Category Archives: Power of Respect

What Is Fairness Among Nations?

Created February 2nd, 2021

Part of why Russia and China are perpetually mad at us is that we have continuously called them out for doing things we don’t approve of. We have identified the cause of what we see as their bad behavior as being the fact that they are not democracies in the sense of free speech, etc. There is of course a goodly degree of truth to that; however, even if they were to do their best to mimic our kind of democracy, their root cultures going back thousands of years might still interpret democracy in a more top-down way than our ideals ask for.

And of course, the envious nations we have lectured in the past revel in how we have been self-exposed to be just as low as they were when we criticized them!

Let’s look at Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping and put ourselves in their shoes. What would you do if you ran Russia or China? How would you play their hand? Leave aside what you have read or heard about the two people in those shoes, look at it only from the point of view of the position, of the responsibility you have.

At the end of WWII the USA had half the world market economically, was the only nation on Earth with atomic weapons, and was actively helping other nations to rebuild. Russia and China had been allies in that war but very soon after it was over it became clear that there was now a new strife, a war of ideologies. The USA was clear and outspoken in favor of democracy, liberty, equality, justice for all, and against Communism. America had been against Communism long before WWII. So on the gameboard of RISK the two largest Marxist nations and the US were on a collision course. That was 76 years ago.

Over those 76 years the US has shaken its right forefinger at those two proud nations and its leaders almost ever day of every year one way or another. It’s one of the ongoing themes covered by the news.

Then mirabile dictu! By some nasty miracle those damn Americans had been right all along about Capitalism. That sort of sets you up, if you are one of those two world leaders, to have a chip on your shoulder about those damn yankees, certain of whose main ways had been so proven to be right, one just had to eat humble pie, give up and join in with them as capitalists.

The background of emnity doesn’t have to always be that way. It’s understandable that it’s where we find ourselves now. But no need to continue in the same manner. We have options. All sorts of options. Let’s evaluate all of them. Meanwhile, back to the game: you are Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping. How do you play the hand you’ve been dealt?

Leaving aside the chip on the shoulder, even if you were to start with a fresh slate, you need to grow your nation economically and technologically and assure a better life for as many of your citizens as possible. While of course yourself continuing to enjoy all the things you like best.

You don’t necessarily want war. War even in a limited war zone scenario is terribly costly. It could nowadays all too easily go all the way. The Trump years demonstrated that civilization is a tenth of an inch veneer you could almost scratch off with a fingernail.

You definitely don’t want any more insults from the Americans or anyone else. You want to be respected.

It would be far more convenient from a security standpoint to be able to control the fringes of your empire, although this is looking like the thing that could set off the tinderbox.

During the past 76 years part of the game is to see what you can get away with, to test each new US president. As I allow the reader to take control of these two world leaders in this mind experiment, the testing process is taking place around the South China Sea especially Taiwan (predicted in my 2019 anticipatory novel PANDEMONIUM: LIVE TO ALL DEVICES).

In Russia’s case that would include places like the Ukraine etc. where there are recent reasons to be mad at the Americans.

If you are now temporarily living through Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping, you are thinking about how do you balance your objectives of economic growth and consolidating your empires? If you can convince yourself to live with the geographic borders as they are for this decade anyway, you could focus on economic growth. If America stops talking down to you maybe the trade deals could be worked out that would blow the doors off the Russian economy. Allow technological development at the highest levels ever conceived. Possibly the former USSR states would clamor back to the closest ties with Russia ever.

Same story for China. If focus on improving domestic economies and happiness is allowed, by retracting game pawns from the borders, China is already predicted to becoming the next USA in terms of largest economy. By trade benefits China could then bloodlessly get the consolidation feeling it wants. Just a matter of patience.

This would point to a 20s of world boom and peace. My recommendation is that the USA starts from this thinking in reapproaching the other world leaders.

There is no question about the need for firmness and straight-out honesty about no more cyber and psychological cold war mischief. That is table stakes.

Beyond that and other military testing adventures going away, the US can pledge to stop telling them how to behave, while the US focuses instead on returning to be a good role model in terms of its own behavior, which comes down to a pledge of that kind by each of us Americans individually.

