Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

About the Future of Radio

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

When I was young (I am 57) the only link to the outside world was radio. My parents were poor and it took a very long time until they were able to buy a television. Until that time we went to friends to look at television shows that were the top of the bill (the Black & White Minstrel Show!).

 Together with my friend Fred we built a radio receiver and a radio transmitter. We started to make our own radio programs and were exited when we found out that others we able to listen to us. We were also very afraid the police would find us. At that time many young and old people were exploiting their own small “illegal” radio station. Some of them have never stopped.

When the television finally appeared in our home everything changed. My parents (especially my father) wanted to look and listen to almost everything. We had to keep our mouths shut. The television dominated our family and everything we did together like playing games stopped. I hated television and I must say I never fell in love with the Medium. It is taking too much of my time without giving anything back.

The best thing that happened to me was You Tube and other tools that make it possible to look/listen to something I want to see/hear at the right time and the right place. I am finally in control of my own time again.

I am still a friend of the Radio. The first reason is that radio is not dominant. I can listen to the radio and read a book. It is easy to drive a car and listen to the Radio.

Radio is also exiting when it comes to Events. I still prefer to listen to a soccer-game instead of watching the soccer-game on television. The combination is really fun. It has to do with the Emotions of the reporter and the Details he is presenting.

Radio is all about Emotions.

Radio brings you in a certain mood. Because mood changes with the moment Radio has to specialize. It also has to specialize because people have all kind of different interests. They want to know about what is happening in their local community but they also want to know what is happening in the world. They want to know more about Science, Sports, Politics or Spirituality.

What is the Future of Radio?

At this moment radio stations are essentially bought and paid for by the record companies through what is known as Payola. They are not in the business of helping you and I enjoy music, they are in the business of making money. At the end of the day, organizations have to make money to stay in business, but if making money is all that they care about, they will need to figure out a way to do without relying on people listening to the radio. The current scheme will be gone in the near future.

 

Increasingly, program directors are using computer programs to choose the records their stations will play. They are creating a Digital JuBox. Once everything is put in the music library the director can give the program a series of instructions and let the program produce a playlist. Is programmed Radio, Radio with a Heart?

 

 

The Radio of the Future is all about Listeners becoming the Stars and the Core contributors and Producers of the content that a radio will air. There will be free tools, facilities and access to content to allow individuals to search, edit and compile unique documentaries, investigative reports, artistic montages and new kinds of music. The Radio of the Future will be a tool to support Creativity and Passion.

  • Radio as a Digital Jubox

There is no need to listen to a Digital Jubox if everybody is able to program his own Digital Jubox.

  • Radio as a Commercial Tool

Everybody hates Commercials.

  • Radio is Life Itself

The real strength of radio is its ability to be truly “live”. Broadcasting can take place from nearly any place or location to report, chronicle or create “live” news and events. Being able to listen to something that is happening at this very second in another place is something that most humans get fascinated by.

  • Radio is the Human Voice

The live human voice is a totally different experience than any other one. It is powerful, touching and engaging.

  • Think Global, Act Local

Start at the Lowest level of Interaction, The Local Community. Give them the News and Interaction they Need. Create As Many Levels You want to Abstract the Local News. Create a Political View, an Ecological View, a Scientific View on the Your Content. Mix World News with Local News but when Local News becomes World News (or National News or …) be the first to be at The Right Place at the Right Moment.

  • Do it Yourself Radio

Give Listeners the opportunity to create and broadcast their own radio programs. It will generate new music, alternative news and reporting talent.

  • Radio is a Two Way Channel

Not only give Listeners the opportunity to broadcast but give them also the opportunity to react real-time and create groups to deepen an issue. Give them the opportunity to report their findings. If this happens it will close the feedback loop.

  • Specialize

Everything is a niche. Specific kinds of music, news or commentary are becoming clearly more important than typical generalized radio content that needs to appeal to as large as possible an audience.

  • People want to be surprised

Commercial radio today is less concerned with finding music that will draw listeners in than with eliminating music that might drive listeners out. The result is numbing repetition. People like repetition for a little while but when a format is completely predictable they will “zap” for something else. Some people like being surprised by strange sounds they have never heard before.

  • Archive, Classify and Search

Allow access to each and every show, interview or news item ever broadcast. People want to listen at their time to what they want to hear. Make it easy to look for what they want.

  • Create and experiment with as many channels and formats as you want

 

It is very easy to subdivide and multiply content into multiple channels with no major additional costs in infrastructure. If a channel or a format is not attracting enough listeners simply reconfigurate your content and start a new one.

How to Resolve an Infinite Chain of Conflicts

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Humans attach much greater weight to future losses than to future gains, especially when the former are certain and immediate and the latter are uncertain. Humans take unwise risks to avoid certain and immediate losses.

They don’t want to take risks to pursue gains or will unwisely turn down proposed changes or concessions that offer a mix of gains and losses, even when the promised gains are objectively greater than the losses.

To calculate a loss a Human chooses a personal reference point which is usually the individual’s status quo.

Human beings reject or devalue whatever is freely available to them. They strive for whatever is denied them. They want to fight because when you win a fight you don’t lose a fight. Humans get exited when they have removed an Obstacle.

