Archives for category: effective communication

For something to become a resource, it has to be identified first. As such…

Coming back to Kissinger, we need first to accept that he is the product of the world before him and one of the factors who continues to shape the current one.

We can learn from him – and coldly assess the present situation in order to avoid past mistakes going forward – or … we can let him win! And follow in his footsteps: Divide et impera, manipulate people into doing things against their own nature, despise everybody who thinks differently than what we consider to be right …


To set a wolf to guard sheep
Latin proverb.

A first glance, it doesn’t make much sense to put an oilman in charge of a COP conference.
Nothing more than setting a wolf to guard sheep, right?

On the other hand, shepherd dogs are nothing but ‘converted’ wolves.
Wolves who had somehow figured out that it’s more sustainable to live with the humans than in the wild.
Former wolves who had somehow figured out that’s far more sustainable – for them, to protect the sheep than to prey on them.

OK, the agent driving the process had been human. But the facts remain. Dogs have evolved from wolves.

What are we waiting for?
If the descendants of the wolves had been able to ‘cross over’, why so many reasonable people continue to believe that the ‘Global Warming’ is a hoax?
After all, we’re the ones supposed to be reasonable…
And the way I see it, it’s unreasonable to believe that burning fossil fuel accumulated during millions of years can be ‘sustainable’. Forget about ‘peak oil’ and ‘peak gas’ and remember how hot the Earth was when the first drop of fossil fuel had been set aside by Mother Nature.

‘Self awareness’ is how we call our ability to observe ourselves while observing others.
Humberto Maturana

First and foremost, existence is a concept.
Something our forefathers had coined. A mental construct built by talking about it.

Nothing existed before we saw it AND talked about it!

Think about the stars nobody knew about until we used Hubble to peek into the history of the Universe.

Think about the stars which ‘sit’ there and no man will ever see. Or otherwise perceive.
Do they, the stars, actually exist?

In the sense that has their being been ‘measured’ into existence by a self aware observer?
Has that observation been communicated by the observer to anybody else? Who had confirmed that that observation was anything more than a mere illusion?

You see, both actually – my rantings on your monitor – and figuratively, I don’t need to be told about the existence of the steps I have to climb up and down when I leave my bed each morning. On the other hand, I know that the Amazon exists because I’ve been told about it. Further more, I see for my self the steps in my house but I have a name for them – and I can write about them – because our forefathers had learned to speak. About the world they were discovering around themselves.

My point? We speak things into existence, not into being.

‘How about the things we talk about before we’ve ‘seen’ them? Neptune, the planet, had been ‘calculated’ before ‘seen’ and all mass manufactured things are first discussed and only then launched into production.
Which was the exact moment when each of them had started to exist?’

Good question!
I’m afraid I have no valid answer. This is a matter which will remain open for further debate!
After all, how else to justify our existence?
How else to find our own meaning? Other than by talking about it?

All people, men and women alike, are born, nursed and initially educated by their mothers.
By their mothers, inexorably women!

Some of the feminists, mostly women, act as if they want to exact revenge over their former ‘masters’.
Over men. Whom they perceive as oppressors.
Most of the feminists, from both genders, believe that women should be equal to men. That they are not yet so and that this is the most important problem which has to be solved in order for mankind (?!?) to go forward.

Being raised under communist rule – where women had been put to work, hence granted a lot of ‘equal rights’ – by a very ‘progressive’ pair of women – mom and grandmother – I grew up having the impression that men and women considered themselves partners. That being how my father and mother treated each-other.

I used scare-marks around progressive because neither my mother nor my maternal grand-mother considered themselves as such. Only behaved in that manner. Which I grew up considering to be normal.

Illusions, like always, end up being shredded.
Very soon I learned that not all people had been born equal.

And that I had been dealt ‘the better hand’…
So I didn’t waste any more time/energy to consider the matter!
For 40 or so years…

This is not the good moment to delve into details.
Enough for me to say that my quest – to understand as many as possible of the consequences ‘inflicted’ by the limited nature of our consciousness – led me to feminism. To ‘feminism’ seen as a social phenomenon.

Already convinced – since early childhood, conviction beefed up by the relation built in concert with my wife, that men and women are equal partners in the adventure called life, I was confronted by a huge dilemma:

Why on Earth so many women raise their children – both future men and future women – in the conviction that men are entitled to be served and women are meant to indulge their wishes?!?

Is it an attitude imposed by the overbearing men?
Hence easy to unlearn?

Or is it an evolutionary thing?
Hence harder to leave behind…

I continue to be under the impression that my most important break-trough to-date is that each individual conscience is primordially concerned with its own survival. Not as much with its ‘physical’ survival as with the conservation of the good impression it has about itself. With maintaining its self-esteem!
For instance, this is the reason for so many of us having such a hard time when trying to ditch a bad habit! Because we have to admit first, before ourselves, that we’ve been wrong for so long! That we’ve been acting foolishly since adopting that habit.