We can work out what is a win/win/win for all of us, and make that boom a reality.

Once the engine is running, no one will want to throw a shoe in the machinery, so the ultrasecret bad stuff will even be shut down then. No Russian or Chinese person of importance will want to risk being cancelled for having been caught in the cookie jar. Same goes for us and every country. Once we are in happy boom mode, the impetus to do negative things will evaporate.

But first we’ve got to get there.

To be clear, I’m recommending that:

(a) Daily we remember to always put ourself in the other person’s shoes before speaking or writing about, or to him or her.

(b) Our State Department take on this mantle of explicitly and forthrightly reframing the 76-years-old-time-to-go mindspace in all talks and communiques with the foreign leaders. Showing them our win/win/win scenario and promising to uphold it without sneaky tricks for as long as they do. And of course keeping our promises.

This means giving up the idea that we are destined to force the whole world to adopt the American system of democracy. Let them devise their own ways of living in their own countries. Help wherever we can anyone whom we feel is being given a raw deal but do so within the rules of conduct among sovereign nations. Offer economic and technological incentives where the opportunity arises that result in a higher quality of life everywhere and for everyone on Earth, especially once our own citizens are in their own homes and able to survive without fear, balancing care at home and abroad based on majority voting. No longer project that we know best and are better than everyone else. As much fun as it has been especially in novels since the OSS and Otto Skorzeny co-invented the modern paramilitary, we hope that we keep ours strong and make it stronger, but don’t have to use it aggressively as much in the coming boom times of world equilibrium and American Unity.

“The past was about domination. The future is about liberation.”

—Harvey Kraft, Digitalism

“You better free your mind instead.”

—The Beatles, Revolution

We can do it.

All my best,

Bill

To the People of the World

Created November 13, 2020

I am an American. I also consider myself a citizen of Earth, and a member of the Human Race club.

From my point of view, we have been spending too much time competing for political power to get done any of the immense things that we HAVE TO get done.

And then when somebody wins power, the other major party blocks getting anything done.

And the voters then seem to forget who actually tried to get something done, and who spent all their time blocking it.

This might not be worth discussing if everything was going to take care of itself because we are already in utopia.

However, there are not one but six tidal wave problems coming at us from all directions which all of us have to solve together, one way or another, with or without cooperating with each other, or we won’t be around anymore. They are also getting worse the longer we fool around. And we make each one of them worse by refusing to cooperate with each other.

  1. Pandemic
  2. American Schism
  3. World Debt
  4. Environment (and future pandemics if deforestation continues)
  5. International Envy
  6. Half of us might not find work (robotics)

We’ve seen from the pandemic that it doesn’t work as well when each State comes up with its own way of doing things. The bigger the problem, the more important wide scale cooperation is.

I recommend that the next time you read about any politician making a statement about anything other than one of these six problems, you ignore it, and let them know where you want them to refocus their attention.

Please let me know if my list is too short.

For manageability I grouped related challenges together, for example racial/ethnic/gender/all-inclusive equality is really at the core of problem #2.

“International Envy” groups together the threats from other nations, terrorist organizations, and all of the vendettas lingering from the distant and/or recent past.

It is easy to predict that we will be more efficient and faster about turning the tide on these threats the more we can work together.

I recommend the next time you read about any politician making a negative statement about anybody, you ignore it, and let them know where you want them to put their energies instead of this endless backbiting.

I recommend that you stop sending and mentioning in social media or in any venue “the backbiting channel” which has become the top-rated audience draw of all time. The computers will notice that and stop depending on it for the maximum audience draw that it has recently become.

I predict you will also, then, sleep better.

There are ways we can use our wonderful media to share constructive innovative ideas with one another. What we really need is for officials to start to practice the modes of creativity and to use each other’s ideas without caring about who gets the credit so much. I depict such media being used in a crisis similar to ours in a science fiction novel PANDEMONIUM: Live To All Devices (hope you will read the free sample available through the link).