Without an obstacle Life is Boring. To remove an Obstacle Humans create Imaginary Obstacles. They need a Challenge.

They don’t believe their adversary offers a compromise because when he offers a compromise he is losing. Somewhere behind the compromise is a hidden tactic. The adversary will attack out of the blue and will suddenly win. On the other hand when the compromise is sincere the enemy is getting weaker and it is possible to increase the demands in the negocation.

The total effect is that future compromises and package deals decrease in attractiveness once they are offered especially when they are put there by one’s adversary rather than by a third party (Reactive Devaluation).

The Effect of Future Losses on Human Decision Making is researched in Prospect Theory.

The basic Stategy of Humans is to avoid the Emotions of Loss (Anger, Frustration, Grief, Fear, Sadness, Yearning, Pity, and Sorrow). This is not strange because the Emotions of Loss have a negative impact on the body. They influence the Immune System and are the cause of many ilnesses.

When two parties imagine a joined future where both of them lose they will never cooperate. In terms of the prisoners dilemma this is called a lose/lose-situation.

When two parties have seen a win/win situation and the realization changes into a lose they are in conflict. They have to envision a new win/win or break the cooperation.

Sometimes it is impossible to break a cooperation because both parties share vital resources or don’t know how to divide the assets of the former cooperation. In this case they are in a the win/lose-mode of the (Iterated) Prisonners Dilemma, constantly switching between losing and winning.

When a party wants to move from a lose to a win he has to apply the tactic of Tit-for-Tat. When you apply Tit-for-Tat you simply copy the behaviour of the other. When one of the parties sustains his unwillingness to cooperate both of them are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

When two parties were united it is very difficult to recreate independent disconnected units. Many of the joined activities where performed without negotiation and were never formalized. When two parties cooperate they are acting as one Mind and one Soul.

Moving out of a Cooperative Relationship needs a Cooperative Relationship. When this relationship is broken two parties are needed who enter into a Cooperative Relationship to resolve the Cooperative Relationship on the lower level. When this Cooperative Relationship fails another level has to be created. If all the levels fail they are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

If a Conflict of Interest arises the first action is to avoid the conflict or to speed up the conflict. In the last case the Primary Emotions (Desire, The Emotion of Loss) are bothering them. To avoid a Conflict we have to Articulate our Emotions at the Right Moment in a Respectful Way. We have to Communicate.

Most Conflicts in Nature are violent. Humans have found a way to abstract from Violence. We have created Imaginary Violence. We Fight our Case in Court. We don’t fight our Case in the Court Yard. We have replaced the material Sword of Iron by the Imaginary Silver Sword of Words.

If both parties are unable to define the conflict in a coherent model the conflict will not resolve. They need help to do this. If the advisors of the two parties are unable to do this the conflict has to move to a higher level of abstraction. When the conflict is resolved on this level somebody has to translate the consistent model to the lower level. When this is not possible the conflict starts again. They are in an Infinite Chain of Conflicts.

When an Abstract Model is always Moving Up and Down, the Model is not in Harmony. Harmoniouss Models are applicable on Every Level of Abstraction. Models that are The Same on Every Level are Self-Referencial. When a Conflict is Modelled as a Conflict it will never be solved.

The solution to this problem is to Extend the Context of the Conflict until a Balance has been found. Both Parties have to Widen their Perspective. They have to step out of the Status Quo and Imagine a Bright Future. A Future where the Darkness of the Night has been replaced by the Light of the Day. They have to wake up out of their joint Nightmare and Face Reality.

A Conflict is resolved when all the parties that are involved are Satisfied. They are satisfied when they experience a Balancing of their Emotions. A Victim is satisfied when his Emotion of Revenge is resolved. The Killer is Killed or put into prison for many years. The Emotion of the Killer is balanced by the Emotion of his Victim(s).

To Balance Emotions we have to Objectify Emotions. When we are buying a Car we have to pay Money. The Car is an Objectified Emotion (The feeling of the Freedom to Move) and Money is an Objectified Emotion (The feeling of Freedom to do what we want to Do). The Potential of Money is balanced by the Potential to Move. When we buy we are balancing Potentials.

Humans use Mental Accounting to define what their Potential is. They divide their Potential in many “Isolated” boxes and are unable to combine the boxes. A savings account is meant to save money and not to spend money. If Humans put their Potentials in “closed” Boxes they are Poor although they are Rich.

When they feel Poor they will experience every potential solution of a conflict as a loss. When a Human accepts that the Future is not the Past he will realize that there are many possibilities he has never seen. When a Human accepts that his Potential is his Creativity he is able to negociate with an Open Mind.

Many people believe the Juridical System is the most objective system in our Society. Sadly enough this is not true. The Law is highly confusing. Judges don’t have the background to understand what has really happened. Lawyers are telling their own biased story and most of the cases are very complex. The System is a System of Last Resort. It is used when many future and current losses are accumulating.

The Judicial System is meant to resolve Infinite Chains of Conflict without Applying Violence. This is accomplished by Balancing Emotions by Objectifying Emotions by Articulating the Emotions in Words by Combining the Words into a Model by comparing the Model with an Abstract Juridical Model by Solving the Conflict Applying this Model by Translating the Model to a lower Level by Explaining the Model to the Parties hoping they will Agree so the Emotions are Balanced so both Parties are Satisfied.

