Category Archives: Collaboration

MAKING YOUR LIFE GREAT DESPITE NOT GETTING ALL THE BREAKS

Created July 23, 2021

Forgive me, I must admit I wasn’t thinking of you, my regular readers, when I wrote this. I was writing this to your kids, or grandkids, or more likely to young people you may know who didn’t grow up nourished by your wisdom. Please do pass this along to anyone you know whom you feel could benefit from it, people who are having a hard time. Thanks!

67.7% of people with a net worth of $30 million or more today were not born into rich families. They made it on their own.

More than ever, some people born in poverty are making it. It’s the best time to be alive if you’re an average person without all the breaks. With the internet all of knowledge is available to you.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention by talking about money, let’s be clear that it isn’t the most important goal, it’s just something you need because of the way the world is set up. California is already beginning to move by cautious partial steps toward a guaranteed minimum income for everyone. Someday that may be the way the world works. For now, money is something to take into account in your planning, but it’s not the purpose of your life.

What’s really important is finding and doing your passion work. That also happens to be the way that you will be happier, more fulfilled, and more effective at everything in life. And it may also wind up making you the most money too, although you’d be happier doing your passion work and just getting by as far as money is concerned, than if you end up doing work that is just so-so for you, while making more money, having more one-night stands (which the culture has brainwashed young people to highly value), and owning more trophy things than your crowd.

While they may all continue to go down the other path of impressing others with mundane things, you ought to take the route that will make the most of your life, and of your gifts.

If you don’t think you are gifted, you haven’t made enough of an objective study of yourself. We all have things that we do better than most people. Things that you enjoy doing and which you do well are the clues to what you are alive to do.

Once you have studied yourself enough and have a vague glimmering or a specific idea of what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, then you need to set a first firm direction in life, select the kind of organization or the specific organization you want to work for, or you want to create. You may change course later on or not, but you need a first base to run to.

You just figure out where you could show your skills to the greatest degree, and go there, humbly learn the ropes, then stay humble.

Humility is another side of nobility.

Human collective unconscious probably programs the brain to enable humans to sense noble people. Such people are respected and their opinions sought.

How can you be noble?

Just take responsibility for doing good in every moment.

Be grateful every moment for being alive.

Be kind to everyone.

That’s all it is!

To summarize, you follow your strengths, envisioning the target state, act nobly with kindness.

A few simple rules that will take you to your destination.

Best to all,

Bill

Statement of Work

Created June 11, 2021

This is an SOW for the human race. It’s really an urgent request.

You see, it’s difficult to see something that is gigantic. Your mind has an automatic program for suppressing cognitive dissonance, especially during Acceleritis.

This is not any less threatening than all of those movies. This is the oncoming reality of those scary movies.

It’s time for each of us to stand up and pitch in.

Putting aside the petty grievances of the past.

This part is for philanthropists:

Think outside the box, it’s not business as usual right now.

Old reliable methods may need to be set aside during the emergency.

Where can your gifts do the most good?

After putting out the fires of old rivalries, Job Number One will be something like

  1. Bring all people in the world up to the current national average household income in the USA
  2. Do it respecting their desire to work for it, make fair deals, family education covered
  3. This is greenfield economic opportunity for everyone, if we go cold turkey on our addiction to dystopian expectations

In other words, if you can imagine for a second that the human addiction to violence might disappear suddenly, without having to think about that all the time, the development of the underdeveloped would be the natural magnet. That’s where the growth rate will be the most impressive, good for stock prices.

Only the violence and the addictive tendencies of the mind separate us, the human race, from stepping across the great divide, into seeing our wholeness, our connectivity, our oneness.

But if we could all be given that vision, wear that lens, for ten minutes, we would ask so what are we going to do instead? And self-realizing that there are excitingly vast possibilities in a future in which we can get along without hate, overt or covert.

The planet needs a lot of work, let’s get it organized and start to put it back together better than it ever was.

Preventing Minority Rule

Created May 6th, 2021

Some prognosticators are saying that filibuster and gerrymandering cannot be stopped and the result will be Republicans taking over legislative majority next year and winning the White House in 2024.

(Right up front let me say that I am OK in principle with Republicans or Democrats or even Independents like myself – now 41% per Gallup – winning legislative majority and/or the White House in any year. My concern is the White House being taken by a small band of rogues, as I will explain below.)