Some time ago, two U.S. presidents and two dozen other well-known top US officials responded supportively to my idea that INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION can channel people into the specializations that perfectly match their inner purpose and skills, with corporations and work study programs meshing with the process from the earliest grades. Recently a friend in Germany told me that those ideas had taken hold over there.

Adults also need individualized education now if they are out of regular school but also out of regular work – or want to be in a different field.

We seem to have a ready workforce of life coaches who could be organized to help those out of school for whom life is not working out as joyfully as it could be if they were doing work that they loved. They would then be more likely to get into Flow state, where they could make more money, but even without the money would at least be doing what they were born to be good at.

Once totally successful, welfare and other transfer payments would dwindle to virtually nothingness. Individualized Education is the kind of work we ought to be doing in the 21st Century.

That’s only one innovative approach worth exploring and work on from both sides of the aisle together. There will be a panoply of exciting new ideas unleashed from the combination of crowdsourcing and a nonpartisan lens.

Let’s make political parties invisible for a while, can we?

When Japan was in the process of taking over China, with one city falling after the next, even more than US aid the ability of the Chinese Civil War combatants to temporarily unite was what pushed Japan off the mainland.

Can you imagine what will happen if we don’t stop it now and return to the normal we were used to for 200 years? We could be fighting WWIII in the streets and on the hills of America, first with each other, and then when other countries come over to help one side, it will be like the early days of America when Brits, French, Germans, and others were here fighting, except it’s more likely to be other superpowers and rogue nations. That’s the current direction we are pushing ourselves in by dividing the house so that it cannot stand.

Proof or not, the unbelievable intensity and extremity of it makes it hard to believe that a lot of it is not being caused by foreign powers.

Each of us can’t expect other people to take this advice while each of us keep dishing the dirt. We have to change ourselves first. Friends will read our silences or hear our remarks and understand that we have dropped out of the cycle of hate. The more of us do that, the more of them will do it, until there is no more them.

There never was a Them, it’s always been just US.

May The Center Hold,

God Bless America and each of you,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Click here to read my latest post.

Both “Sides” Are Protecting America In Their Own Minds

Created November 6, 2020

If we can keep from becoming emotionally stampeded, we can reach compromises in a more pleasant way that are creative, innovative, bold, exciting, inspiring, and consensus based.

Isn’t that the whole point of Democracy?

How did we get so divided so fast? It seems hard to believe based on what had gone before.

We all grew up with the same values. Other countries were corrupt, we were taught, but here we had the privilege of living in a democracy, where there is concern for every individual.

Who could disagree that this is a core American value? No one. WE are united on this foundation. This is not red or blue it is America.

THIS is why we can get teary eyed hearing the national anthem or remembering the righteous things we have done. America is a noble cause and human beings are built to sense such things intuitively.

It helps, when we get out of perspective and exaggerate how far apart we are, to remember the common ground upon which we stand, with each other here at home, and with former allies around the world who had followed our guidance for two hundred years, and will be like the prodigal father when we return with them.

Relaxing, from the fight against the Left or Right, as we are doing together here, here’s two thoughts about how we got so split recently.

Factor 1: Please take into account that political advertising and more broadly speaking political propaganda, has recently so well learned its Internet lesson, that the Orwellian implications are becoming disturbingly clear.

While television has always been stabilized by common consent, it’s a ruder patois which rules digital. The mind frame into which one can be catapulted by a wrong keystroke, dwarfs the ability of television shows to give me nightmares as a subteen. The wildness of the Internet is its leitmotif, its taste. We are transfixed by its unpredictability. Whereas television has a product that relies upon dependability and therefore predictability.

It might help to picture the media as an actual alien being determined to take over our minds. In reality it has that equal power, although not alien.

Factor 2: When I was 8 years old I “knew” the Commies were my enemy.

The screen media hypnotic effect in my era was a firefly in relation to the digital sun today. But it was enough to inculcate me into believing in enemies and believing that Commies were my enemies.