If this is not happening the whole process starts all over again until somebody (a Judge, Somebody who Speaks Law) utters a Solomon’s Verdict.

I hope You see why it is much better to settle a Conflict on a Lower Level.

LINKS

Papers about Conflict Resolution

About Prospect Theory

About Prospect Theory and the Financial Market

About Morality and Ethics

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Eyal Weizman wrote an article about the Isreali Army. To his surprise they are using the work of Deleuze and Christopher Alexander to define “Post-Modern” tactics. When you read the article you will see how clever the Army uses the insights of people who never had an idea that their insights should be used to kill and terrorize innocent people.

Somehow you Feel that it is Wrong that a “Killing-Machine” is using the theories that were developed to bring Harmony and Beauty (Christopher Alexander) to the world.

Ethics shows itself in two ways Norms and Values. The first part is about Morality. People have developed Rules to determine what is Good and what is Bad Behavior. Rules are prohibiting the Freedom to Act. Every time people override these rules because they have a different theory about Good and Bad or are Forced to Act in a certain Context. Most of the time We Act without Thinking.

There is no reason to subject all the actions we undertake to the criterion: Is it free or not? Freedom is only for certain acts. There are all sorts of acts that do not have to be confronted with the problems of freedom. They are done solely, one could say, to calm our disquietude: all our habitual and machinal acts. We will speak of freedom only when we pose the question of an act capable or not of filling the amplitude of the soul at a given moment” (Deleuze).

Values are part of the Emotions. They are “personal rules” that determine the behavior of humans. Most of the time the values are not known to the person that uses the “rules“. A person = “his values“. They show themselves when he (or she) is Acting.

When we observe a person for a long time or the person observes himself (introspection) the values show themselves. If the values show themselves the person develops a personal ethics, an inner voice, the conscience.

The fundamental question of ethics is not “What must I do?” (which is the question of morality) but rather “What can I do, what am I capable of doing (which is the proper question of an ethics without morality). Given my degree of power, what are my capabilities and capacities? How can I come into active possession of my power? How can I go to the limit of what I “can do“? (Daniel Smith).

The astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike” (Deleuze) .

People are driven by their Emotions AND they are capable to Control their Emotions. They control their Emotions when they apply Norms (Thinking, Morality) or when they use their Conscioussness.

The Primary Emotions, are those that we feel first, as a first response to a situation. If we are threatened, we feel fear or anger. When we hear of a death, we may feel sadness. They are un-Thinking responses that we have. The Primary Emotions are not controlled by our Thinking or our “Inner Voice”. The Primary Emotions are sometimes called Desires or Drives.

The System We Live In has created many situations where our Desires are activated. All the efforts of Marketing are directed at overriding the Consciouss. All the Efforts of Propaganda are used to motivate Soldiers to Kill out of Anger.

“Reason is always a region carved out of the irrational-it is not sheltered from the irrational at all, but traversed by it and only defined by a particular kind of relationship among irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium and drift” (Deleuze).

The Personal Values are overridden when something or someone activates the Desires. Everybody is Able to Kill or Harm another Being if the Right Situation is Created.

Everything that helps me to preserve my existence I take to be Good and everything that goes against my existence or the I take to be Bad. What is good is what is useful, relative to my existence, and what is bad, is what is dangerous, relatively speaking, to my continued existence. My existence or the existence of my family or group is a major priority when I act. The problem arises when different groups are trying to exist in the same context.

Are people doing something Wrong when something is activating something they are not controlling? Are we Responsible for our Desires? I don’t think so.

When we look at the “causal chain” we can see that there are somewhere consciouss people (the “architects“) who have created and perfected “killing-machines” to secure the existence of their people (The Jews). They have used their rational abilities to find a reason why they are doing this. A reason might be to protect their family and their children. They fear (a primary emotion) something is going to happen. They develop technology, methods and scenario’s to prohibit “this” from happening. Again they are “deep within” activated by something they don’t control.

Are they doing something Wrong when something is activating something they are not controlling? The Causal Chain does not give an answer. Everywhere we find the Invisible Power of Desire. Underneath all reason lies delirium and drift. We are a Body and a Soul. In this World we have Live with the Body, the Perfect Desire-Machine.

Pushing to the utmost what one can do is the properly ethical task” (Deleuze).

All one must do is experiment with what is, to create the new. Are the architects of the Army doing their utmost best to prevent a conflict? Are they able to use their technology to make a better use of the available resources?

The principles of Alexander identify the character of Living Systems. The principles are not there to Kill but to make a Living. I am sure the military architects did not fully understand his books. Perhaps they can ask him to help.

LINKS

The 15 principles of Alexander to Create a Living System

DELEUZE AND THE QUESTION OF DESIRE: TOWARD AN IMMANENT THEORY OF ETHICS, Daniel W. Smith

About Leibniz and Deleuze

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

deleuzeGilles Deleuze was a French Philosopher who lived between 1925 and 1995. Deleuze’s main philosophical project concerns the relationship between Identity and Difference.

Until recently Difference was seen as a difference between two Identities. Deleuze attempts to reverse this situation, and to understand Difference-in-Itself. In his Quest for Difference Deleuze is highly inspired by Leibniz.