Coming back to the main subject, who would like to be?
The proud mother of a highly successful man or the mother of a below average Joe?
Small wonder then that in the current cultural environment we continue to raise highly assertive men. And, sometimes, women.
On the other hand, if you’ve been a submissive woman all your life, how do you feel in the presence of assertive women? Uncomfortably? Even more so if the assertive woman happens to be your daughter?

So, could it be possible that we are stuck in the present situation because we’ve conditioned ourselves to over-value the glitzy part of what we call ‘success’?
And because we’ve not yet learned to forgive ourselves for past mistakes?

Ernst Mayr, an evolutionist, put it this way:
‘Evolution is no way about the survival of the fittest.
“Fittest” to what ?!? since evolution is about being able to cope with change…
In reality, evolution is about the demise of the unfit!’

Same here.

We can fight ourselves into the ground, chasing ‘success’.

Or we can thrive together.
As equal partners, complementing each = other.

People act as if the world is as each of them sees it.

The world is as it is.
Only nobody knows how…
And, probably, never will.

What we act upon, and interfere with, is the world as we see it.
Here being the interesting part.

All other living things mostly react to the world.
Even our brain uses much – some say ‘most – of its processing power to react rather than act.
Our body is able to survive even when our frontal cortex – the portion of the brain where thinking takes place, has been knocked out of action. When we’re fast asleep, drunk, ‘high’, low, in a coma…
In fact, an organism doesn’t need to ‘see’, in order to react. To breathe, to eat, to perform bodily functions, to reproduce…

Things become more and more complicated, indeed, as we climb the evolutionary ladder.
Complicated for us… who attempt to understand what’s going… not for those living on each of the steps… Things are complicated only for those trying to ‘see’!

It’s easy, for us, to consider that a dung beetle which carries food for its future offspring is acting instinctively.
It’s a little bit more complicated when we observe a troop of chimpanzee and notice how deliberately the alpha male leads his ‘subjects’ and the complex social life of the community …

But the difference between how the chimpanzee and the humans interact with reality is wide enough for us, humans, to consider ourselves as having risen ‘above the fray’. As being special enough to deserve a special status!

And what is it which makes us so special?
Our ability to speak? To walk on two legs? To write?
None of the above!

It’s our ability to ‘see’ the difference between us and the rest of the world!

All other living organisms behave as if they belong to nature. To the reality surrounding them.
We humans, behave as if we own reality.

While the rest of the living things react to what’s happening to them – even when they plan ahead – we, humans, deliberately – and presumably in a conscious manner – transform the reality according to what we consider to be our needs.

According to what we ‘see’ as being our needs…

People act as if the world is as each of them sees it.

Nobody does anything unless they are convinced that there is some merit in ‘that’ particular something being put into practice.
Otherwise put, nobody starts doing anything before believing that the thing being started is well worth the effort.

In fact, doing – anything, in a voluntary manner – is an act of faith.

‘OK, I can live with that.
But which faith? Cause there are many…’

This is the moment when I’ll start commenting on the difference between creed and faith.
Creed is very specific. Personal creed, Christian creed, Islamic creed, even professional creed…
Faith, on the other hand, is more general. The concept itself encompasses creed and goes a lot further.

Personal faith is both the conviction which drives each of us to do something and the specifics about how we implement that something.
Those of us who are faithful Christians derive their energy from their faith and the particulars of their action from their Christian creed.
Those of us who are faithful Muslims derive their energy from their faith and the particulars of their action from their Islamic creed.
Those of us who are agnostics – or atheists, derive their energy from their faith and the particulars of their action from their specific creed.
In this sense, faith is more like a state of mind – shared by all faithful people, while creed is specific to each category of people. Down to each individual.

“And Jesus said unto them,
Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you,
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this mountain,
Remove hence to yonder place;
and it shall remove;
and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Matthew, 17:20

Apparently, the quote above doesn’t make much sense.
No matter how much faith one has, telling a mountain to ‘remove to yonder place’ will yield nothing more than a wasted breath.

On the other hand… 2000 years is a lot. Erosion has moved many a mountains in this time… After all, Jesus didn’t say anything about how fast will the mountain remove itself after it had been told to…

OK, jokes aside, nowadays it’s a lot easier for us to remove a (smallish) mountain than it was in those times. We currently use cranes and lorries instead of mere words … but we still wouldn’t start before convincing ourselves that it’s possible.
That our goal is within our grasp. At least notionally.

The truth of the matter being that we live now in a better world.

According to our benchmarks.
We live longer and have it a lot easier!

But is our world really better?
According to other benchmarks…
Biodiversity loss, spoiled environment, continued human exploitation…

Let me put it differently.
What was the thing which had set apart the abrahamic faith from all other religions?
The notion that all people had been made in the image of the creator god.
As a consequence of how they’ve been made, they – the people – are not only equal – cast in the same mould, but also harboring a divine spark. The image they share being that of a god, not an ordinary one…

What difference does this make?
Democracy, capitalism, free market… all things we consider to be capital to our well being are based on the notion that all people are equal and have to be treated as such.
Otherwise why bother with what the other has to say about anything?