Many propagandists on our side as well as folks like Joseph McCarthy pumped this “Pinko” thing up to humongous proportions from the 1919 Red Scare and it’s still with us today. That’s coming up on a century we have been conditioned to think of Commies as the enemy.

Then Donald Trump called Democrats Pinkos. Is it any wonder that Follower types would transfer all the hate, rage, and violence in their souls against Democrats, based simply on the anti-Communism perspective imbued into every American living today?

It’s an oversimplification to paint people who lean slightly left as if they are at the left pole. Just as it’s an oversimplification to do it to those who lean slightly right.

The middle is what really counts. Let’s come back to the middle together, voluntarily, individually, please dear reader, take the initiative yourself.

We all want the same things – with enough differences among us on the details to keep life interesting. Let’s not be driven into insane rage by media overdrive or people who will risk our minds and our peace to gain even more power over us.

Let’s stop before we hurt ourselves more. Our strength in in our unity, disunity only brings us weakness and ultimately defeat.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Click here to read my latest post.

See Through the Things That Still Manipulate You

Created October 30, 2020

You know what I mean. You’ve already conquered many of the things that used to push your buttons. Now maybe they can still get your goat from time to time when they catch you suddenly off guard while you are dealing with something else, or when you are just totally exhausted.

When I was 9 years old I refused to learn long division. Whenever the subject came up I became uneasy and defensive. My mind shrank in its capabilities because of the negative emotional tone I became trapped in.

When I was 12 years old I refused to wear glasses. It upset me whenever I was forced to put them on.

I’m sure the things you were vulnerable to as a child were silly like mine, and you’ve put them all away as I have mine.

Yet even as adults there are things that still can disturb our mental emotional tranquility. They somehow grab us and take over our minds and emotions. We are suddenly afraid or angry or simply not having a good time all of a sudden.

The next time that happens to you, observe it as a scientist would. What was it that took away your good mood? Why did you let it? What inside of you was the traitor? What fixated attachment do you have – perhaps to some image of yourself – that made you vulnerable being taken over as it by a spell?

Politics is one thing that can do it.

Modern Internet and all the other media we have now, is another thing that can do it.

These things can get to me if I learn about something happening which I wish I could fix, and I realize the enormity of the thing, and my own relative helplessness to come to the rescue. The frustration at not being able to do enough to help is still capable of disturbing my mental emotional tranquility sometimes. At most times I can turn it off like an alarm clock by contemplating what I can do, whether it will have much of an effect or not, and then doing it, without getting hung up on what the outcome might be.

We have to be able to rise above politics. In American Pragmatic Idealism there is a pantheon of ideals we hold high, some of which are more important to the conserving side of our natures, and some of which are more important to the progressing side of our natures, but all Americans want all of these things:

REPUBLICANS

DEMOCRATS

FREEDOM

EQUALITY

INDEPENDENCE

JUSTICE

FRUGALITY

BENEVOLENCE

DEMAND WHAT YOU DESERVE

PEACE

STOICISM

SELF IMPROVEMENT

 

People employed in government can be expected to be above average in being motivated by Power. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it causes us to have enough people interested in governance so the rest of us don’t have to spend more time on that than we individually feel like. We each have to devote some time to governance because that’s the nature of the deal in a democracy.

But Power as we all know can corrupt. And the lust for power can cause people to become manipulative and to use today’s incredibly powerful media to force a foothold in our private mental emotional space. These messages from both sides will tend to exaggerate the dangers of letting the other side win, and will tend to push us into warring camps. This is intentional or unintentional or both, but that is irrelevant, because one way or the other, it is happening. Only we can learn to be strong enough to prevent our own mental invasion by manipulative and maddening stimuli and memes.

We have a good thing going here. First, life itself. Second, this magically beautiful and awe-inspiring planet we all love. Third, love itself. The list goes on. It includes science. It includes America, and more generally, the notion of Democracy. The governance of the Universe which evidently loves us, wanted us to have all these good things.

We have to shake off the willies and get in touch with our own gratitude for the good thing we all have here all around us. We have to keep it going, and make it better where we can, without blaming or being unkind to one another.