 Identities are constructs of many Differences that were Identies until Someone of Something United them. Our Reality is an Expanding Infinite Serie of Differences.

I found Deleuze on the Internet because I was searching for more information about Leibniz. Deleuze was an admirer of Leibniz and dedicated his last book, The Fold (Le Pli) to him. One of the major projects of Leibniz was the Analysis of Infinite Series of Differences and Differential Equations. It is not strange that Deleuze was a fan of Leibniz. Leibniz created the Concept and Deleuze was the Artist who started to Play with the Concept.

The true character of the Leibnizian game is the game of inventing principles. It is a game of filling holes, in which emptiness is imagined“.

I started to explore the website about Deleuze and discovered that he also admired Spinoza, the Philosopher of the Emotion and Nietzsche, the Philosopher of the Will.

After reading some of his teachings I decided to buy his books.

This blog is a first impression of Deleuze.

I want to start with a few Citations.

In creativity lies the secret: to bring into existence and not to judge. If it is so disgusting to judge, it is not because everything is of equal value, but on the contrary because what has value can be made or distinguished only by defying judgment. What expert judgment, in art, could ever bear on the work to come?”

Philosophers introduce new concepts, they explain them, but they don’t tell us, not completely anyway, the problems to which those concepts are a response. [...] The history of philosophy, rather than repeating what a philosopher says, has to say what he must have taken for granted, what he didn’t say but is nonetheless present in what he did say.”

When someone asks ‘what’s the use of philosophy?’ the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy which saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought. . . . Philosophy is at its most positive as a critique, as an enterprise of demystification”.

One must ask, what does a woodworker create? What does a musician create? For me, a philosopher is someone who creates concepts. This implies many things: that the concept is something to be created, that the concept is the product of a creation“.

If philosophy has a positive and direct relation to things, it is only insofar as philosophy claims to grasp the thing itself, according to what it is, in its difference from everything it is not, in other words, in its internal difference

It’s just like theology: everything about it is quite rational if you accept sin, the Immaculate Conception, and the incarnation. Reason is always a region carved out of the irrational-not sheltered from the irrational at all, but traversed by it and only defined by a particular kind of relationship among irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, and drift.

Spinoza is the Christ of philosophers and the greatest philosophers are hardly more than apostles who distance themselves from or draw near to this mystery“.

The great theories of the Ethics . . . cannot be treated apart from the three practical theses concerning consciousness, values and the sad passions

When we stop obeying God, the State, our parents, reason appears and persuades us to continue being docile because it says to us: it is you who are giving the orders. Reason represents our slavery and our subjection as something superior, which makes us reasonable beings“.

That identity not be first, that it exist as a principle but as a second principle, as a principle become; that it revolve around the Different: such would be the nature of a Copernican revolution which opens up the possibility of difference having its own concept, rather than being maintained under the domination of a concept in general already understood as identical“.

History progresses not by negation and the negation of negation, but by deciding problems and affirming differences. It is no less bloody and cruel as a result. Only the shadows of history live by negation“.

This world does not exist in itself; it exists only in the individual notions that express this world“.

We are points of view on the world. It is not the subject that explains the point of view; it is the point of view that explains the subject“.

The Idea that Identity is Difference can be easily proved by the fact that if Identity is One Every Thing would be the Same. The Identity who is Difference is an always-differentiating process always folding, unfolding, and refolding. Deleuze calls this Identity The Fold (Le Pli).

An Identity is the Sum of many Differences which are or were Identities of their own until someone started to “fight” the Identity. Fighting Identity is the task of the Philosopher. He (or she) has to break the Unity by creating a new Concept.

A philosopher creates a concept and the artists create new qualitative combinations of sensation and feeling. They give Life to the concept because Life is Emotions and Sensations. In the last phase science creates quantitative theories based on fixed points of reference.

They will never find the Unifying Central Point of Reference. This Point moves when the Creative Power opens up new Points of View of the Fold.

The world is a Body of infinite folds and surfaces that twist and weave through compressed time and space (The Chronotope).

Humans are the Observers and the Creators of the Fold.

An Independent Thinking Consciousness is an Illusion. We think that our thoughts are the cause of our Actions but they are the Effects of our own Actions and the Actions of Others.

We are experiencing beings and our experience generates novelty (difference).

Novelty is the seed of an idea.

Good and Evil are the illusions of a moralistic worldview that does nothing but reduce our power to act and encourages the experience of the sad passions.

We are In the World and not Alone in the Universe.

Our engagement with others determinates our power to Act and our ability to experience Joy.

To live well is to fully express one’s power, to go to the limits of one’s potential“.

LINKS

A Short Introduction to the Work of Deleuze

About Points of View

About Deleuze and the Limits of Reason

About Deleuze and Morality

About Virtue and Wisdom

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

When you lend somebody something you assume he (or she) will give the item back in due time. To lend you have to Trust somebody. There are many ways to create a trusted relation. When a long term trusted relationship grows out of a long chain of interactions the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma is at stake. The Chinese are the Masters of Playing this Game.

In some situations it is very clear that a try-out is not necessary. If we look at the cultures of the Earth we can see that the concept of Family or Tribe more or less guaranties a trustful relationship. In a Family it is not needed to create very complicated arrangements like contracts, procedures, laws and judges. The Family uses it own rules.