I’ll repeat the question.
Is our world really better?

Forget about biodiversity, pollution and quality of life.
Do we continue to consider our brethren to be equal to us?
Do we really hear them out when they speak to us?

How are we to achieve our goal – whatever that might be, if we don’t coordinate our faith?
If we don’t hear out what the others have to say about anything?

My previous post was about reification.
About the fact that each of us acts according to their faith. According to their belief that the world is as each of us sees it.
|How are we going to coordinate our efforts towards a common goal – a better place for all of us to live in, if we don’t hear what each of us has to say about where we’re going?

“Man is the measure of all things”
To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For man, however, the root is man himself.
Karl Marx

“the act of changing something abstract (= existing as a thought or idea) into something real

Allow me to put it bluntly. To cut the .. c…orner. -;).

People act as if the world is as they see it!

Would you get up in the morning if there was no tomorrow?!?
So, in reality, it’s faith which keeps the world spinning!

Our world… Earth spins on its own!
But our world, the one we live in, is kept together by our faith!
By our own conviction that we’ll get up from bed tomorrow.
That there’s something worthwhile getting up for.

Not even on paper!

If you read carefully Marx’s communist manifesto, you’ll realize that it doesn’t. Work. Not even on paper!
According to Marx, communism will come to be when enough people formerly belonging to the middle class will have become poor. As a consequence of their wealth having been siphoned away from them.
Becoming poor will make those former middle class people open to communist ideas. And will convince them to follow the already ‘enlightened communists’ into revolution.
For a while – again, according to Marx, the society will be led by the successful revolutionaries. In a dictatorial manner, because not all people will have been risen to the communists’ level of understanding.
So. ‘Communism’ will be instated by some disgruntled people using dictatorial methods.
How auspicious is this?
Let me go even further.
Why were those people disgruntled in the first place?
Because capitalism!
Not so fast. The Adam Smith kind of capitalism worked just fine. Only after it had been warped by greed it had started to sputter. Specially after Milton Freedman had enshrined greed… This being the moment when I need to remind you that Adam Smith’s first book on this subject was “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”…
Those people had become disgruntled after too many in that society had been convinced, at least for a while, that ‘greed was good’. And what was Marx’s proposed solution for that disgruntlement?
That all ‘means of production’ – meaning all property/wealth, be taken away from individual people. And entrusted to ‘the people’.
Since ‘the people’ were going to be led by the “communists”, in practice the communist revolution meant that all wealth was going to be confiscated from those who happened to own it and entrusted to a very small number of people. Who happened to own the secular power in that moment. As the main consequence of the communist revolution. Apud Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto…
Let me revisit now Milton Friedman’s words. ‘Greed is good’. According to this line of thinking, wealth becoming as concentrated as possible is a good thing. Since greed is already good, concentrated wealth is but a logical consequence…

Then Marx’s Communist Manifesto was nothing but an avant-la-lettre short-cut for an easier implementation of Milton Friedman’s greed hailing ideology!

See what I mean?

Karl Marx communism did not and cannot work.
Because it leads into a vicious circle.
It creates a monopolistic situation which cannot be avoided. Time and time again, history has proven that ‘this time is different’ is nothing but wishful thinking. Whenever too much decision power is concentrated in too few hands, the situation becomes untenable. The more concentrated the decision power, the sooner – and more dramatic, the eventual collapse.

How about a different kind of communism?
The only sustainable kind of anything – ‘social arrangements’ included, had been ‘natural’. Had appeared in an evolutionary manner.
In contrast, all revolutionary developments have produced counter-revolutions. In many instances even more destructive than the revolutions themselves.
What will come after democratic capitalism? I don’t know!
But it better be better than what we have now.

And come in quietly!


Holidays are very good opportunities to reconsider,
And to learn new things.

These days I learned that while having nothing makes you feel ‘uncomfortable’, having too much can be very limiting.

If you have just enough, you can go forward. Explore new venues. Learn new things.
Enjoy life!

If you have too much, you spend too much time and energy protecting what you already have. Trying to get more…
The venues open for you to explore are suddenly reduced to one! Only one… You become the guardian of your fortune!
Can you enjoy such a life?
Are you sure? Have you examined the alternatives? In earnest?

‘Are you implying that all wealthy people are unhappy?
Unable to enjoy their lives?!?’

On the contrary, my dear Watson!
I’m only saying that being wealthy is complicated.
“Just enough” is a matter of individual ability to cope.
That enjoying wealth needs a lot of skill.
And that being wealthy comes with a lot of responsibility!
Towards yourself in the first place!

And towards your kids, family and the rest of the gang…

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