I checked the numbers in such articles as best I could and saw their point. Without enough votes to end the filibuster, gerrymandering alone is estimated to be able to gain the Republican party four more seats in Congress in 2022, more than enough to tip the scales the other way in Congress. Plus there is the historical tendency for midterm elections to go against the party of a first term president.

The 60% majority required to get legislation passed caused by filibuster creates an all-or-nothing effect. Either one party dominates but can’t get legislation passed, or the other party dominates but can’t get legislation passed.

Then, if an election causes the party positions to switch, the winning party erases all of what the former command party did.

This endless vacillation without permanent decisive action does not paint a rosy future for America, and therefore is also not a harbinger of freedom, justice, and equality taking over in the world any time soon.

The latest 53-country poll finds that most of the people in the world (81%) want Democracy, yet also are most afraid of Democracy going away because of America. Their main issue is inequality in wealth. This is the tragic legacy that un-American actors have already given us.

Standing by helplessly watch a relatively small cabal of hypocrites slash and gore world democracy even further is not something I can live with, without doing my all to combat that scenario. Other wiser Republicans or Democrats very welcome. Not the coup d’etat gang.

I tried out a scenario in my mind of a constitutional amendment (and learned that Dave Dodson wrote about it two years ago, long before I thought of it). But those have to be ratified by three quarters of State legislatures. 61% of State legislatures are controlled by the same Trump Republicans who are busily instituting voter restrictions. How would we expect to get more than 59% of that group (that would be 75% of all States) to ratify amendments to end filibuster and gerrymandering?

The only way out that I can see is referendums (I prefer “referenda” but the sources all use “referendums”). All 50 States have laws enabling these, however in only 26 States is it permissible for voters to initiate the referendum, in the other 24 the State legislature has to initiate. Parsing the latter group, out of the 24 we can conceive that 9 of these States’ legislatures could be reasonably expected to initiate a referendum as they are blue States except for Minnesota which is split. If that all went down exactly as expected, 15 States and the federal government would be controlled by a few thousand very specific Republicans who do not represent the average Republican (see stats below), while 35 States (more with DC and any other American lands achieving Statehood) would be doing their best to make State laws supporting voting rights, preventing gerrymandering, and preserving a degree of majority rule.

In the 15 States the picture might not look much like majority rule. Let’s do a simulation. We’ll use some real statistics to do it. To keep it simple, as a rule of thumb, let’s consider loyalty to Trump to be the main indicator of people who may know that they are a minority yet are quite content to rule the country as if they were the majority.

Let’s also consider loyalty to Trump over loyalty to the USA as an indicator of willingness to distrust everyone other than Trump (like the courts who threw out the cases against the 2020 election).

Why do these few thousand party controlling Republicans favor Trump so much? Because they know they are not the majority party without him, and see him as the only chance they personally have to stay on top.

Now where we started this column was with the facts as regards filibuster and gerrymandering. The people who would be propelled into power by these tools in 2022 – just as we are hopefully in all other ways getting back to normal lives vis a vis the pandemic – are much more pro-Trump than are average Americans or even average Republicans.

  • A 2021 Pew poll shows that 68% of Americans do not want Trump to remain a major political figure
  • The same poll shows that, even among Republicans, almost half (43%) do not want Trump to remain a major political figure
  • Based on their impeachment voting, only 14% of Republican Senators and 5% of Republican Congresspeople do not want Trump to remain a major political figure

The glaring revelation is that the Republicans who will wind up controlling all of our lives – if the 2022 election goes as the experts expect – do not represent all of us, they don’t even represent all Republicans!

Based on 237 million people eligible to vote in the US 2020 elections, there are 59,750,000 Republicans in America but only 4251 Republican party controlling members. 3979 Republicans in State legislatures, 27 Republican Governors, 43 Republican Senators who voted against impeaching Trump, and 202 Republican Congresspeople who did the same.

Yet if these 4251 people do engineer the takeover via filibuster and gerrymandering, there will be minority rule in America.

We will be being ruled by 4251 Trump loyalists and probably in 2024 by Trump himself.

This number, strangely, is not far from the number of controlling party members in another country – China – where the National People’s Congress consists of about 2924 people (a 2017 statistic).

What can we do about it?

Constitutional amendment will not work under the circumstances, although down the road it would be a good idea in order to make such “tricks’ unconstitutional and illegal and order the courts to take responsibility for making judgments in such cases. The tricks would include not only filibuster and gerrymandering but also voting restrictions of any kind.