The consequence of the Concept of the Family and the Tribe is a formalization of relationships based on a Place in a Hierarchy. Everybody has to know its place.

A King has to play the role of the King and a Father has to play the role of the Father. In a Family or an Extended Family (Tribe) you are trained to play the roles you have to play in your life.

Confucius (551-479 BC) saw the universe and all living things in it as a manifestation of a unifying force called the Doe (translated as the Truth, Unity, or the Way). Doe constitutes the very essence, basis, and unit of life that perpetuates order, goodness, and righteousness.

It manifests itself in the harmonious opposition of yin (“feminine, gentle“) and yang (“masculine, strong“), and in humans through duk (“virtue“). Virtue is a gift received from Heaven.

It is through Virtue that a person is able to know the Heavenly Truth and it is the “locus where Heaven and I meet“. Virtue can be realized through self-cultivation. It provides the fundamental source of insight and strength to rule peacefully and harmoniously within oneself, one’s family, one’s nation, and the world.

There are two inter-related aspects of virtue: in (“Human-hearted-ness“) and ui (“Rightness“).

The basis of individual and humanity is the Human-heartedness. Human-heartedness is essentially relational and it involves loving, sacrificing and taking care of others. Individuals are born with Human-heartedness and experience Human-heartedness through the sacrifice and devotion of their parents.

The second concept, ui (“rightness“), notes that an individual is born into a particular family with a particular status. Rightness articulates that individuals must perform and fulfil their duties as defined by their particular status and role.

Confucius considered family and society to be hierarchically ordered, necessitating that everyone fulfil their duties. Fulfilling one’s given role as a father, mother, child, elder, teacher, or politician is considered a moral imperative and not a matter of personal choice.

Confucius considered society to be socially ordered and that each person has beun (“portion or place“) in life. Each beun had attached roles and duties, and each person must fulfil these roles and duties. Duties and obligations of each beun are prescribed by yea (“propriety“).

Propriety articulates expectations, duties, and behavior of each individual according to his or her status and role. For example, chemyon (“social face“) need to be maintained by a person of social stature defined by his or status, regardless of his or her personal preference.

Social order and harmony are preserved when people observe their place in society and fulfil their required obligations and duties.

The fourth concept is ji (“knowledge“). Knowledge allows us to understand the virtues of Human-heartedness and Rightness and to follow these virtues through Propriety. It is the basis of the development of Wisdom.

By the applying the principles of Confucius Chinese Society became a Well Oiled Machine. Every action that was taken was pre-programmed by all levels of education. Every part in the machine knew its role. Life was highly predictable and everybody accepted its place in Society. There was Harmony and Peace in the world.

If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character,

If there be beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.

If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.

If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

The big changes of Chinese Society came Out of the West. The English Empire destroyed the Heavenly Order by selling large quantities of Opium. The huge underclass of China was a beautiful target for the people who followed the theories of Lenin.

The Upperclass was destroyed and a new Upperclass, The Communist Party, took over. The culture of China has not changed. People still know their place and the Doe (The Way It Is) is now proclaimed by the Party. The new upperclass knows it has to keep the underclass in harmony.

The Party decided to create a higher standard of living by importing capitalistic principles from the West. It is now moving in high speed to the level of the Consumer Society. The West is paying for this move by buying Chinese products for a very low price.

In this way China has accumulated an enormous amount of money (mostly dollars). They are able to buy what they want. With the enormouss stock of dollars they are able to manipulate US Government. China is able to destroy the US Financial System in one fast move. They certainly will not do that.

The Chinese people are experts in strategy. They know how to acquire power without fighting. They keep a social face and play the game others want them to play. They are experts in applying the Iterated Prisoners Dilemma. They know Confucius and his predecessors were Wise man. They knew how to move with The Cycle, the Tao.

Western Society has lost its cultural foundation. The principles of Confucius don’t sound very strange to us. They are easily translated into Christianity.

When the West lost the basic principle of Christianity, Human-hearted-ness (in) one of the two pillars of Trust was lost. The West rationalized Empathy (Compassion, Emotion). I Think, therefore I Am (Descartes) became the basis of the Self.

When people started to do the “wrong thing” the second pillar of Trust, Integrity (ui, Rightness) dropped. Politicians were not Playing the Role of the Politician and Managers were not Playing the Role of Manager. They lost their Virtue.

Finally the Doe (Unity) of Western Society was gone. Families broke up. Everybody was Left on its Own and started to act on a Short-Term Perspective.

The Interated Prisoners Dilemma changed into a chain of disconnected attempts to leave the Prison. The best way to win such a Game is to defect. You always win but your victory is never a Win-Win. On the long term Everybody changes into a potential Enemy.

The West entered the State of Individualism and even Egoism. In this state it is almost impossible to act out of Unity. Everybody is going its Own Way or is Competing with the Other. This makes it even easier for the Chinese Masters to create a new Machine to support their Extended Family.

Why We Need a Recession to Move to a Social Society

Friday, June 27th, 2008

In the Netherlands there is a discussion going on about a possible shortage of working power. In the near future there will be an abundance of old people (the baby-boomers) and a shortage of young people. The strange thing is that there are really enough people available to do what is needed but they are not qualified to do the job.