Superman, the comic book character launched in 1939, through his writers, coined the phrase “Truth, Beauty, and The American Way”, just in time for WWII. Those were Superman’s ideals, his motivations, even though he didn’t come from America, he came from Krypton.

Many 18-year old GIs dying on the battlefield probably held the phrase in their hearts to keep themselves fighting to the last.

Truth is mentioned first of the three Superman ideals. Who is lying more to us, and who is lying less? Even if we cynically assume they are all lying to us (which I do not), we should at least be able to make a careful judgment call, citing specific evidence to ourself, as to who is probably lying more to us and who is probably lying less to us.

It’s time for you to vote, if you haven’t already done so. Voting is not only our right it’s our duty. If we do nothing else in the social compact we made with our country, that’s the one thing we must do, at least for presidential elections. Stand up and be counted. Take responsibility. Be a leader. Be true to yourself. What do YOU stand for? To not vote is to state that you stand for nothing. Nihilism. Disrespect for life.

If you’re being prevented from voting by BS rules, it’s up to you to find the way to overcome that BS. The Universe will help you if you put out the effort, and you will vote.

Hold your heart steady. Be able to go on if whoever you vote for, the other folks win. Keep in mind the long view of America. Its checks and balances were carefully worked out and there’s a good chance no matter who is in charge of the various houses of government here, the system itself will protect us. Moreover, have confidence in the strength of the good. Not only in America but around the world. Don’t write off the billions of good people we’ve got on this planet.

The center is where we all pull together. When we don’t hold the center, things can get out of hand.

May the center hold.

Best to all, and God Bless America.

Bill

A Song for Today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NqszdLiJxg

 

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Click here to read my latest post.

The Power of Respect

Originally posted November 3, 2015

If you are a leader within your organization (and anyone can be a leader, at whatever level you’re at) the single best thing you can do to mentor, nurture and develop your team members, bringing out the best in each one of them, is to create a mood of mental optimization.

Mental optimization is a mode of consciousness that shapes our choices, our information processing priorities, indeed everything that we do.

Leaders lead by example.

In any situation, we can choose to quickly set aside anger or negativity and begin to define the problem, search for opportunities hidden or obvious, and refine solution-oriented, win-win action plans based on feedback along the way. This strategy turns challenges into wins by not wasting time with negativity or letting it interfere with our ability to find win-win solutions. Obviously, whatever the setting, we can’t come up with perfect win-win ideas if we want someone to lose because we are angry at them.

CHOOSE to let go of anger and negativity

Negativity is useless and obstructive.

If we model a positive attitude, everyone will more likely be in a mood of enjoying the game of making things better, each second, the way a hero/heroine does, without internal pettiness.

We all need to feel respected.

The thing that often causes people to quit their jobs ultimately comes down to respect. Either we didn’t feel enough of it, or our position somehow compromised our internal self-respect, or often both. People can be encouraged to stay with an organization if true respect is cultivated in the right ways, not out of misdirected fanning the flames of ego.

What is the right way to show respect?

  • No interrupting.
  • Provide just the right degree of autonomy i.e. don’t micro manage.
  • Don’t use lateral second-guessing as a method of quality control, which is a subtler form of micro managing.
  • Offer suggestions aimed at optimization goals held in common by those in the conversation, without putting down anyone else’s ideas.

Again, leading by example is vital. In meetings, make sure everyone is allowed to finish their thoughts — subtly, especially if it’s someone else’s meeting. Rare exceptions would be, for example, when someone is talking too much and slowing things down — be careful to use respect and ensure respect from the team to the person who is being longwinded, while keeping things moving. One elegant way to do this is to offer an offline meeting with that person at a later time, at which time you would show respect in offering constructive feedback. Your team member will appreciate the feedback if it’s done in the right way — the optimization focus with respect — not a put-down.

The optimization mood gives you permission — in fact mandates you — to tell team members the hard truth of what they need to improve on, but with respect so they can actually get it.

When all team members display a positive attitude and show respect across the board, all organizations will run enormously better. The list of benefits is endless.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village, Myers new site. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-11-03 10:41:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter