing in a particular material solution to their common psychological insecurity. Set them to struggling against each other in the pursuit of the particular material solution that they are programmed to seek. The various competing groups will protect the elite from all of the other competing groups.

Hatred of the elite must be universal. Power must be demonized as the great evil.

Conspiracy must be flaunted yet ridiculed. The spokespeople for the elite can at once attack all reference to conspiracy as “theory,” then present the least plausible of all theories of conspiracy as the official authorized version of history.

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The President must appear on Jesse Ventura‘s Conspiracy Theory to repeat that there has never been a false flag operation conducted by any government or political organization. The only conspiracies in the history of “our nation” (whichever nation) have been perpetrated by evil foreign terrorists, except in the case of conspiracies by civilians that governments agents have gone out of their way to target, such as Native Americans who are trespassing on their ancestral homelands without the permission of the expanding European settlers, or Japanese Americans who have the audacity to legally reside in the United States during wartime, slaves who dare to conspire in planning attempts to escape, and so on.

Conspiracy is a crimeand any activity authorized or performed by the government is excluded from that

First and Front Streets, San Francisco, Califo...

First and Front Streets, San Francisco, California. Exclusion Order posted to direct Japanese Americans living in the first San Francisco section to evacuate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

government’s definition of crime. Crime, by the way, is the greatest villain of all.

Did you know that thousands of people in your country are illegally using marijuana right this moment? Isn’t that terrifying? Aren’t you glad I woke you up from sleeping to warn you? Your tax dollars are needed urgently to promote freedom by regulating freedom and combating freedom and liberating distant foreign lands from freedom.

Crime must be stopped. Crime must be controlled. Crime must be managed. Crime must be cultivated. Crime must be milked for maximizing controversy and hysteria and receptivity to persuasion.

If there is not enough crime to agitate the public, the government must make some enemies, even fictitious ones. The crime can be planned by the government along with a careful public relations scheme to report the crime, skew the story, present an instant cast of frightening suspects to a shocked, traumatized, and naively receptive public through an integrated propaganda campaign of mass media.

This is the pinnacle of centralized influence. In a totalitarian system, the masses must be trained to be universally opposed to totalitarianism in order for the totalitarianism to be hidden in plain sight.

Fear Totalitarianism

Fear Totalitarianism (Photo credit: sakuraknight2000)

new_york_city-conspiracy theory idiots

new_york_city-conspiracy theory idiots (Photo credit: mädchenkrawall)

Responding with a curious courage… to recent financial developments

April 5, 2009

Responding with a curious courage… to recent financial developments

Quickly, let’s be clear what it does and does not mean to respond with a curious courage. I wonder if you can recall a time when you were not just already curious, but when your curiosity then led you to perceive a risk or danger that you only could have directly recognized through your own exploring, and then, after this discovery that you just made, you courageously redirected your behavior away from the perceived risk and toward a valuable opportunity that, again, you only discovered through the practice of curiosity. Let’s call that time now.

In contrast, what a curious courage does not mean is this: to identify how reality should have been, whether or not it was, then, when some pattern of reality did not fit with how it allegedly should have been, then to identify that pattern of reality as having been a problem, and then choose not to take any new initiative toward personal responsibility for one’s own future, but instead focus anger on whoever was convenient to blame for that problematic reality, and finally, identify whoever first provided you someone to blame for that problematic reality as the one to blindly rely on to almost fix that problematic reality next, since reality may persistently thwart reactive efforts to fix it by first blaming someone else for why it was not how it should have been (according to whoever denied that reality should be however reality actually already is).

Now, with a curious courage, we could be asking how did this particular apparent reality develop- yet with a specific concern for one’s own prior practices and the resulting effects produced from one’s own prior practices. That personal identification of one’s own prior practices as the primary issue related to the results produced by those practices is what may take courage.

So, let’s imagine that someone went to a casino and did very well for quite a while. They soon developed confidence and came back to the casino again and again. They made consistent unearned gains by using a certain method that worked for them over and over.