In the immediate future, though, the strongest course of action to preserve majority rule in America would be to mount a major grassroots movement to create referendums in as many States as possible. And Pew, Gallup, Dynata, and other respected objective pollsters can use polling in the States without referendums to estimate what the referendum results would have been.

This may not change the outcome of the next couple of major election cycles but it can change the way citizens get involved in preserving American democracy, and democracy in the world. And maybe it could even make the elections fairer, despite chicanery. It would definitely bring it to our own attention that the will of the American population is no longer correlating well with the laws being made. And in time, that, in itself, would lead to eventual redress. The loopholes wormed into the US system that were not mentioned in the Constitution will eventually be shut.

I believe the Founders created a system for the Ages and only our own tampering (parties created in 1796, gerrymandering created in 1812, filibuster created in 1841) – typically for the good of only a few thousand politicians – is the source of all this mess we find ourselves in today.

Re-Evaluating Our Foundational Beliefs

Created April 30th, 2021

*Thank you Mr. President for a balanced and meticulously thought out approach at a time when others are losing their heads. In addition to my donations I’ve attempted to send you helpful ideas. Here are the links to the articles that hopefully someone on the staff can review, assess, and do whatever is decided with.*

Philosophy is the practice of re-evaluating our foundational beliefs.

The practice of philosophy has diminished from ancient days to now.

The one place where philosophy has not gone away – in fact, where it dominates all human life on the planet today – is economics.

Economic “theory” makes it sound like economics is a science now. It is not nor has it ever been a science. It is a collection of clashing philosophies. (My recommendation as to how to make it a science.)

Why do I say that economics dominates all human life today? What is the subject matter causing the schism in America today? It is all about money. And, of course it is all about power. Is the money important because it gets you to power? Or is the power important because it gets you to money?

It is the latter.

Money is the one thing in the world that provides an individual with freedom (assuming that individual lives in a democracy).

Power is not the thing most people wish for, because it would bring with it responsibility. Most people will be happy if they have enough money and can spend their time doing things they love doing – usually involving churning out some passion work outputs that delight other people too.

This is not to obscure individual differences. Thankfully each of us is unique. My work has established that there are fifteen motivations and that each person is driven by a specific set of these, whose relative importance to the individual shifts over time.

The world’s oldest and longest manuscript, the Mahabharata, establishes four things that are worth obtaining from life: pleasure, wealth, virtue, and enlightenment.

The fact that economics dominates the world today shows that we have as a race lost sight of things we knew long ago. There is an amazing imbalance away from the other three “Highest Goods”. It’s all just about wealth now.

And yet, behind the propaganda used by believers in one economic philosophy over another, the people who originally made up these economic philosophies were not as depicted in the propaganda.

“No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.” – Adam Smith

Adam Smith believed that the free hand of the market – the sum of actions of ordinary people and commercial enterprises and everyone else except governments – would lead eventually (he did not specify how long it might take) to an equilibrium satisfactory to all, and to growth and the elimination of poverty.

He lived at a time (1723-1790) when governments imposed protectionistic laws in a system called “Mercantilism” which maximized the wealth within a country by keeping out foreign competition. The same line of thinking linking the fortunes of countries and governments with those of companies and businesspeople was the context that spawned the British East India Company in 1600. Thus, Mercantilism was one of the spirals in the double helix with Colonialism/Imperialism. Go out and trade but exploit the others you trade with outside our country, bring their wealth back here, do not create win/win deals.

If you read Adam Smith – his own writings – you will see that his view of Laissez Faire and the Free Invisible Hand of the Market was intended to supplant Mercantilism as the dominant world economic system.

He did not offer any vision of the complicated world economic system we have today, nor any solutions for the kinds of challenges we are now facing.

He never once used the word “Capitalism”.

He was a genius and also owned considerable common sense. He wrote from his own moral compass and view of the world, he was a philosopher not an economist, he did not deal in data science, nor attempt to compile statistics to reach and prove his conclusions.

He was constantly making one foundational assumption, based on his accurate assessment that humans are social creatures: that all of us feel empathy for others, and therefore we would operate (eventually, as a result of growing up, education, experience) from enlightened self-interest. Meaning the realization that one will tend to be unhappy no matter how rich one gets, if one observes others suffering. He assumed that eventually everyone would be that way naturally – naturally altruistic, not egoistic– transcending 100% selfishness. Therefore, the rich would give to and train the poor, and we would all live happily ever after. In this optimistic view he may even have been influenced by his mentor and great friend David Hume.