Everybody has to work. Parents with young children need external help to take care of their children. To make this possible the government is giving parents a tax benefit. To get this benefit the parents have to use an accredited childcare institution. The tax benefit created a huge demand for accredited child care. The huge demand created a shortage in certified experts. The booming childcare business has created a budget problem.

When I was young life was simple. Mothers took care of the children. Fathers went to work. Mothers were not paid to take care of the children.

When you move childcare from the “for free” to the “paid” zone of society you have to determine what an expert needs to know and what she or he has to do. You are formalizing childcare. Most of the people that are out of work are unable to acquire a certificate to work in the child-care business. The norms are too high.

You also need buildings, transport, managers, laws, law-enforcers, advisors, quality management systems, controllers, bookkeepers and many others things to create an institution. We are generating a higher level of activity in society than before.

When childcare was not formalized everybody was qualified to raise children. When the norms are formulated it becomes very clear that the people who were doing the task (the parents) can be divided into two groups the not-educated people and the educated people.

This starts a discussion about childcare in general. The end of the discussion is a new institution that is taking care of parents that are unable to raise children and the parents themselves. Again we are generating a higher level of activity in society than before.

What is really happening is a formalization of society. Society is moving from a stage where people were helping each other to a stage where you have to be paid to get help. Every interpersonal activity is changed into a transaction. When interpersonal activities are changed into a transaction people lose the feeling of responsibilty for the whole.

Transactional relationships are aimed at the short term. When you pay a person directly you don’t have to pay back in the future. Transactions destroy long-term reciprocity.

When you are rich you are able to pay for every thing. When you are poor you are unable to do this unless you are helped by others or by government. Government has to create laws and the laws contain conditions. When Government is paying you, you have to do something in return.

When you are out of work you have to do the work government is telling you to do. To work you always have to leave your house and go to another place. When you have to work you are unable to take care of your children.

The real problem is that we are too active in the formalized area of society. We are doing things that could be done in a more natural way. Taking care of others is a natural tendency of the human being. To do this we simply need more time.

To generate work we have created an immense not productive workforce in society, called the social services sector. A social service is really not social at all. It is a formalization of social activities. Social activities are managed by the emotions.

Formalized Emotions are very different from the Emotional Emotions. A formalized relationship is managed by a contract, procedures and norms. A social relationship is for free and is based on friendship and reciprocity.

When I was young life was simple. Children took care of their parents when they were old. The children were not paid to take care of their parents. Now their children are unable to help their parents and their parents are unable to help their children. Both are too busy or unable to help. Some of them are even not allowed to help because they have to stay busy in the formalized part of society.

The people who are unable to get a qualification are constantly trained by government. Many of them are unable to get a “usefull certificate“. Because they have to “work” they are not allowed to take care of their children. The care for their children is taken over by professionals paid by government.

The experts are getting a salary that is much higher than the unemployed ever could get. Perhaps the government could pay parents to take care of their own children and pay children to help their own parents.

I hope you see we are creating a spiralling loop and the end of the line is an imaginary disaster. It is an imaginary disaster because the problem is easily solved by reducing the amount of activities in society until people are able to help other people without being paid.

I hope you now understand why we need a recession. We need a recession to move to a more social society.

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How to Create Human Scale Tools: About Movers, Memories and Comparators

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Humans are the most advanced toolmakers in nature. The main reason is that they are the less specialized organisms. They need tools to survive. People are also the most complex organisms in nature. This complexity makes it possible to invent new possibilities and to work with specialized tools and animals (horse, cow, hammer, car, computer).

All the time people have tried to make a better living by inventing new tools. If the basic needs were met (food, housing, health, safety), people got the time to get their emotional system into balance (love, self-esteem) and satisfy their imagination (play, explore, self-actualization).

At this moment, the amount of leisure-time to enjoy family life, relax, play and explore is going down. The number of people with heavy levels of stress is growing. The pressure on the emotions is increased by the current state of technology. The tools have overlapping functionality, take too much of the attention, do not communicate with each other and dominate the human being.  

Tools have to be integrated completely in the cognitive system of the human being. If a tool takes over a part of the sensory-motor system (glasses, hammer, car) the imagination has to learn a new way to create the outside world. In the end, after practicing, people become united with their hammer or their car. They are not aware that they are carrying their glasses. If people have to practice too long or the tool is constantly intervening in their workflow the emotions get involved. They get frustrated and angry.  

Tools were first invented to support basic human activities like talking, moving, looking,  hearing, remembering and learning.

In a later stage of development, the use of the tools generated a new space of exploration. In this space, new tools emerged.

The invention of symbols started the exploration of Mental Space. Program Languages, Telecommunication and especially the Internet has opened up a new space to explore, called Cyberspace. 

  • Advisor or Master

Advisors and masters involve the emotions. An advisor helps to make a choice or to set priorities. A master (e.g. a physician, teacher, manager) makes a choice for a person. The Cyberspace version of the master and the advisor is the Expert System. It uses advanced ways of pattern-recognition (e.g. Neural Networks).

  • Simulator

Simulators stimulate the imagination. Theaters and movies are examples of passive simulators.  Games are actively involving many people. The Cyberspace version of the active simulator is the Collaborative Computer Game. The passive form can be seen in the Movie and the Television-program.