However, yesterday, they used that same old method but got a different result, that one which they do not value. Then, they kept trying that same method again and continued to get the result that they do not value. Soon, they lost quite a bit of their prior unearned gains- or even all of those gains as well as all of their original investment or even more.

Maybe they were afraid to even think about or look at their recent results. They may have been focusing on how much they used to have as if that was somehow more relevant than what they have left.

What would it mean to respond to this situation with a curious courage? Would it be courageous to look for someone else to blame for the recent results? Maybe you blamed the casino itself, or the government regulators, or a certain current or former employee of the casino, or perhaps your neighbor or even your neighbor’s dog.

Now, I might suggest that the particular investing method that you used is what produced the unfavorable result. Of course, it could be possible that the casino or government regulators did change some relevant rule, yet even if that were true, identifying such a change would not make your old method back into one that produces favorable results. If some rule had been changed and that is the single reason why your old method was no longer valuable, then knowing what rule has been changed might provide some insight into what other method might be valuable now, but you may not be interested in that yet.

After all, if the reason the rule was changed is because of your neighbor’s dog, then you could continue to use the method that stopped working but just get really angry at the dog. Or, while you continue to use the method that stopped working, maybe you could kill the dog, and then maybe someone would change the rule back so that your old method that stopped working might work again one day eventually, and you could just keep using it for as long as it takes, even though until that might happen you may be producing results with that method that you definitely may not value, because one day it could work again- you know, hypothetically.

That all could be true. One other thing though that someone with a curious courage might wonder is this: what about discontinuing the use of whatever prior method already stopped working to produced unearned capital gains? Sure, maybe the dog can be killed and the rule can be changed back to how it was and so one day possibly in the not-too-distant future the old method that stopped working may work again, but how about now? Sure, maybe someone can identify the neighbor that might have been in some way responsible for preventing you from continuing to multiply the unearned capital gains that you used to compound, and then maybe someone can get that neighbor to remedy the situation by paying to bail out the casinos that have suffered incredibly all because of that one dog. However, what about reconsidering the investing method which however long ago stopped working to produce the results you value?

Even if you advocate for a possible return back towards the prior situation, another possibility is that you explore modifying your investing method, at least until all dogs are killed so that you can know that no other dogs will ever prevent you from multiplying unearned capital gains with the single method that is most familiar to you, which is probably borrowing money to invest in real estate, but it could also be dumping money into various stocks and hoping that those stocks go up in value at least enough to balance any inflation and taxes.

I know a lot of people who I warned many years ago about the specific market developments that have since rendered their previously valuable methods worthless, resulting in losses of some or all of their unearned gains in real estate equity (or in US tech stocks or UK financial stocks and so on). Some of them even owe more on their mortgage than the collateral property is worth.

I also know a lot of people who have watched me make consistently accurately predictions of a variety of ups and downs in a variety of markets. Some of them may never give up the methods that they previously used to produce consistent unearned gains for them but that recently stopped working. Some of them may not ever explore a principle that works in all market conditions: partnering with the reality of market conditions and even partnering with someone who knows how to find opportunity in all market conditions now.

That might require a curious courage. Not everyone has that. For those of us who do have it, the fact that not everyone else has it is related to what distinguishes our results from their results, which includes the curiosity to be honest about the reality of market conditions, rather than defining some patterns of reality as “problems” to be automatically reacted to with personal blaming and blind devotion in the latest emergency rescue fix proposed, whether that is a political “solution” or some other silver bullet, like, whenever one has been confused, just investing in silver (or real estate etc) as the one magic solution to the persisting problem of reality not being the same as someone told you it should be.

Consider that reality is only a problem for those who insist on investing in opposition to it. For those with a curious courage, reality is an opportunity to partner. Now, with me and the investing methods that fit with partnering with the reality of market conditions, certain people get consistently favorable results in all market conditions. Not everyone will contact someone committed to partnering with reality to let me know that they are interested in consistently favorable results, but what about you?


“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir (1916-1988)

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