In the 231 years since his demise, we have not achieved universal altruism. I like to think that the percentage of altruists in the population has increased as a percentage of total population in that time. However, I have no data to support that. And the evidence of the last four years would seem to make the notion ludicrous.

Today, Americans have become so enmeshed in fantasy beliefs that we have formed warring camps along current party lines.

Adam Smith and David Hume and Tom Paine and the Founding Fathers of America were right. We do all want the same things, and we all feel conscience and empathy for others – but to differing degrees.

That sympathy is clouded by the dominant concern over money. One group is vociferous about bringing about reasonable sharing, citing the lack of evident utility of having excess wealth. The other group shoots them down with slogans based on twisted versions of Adam Smith. But underneath all the well-stated arguments of spokespeople for the two viewpoints, it all comes down to money. Haves and Havenots. It is no different at the foundation than it has been since the rise of Capitalism and Socialism. Like pirates scrambling for a gold coin on the deck of a pitching ship.

My sympathy for the poor is pretty obvious in my writing, however I am also sympathetic to hard working people irked by the idea of paying high taxes, sometimes almost a third of which goes to supporting people who do not work. In the short term this welfare state approach is the least bad solution, but in the long run we need to shift to training (see pages 6-7 at the link) those people to be able to support themselves, and not just because it would lower our taxes. Someone who lives off the dole will not tend to have high self-esteem, will not have found their calling, will miss out on having passion work to do each day, will rarely if ever experience the Flow state.

Joe Biden and his colleagues would be wise to use the media to educate the public to the roots of present events, so individuals can choose more wisely, separated from merely loquacious rhetoric.

Rancor is a sign of irrationality.

Blessings upon us all,

Bill

The Human Race Needs to Go Inside

Created March 12, 2021

By not being observant, we miss out on information that would have helped us if we had only noticed it.

The information we miss might be from events happening around us. It can also be information we miss that is going on inside of us.

Distraction is the usual cause of inattention. There are too many things going on around us and inside us. This is a cultural condition. Acceleritis is the word I use to describe what life has been like for the average citizen of Earth since we started writing things down: an ever-accelerating maelstrom of curiosity-attracting events occurring almost constantly.

My theory is that it is written language that caused Acceleritis, by changing the ways we use our minds in the direction of abstraction, chunking of information, and analysis; which cascaded into invention of weapons, tools, machines, media, science, and technology. As this upward curve progressed its speed accelerated exponentially and continues to do so. The amount of information entering our minds each second has never been as higher in the past and it will be even higher in the future.

The way most of us handle it is willy-nilly. Hence, we are often distracted and miss information.

The most valuable information that we miss is happening inside of us.

The Acceleritis culture demands and compels our attention outward. We are hypnotized by the sensory overload. We can’t get enough of it. Many of us are multitasking during almost all waking hours.

This tends to reduce introspection to lower and lower average levels as each century passes by.

That is why we miss so much of what is going on inside of us.

The reason why it matters is that without introspection we will not know ourselves. We will live and die with a superficial image of ourselves that is of little value in guiding our lives toward peak experiences, Flow state, self-actualization, doing our passion work, having a lasting love affair with our true mate, self-knowledge and self-transcendence.

The experiencer within us, which is our true self, The Me That Was Born, finds it hard to slip us its invaluable inspiration amid the melee of automatic reactions going on inside of us, associations from our various memory banks triggered by new percepts pouring in, often less than ecstatic feelings that we would prefer to not have but never stop to examine and dispel them forever. Those negative feelings are happening just because of memory associations happening below the level of self-noticing.

Once we start to get better at noticing internally, we discover a level of self-mastery we never suspected was possible for us. We are actually able to nip negativity in the bud, turn it into creativity. Our hunches can be effectively divided into ones we successfully take advantage of, versus ones we leave as tentative for further study. Our Flow state experiences happen more and more frequently.

Because internal visibility is so important, Chapter 10 of Mind Magic focuses on methods to develop strong internal visibility.

The attraction of attention outward and its constant fragmentation into distraction after distraction has caused us to become ineffective decision makers. We see this clearly in our world leaders. We see this in our hero and heroine celebrities who in most cases eventually disappoint us. We see it in ourselves but repress it as much as we can, assuming it is what it is and there is no changing it. We pass up the opportunity to make positive changes because we assume those options are all as “full of it as everything is”.

Metaphorically, having experienced so much counterfeit, we subconsciously conclude that there is no real money. But both the real and the counterfeit exist, and it would be better for you to experiment cautiously to see if you can find things that actually work for you.