  • Memory

A memory archives the results of an internal or external dialogue. In the beginning, human communication was only verbal. Important issues to remember were incorporated in stories that were told from one generation to the other. When people specialized their activities, they needed a method (bookkeeping) to keep track of all the transfers. People invented symbols and the external memory to do this.  The writing-symbols made it possible to share and exchange memories (letters, books) without talking. Writing enabled the movement of memories. The library was invented to store the external memories and protect them from fading away. Cyberspace is filled with the versions of static and moving memory called the Electronic Message (Email, Transaction) and the Database. 

  • Mover

Movers were the first tools used in human society. A mover is an extension of the muscles. The first generation was invented to help the human move in physical space. Examples are hammers, cows, horses, steam-machines, cars, bicycles and robots. The next generation supported the movement of symbols (e.g. moving numbers) in mental space. The Difference Engine of Charles Babbage was invented to automate the calculation of mathematical tables. The most advance version of the mover, the telecommunication network, enables the movement of external memory’s in cyberspace.

  • Sensor

Sensors transform and filter data. Glasses and hearing aids were invented to support people when they get old.  Humans looked at the stars and invented the telescope. In a later stage very advanced sensors were developed (Radio-telescope, MRI). They use complex statistical calculations to filter and transform the sampled data into pictures or sounds.

  • Comparator

Human survival and learning is based on comparing data and acting on the result. A comparator acts on an exception. To compare data a measurement instrument is needed and a agreement about the object of measure.

Human beings started to measure time and space a long time ago. It was needed to navigate and to predict the movement of the stars. In the first phase, the human body was used as a measure-instrument of space and the cycle of the sun and the moon as a measurement for time. The big problem with this approach was that every person and every place on earth came up with a different measurement and a different time. \

When the human networks started to connect, standardization on a global level became necessary.  The process of standardization of time and space took many ages. It needed numerous inventions in technology to support the process. The measure-instruments changed from mechanical devices (the clock) to software-devices.   

  • Servant (Operating System)

A servant coordinates the activities of sensors, comparators and memories. Servants take over repetitive patterns.  Humans find these activities boring (not imaginative). A servant has to act invisible (a black box).

When the use of a servant is prohibited, humans get frustrated. It has to be there all the time and do its job inconspicuous. With the help of the comparator and the sensor, the servant has to detect events and take appropriate action (coordinated movements, action patterns).

The big problem at this moment is the visibility and the interference of the servant in the human activity. People have to fill in the same form all the time. Processes stop in the middle of a company. The customer has to handover the data to the other processes. 

Humans do not like to be emotional involved in boring activities.  Therefore, the needs (their wishes) have to be defined in a very simple way. It must be possible to imagine the behavior of the complete system without knowing how the system is operating. 

A good example of a perfect servant is the central heating system. People define their needs (a temperature) and everything works. The temperature is a control variable that represents the performance of the total heating system. People are able to imagine the effect of adjusting the thermostat (a comparator) on the environment they live in. They do not need to know how the servant works. His behavior is hidden. The central heating system is a black box, loosely coupled with another invisible servant-system, the utility-system (gas, electricity).

The servant and its associates were in the first era of IT locked into the physical space of the general-purpose computer controlled by its general purpose operating System. The servants had to stay close together because of the speed of communication. The speed and the capacity of the telecommunication network is going up fast.  This makes it possible to distribute, specialize and connect Servants (now called Appliances).

How to Create the Perfect Need-Machine by Analyzing Personal Activity Patterns

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

In the approach of Taylor and Ford, the employees and customers are treated as programmable machines.  The focus was on a perfect coordination of the senses, the muscles and the production system (the assembly line).  The emotions and the imagination were neglected.

In mass customization, the emotions are involved. In customer innovation, the imagination is imperative. In a demand oriented system all the parts of the human cognitive system have to play a role in a coherent and balanced way.

The human body acts on its environment with messages and action-patterns. The incoming and outgoing messages are observed by the senses and transformed to an internal format. The internal communication system sends the messages to the appropriate place in the body. The emotions are always looking for danger. They want to control the priority of the actions to make it possible for the body to react immediately. The imagination creates an image of the outside world and helps the body to generate scenario’s to improve its action-patterns. 

The senses are the connection to the physical outside world. They shield the human being from the enormous amount of signals that are trying to enter the body. They filter incoming data and transform the data in a standard internal format. When the senses detect an event, it is evaluated by the emotions. If the event is not important, nothing happens. It the event is unusual it becomes aware in the conscious. Events that are highly repeating are not noticed after some time. An internal program (an action-pattern) automates the handling of the event.

The muscles act in physical space. They acquire an enormous amount of reaction-patterns by repeated practicing. Humans learn from their failures. When the senses detect an event, many appropriate patterns are located and enabled. 

When the patterns enter mental space, they change into models. Complicated patterns are compressed into models. Humans use all kinds of compression techniques to make the world compact and therefore more understandable. Static models (e.g. an organization contains employees) compress the world in wholes (nouns) and parts (attributes). They create identities. Dynamic models (the employee sells a product) compress causal chains (event, actor, result). They make it possible to reason.

Models behave the same way as sensors do in physical space. They shield the mental space of the human being from the enormous amount of ideas that the imagination is producing.