Concentration within introspection – what I call the Observer state – really works; it is written about by all of the great sages in history, using metaphorical language whereas Mind Magic is explicitly operational in its language. As the great direct response copywriter John Zeigler said about the book and the method, “It works. You don’t.” It doesn’t add stress to your life, it gradually removes it.

The human race needs to go inside. Being so outward-focused is a big part of what got us into the mess we’re in now. It’s become hip to be cynical and pessimistic. This is one step away from hating, rage, threats and violence. Integrate your inner and outer worlds. Dare to wear your heart on your sleeve, unself-protectively, with unguarded eyes, dare to show your love and affection for others. That is the true courage, the true manliness, the true woman-ness, the meaning of mensch.

Best to all,

Bill

We Can and Must Legislate Ethics

Created January 28th, 2021

The U.S. Congress acts as if ethics issues ought to be dealt with only by means of establishing norms via “ethics pledges”. These are promises, not legally binding. Why would we want issues of ethics to be based on promises? Obviously, anyone whose ethics is awry is going to make false promises.

Ethics is not just underperforming its role in government, it’s everywhere.

The 600+ U.S. billionaires gaining $1.1 trillion during Covid is emblematic. In an ethical society, a day or two would go by and the parties involved would do the right thing.

That seems like a joke today. But that’s just because of how jaded and accepting we have all become as we slid down from civility to emotional anarchy.

United. The United States of America.

We ain’t gonna get back there without reset of ethics for all of us.

It’s so simple, we were told about being Good all the years of growing up, all we have to do now, is to be it.

In ancient Greece, there was a saying: “All the Hellenes (Greeks) know what is right, but only the Spartans do it.”

They knew 2000 years ago the right way to be, and they knew it could be achieved by a nation. The Spartans were living sinless lives to a degree which seemed impossible to the rest of the country.

If the Spartans could do it 2000 years ago without all the advances since then, we can do it now, and prove it in the next four years.

Ethics is the center of this storm.

Ethics is a branch of Philosophy.

It’s unfortunate that we’re not a philosophical society today here in the U.S. or in most other places, such as, for example, the ancient Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Iranian, Arab and Roman societies, or the society of the West as it was during the early Christian Era and during the Renaissance and its later scientific Enlightenment phase.

Philosophy dropped off the map in the 20th Century as the materialist wing of science essentially took over science. The great master physicists were all old school and open to the idea of God or the equivalent, but the mass of scientists, employed mostly by military and industry (not that there’s anything wrong with that), leaned all the way over to asserting the non-existence of God, and that made quite an impression in that Century, given as that science was the miracle-doer now. The mob always follows the miracles, as Jesus taught.

We need to bring philosophy back.

This is a piece of what is really needed which is to actually have a retraining of all of us.

We need videos and articles online and in all media which train us in philosophy, values, ethics. We must have foundations. Trying to teach ethics before teaching self-knowledge is trying to build a house starting from the second floor. We need more philosophical programming and content on television and online. Some can be funny, some can be fiction or docudrama, interview, interactive, reality news, let a thousand flowers bloom.

In the immediate short term, the congress should set a good example by first setting laws governing its own ethics, and then a law on citizen ethics. It cannot imperil the Constitution nor individual freedom, except insofar as psychological or physical harm must not be allowed one person to another. The laws as they stand allow bullying and worse. A lot of the insurrectionists are not being charged because “they weren’t bad enough”. Under a new Citizen Ethics Act they would all be charged.

America must decide where the lines ought righteously to be drawn.

The tide of new legislation needed should make congress happy and excited.

The best course to American success is to forget about party.

Let it exist in the background. Start each meeting with a fresh slate, no going in agenda. Learn, think, discuss, and reach consensus, then move on.

Congress is going to have to step up production. We are re-starting everything, without changing the Constitution. Without selling out the Founders, and Lincoln. But otherwise it’s a fresh start. That last movie was no good, don’t want any more of that, change the channel for good.

Filibusters are a great drag on production. Moving more slowly back to being a peaceful, cooperative, polite, friendly society is going to require a number of important new laws. The world is at stake. The world has never been so imperiled before. It would be mass insanity to tolerate delays in setting things straight because of last-movie’s party game.

Congress please produce the best laws possible but do not make unnecessary delays. Everyone is listening in and watching so we can all yell hurry up if we have to. When we hear the same thing said and no more new things being said, we are going to call an audible.

Thank you Congress!

Best to us all,

Bill

 

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