The emotions act on hostile and friendly forces. They shield the body from physical injuries (avoiding pain) and take care of the self re-production process of the body (looking for food and a sexual partner).

The emotional system determines the amount of resources that is allocated to the evaluation and the search for adequate action patterns. If an event is dangerous, all resources in the body are used. The body reacts without thinking and uses a biological inherited and fast pattern (fight, flight, freeze, the primary emotions). If there is enough time to react, the emotional system evaluates its preferences and enables the preferred actions-patterns.

If the preferences are related to a long-term perspective, they enter mental space and the human has a choice to make. In the evaluation of long-term preferences, the other plays an important role. People want to take care of the other (family, friends, children), are afraid to get in to a conflict (dominance, status) and want to be praised by the other for what they are accomplishing.

Humans imagine (by creating pictures connected with feelings) what events they like to happen (a wish). When they are pessimistic, they imagine what events they do not want to happen (a fear).  The imagination is the innovative part of the human mental space that generates all kinds of new connections (ideas). The imagination is also the most free to play with new ideas. People can simulate and practice in their imagination without getting into trouble. The imagination produces the idea of the identity.

The imagination uses visual metaphors to create an understandable world. On the lowest level the metaphors are connect to the action patterns. The image of a cup is connected to picking up the cup, holding the cup and moving the cup. New structures are blended with old familiar structures.

Many metaphors make use of the human understanding of technology.  Freud based his theory of the unconsciousness on his understanding of the steam-machine (“I am steamed up with emotions”). Many theories of the mind are based on the metaphor of the computer. People always relate new phenomena to something they already understand. They sometimes do this (in the eyes of others) in very strange ways.  A skilful teacher knows this and tries to find the bridge (the right metaphor, a story) between his world and the world of the student.

In the human body, all the sub-systems (e.g. the services, the organs) are connected by shared communication-channels. There are fast (the nervous system) and slow reacting shared channels (the endocrine system). All the sub-systems use specific messenger-molecules to communicate their actions and act on incoming messengers.  Messengers materialize with every thought we create and with every emotion we feel. When a messenger enters the boundary of a sub-system, (e.g. a cell) it triggers messengers that are specific for that sub-system.

The action patterns make the muscles move according to a movements-plan that is stored in memory. The movement-plans of the muscles enable people to walk, to work (using tools) and to talk. In this last case, people communicate their intentions. The human communication contains a complicated mix of signals that are related to the emotions (e.g. visual expressions, gestures), the patterns (assertions) and the imagination (visual images, ideas).

People resist change. The patterns they have acquired control their behavior and determine their potential. People do not want to change their patterns dramatically. They want to acquire new patterns (by doing) without noticing the change. Only a major event (a critical moment), mostly with negative impact, can have a radical effect. If this event happens it takes a very long time to recover and get into harmony again. When people have to adjust their patterns too often, they experience stress and on the long run get sick.

If people cannot adjust their patterns, they have to involve the other parts of the cognitive system. When they involve the emotions, they have to set priorities and make a choice. People do not like making choices. They are incapable of evaluating all the possibilities. They can also make use of the senses and look at the real opportunities in the outside world. People are almost incapable of doing this because their imagination produces the images it wants to see. If the imagination really faces the facts, the identity is attacked. It feels powerless and unable to control his path of destiny. The last possibility a human has is to adjust the imagination. He has to realize that the possibilities he imagined were just illusions.

If everything stays the same, people get bored. They hope that an event will occur that relates to their wishes. People are the most satisfied if their environment produces just enough change (a challenge) they can cope with. They want a balance between the will (what they want, the imagination, variation) and their capabilities (what they are able to do, predictability, the patterns, their skills).

In a perfect demand oriented economy, a supplier has to provide a challenge to the customer. To provide this challenge the supplier has to understand the wishes and the fears (the imagination) of the customer, his behavior (the patterns) and the balance between the two parts. If the customer is out of balance the supplier has to help the customer to acquire new patterns (learning), help him to make a choice (advice) or show him the real opportunities (scenario’s) taking care of the customers identity.  

It is very difficult for a supplier to get accurate information. Most people are unable to make their behavioral patterns conscious. When people are asked about their opinion (an aspect of the emotions), they often do not want to offend the other and give proper answers. People only want to share their most secret wishes with people they trust (partner, family, friends). Correct information about the customer can only be acquired by carefully observing and analyzing the activities of the customer (what he is doing).  It is completely impossible for a company to observe the activities of all their customers. The only one who can do this is the customer himself.

Customers can observe their activities if they were able to gather personal activity-patterns, get the opportunity to analyze their behavior, and share their activity-patterns with others to get an advice. Most of the needed data is somewhere already available (patient records, buying behavior, payments etc) or can be made available by making connections to the tools the consumer is using in his personal- and work-environment (Emails, Content). The only thing that has to happen is that companies and government agencies make these patterns, which are most of the time privately owned by the customer, available.

It can be envisioned that all personal data is kept in a private space. Only the customer (the owner) can make the data available to others. This approach would prevent many problems in the current situation (e.g. spam).

The last step in a perfect rational demand oriented system is reached when the personal activity-patterns are automatically transformed in standardized need-messages that are sent out to appropriate providers.