Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fixing Bayonets, and Charging Toward the Next Adaptive Permutation of Our Own Electorate

Feels like time to buy equities in general? - Warren Mosler.

It's the adaptive permutations, silly.

Warren Mosler's forecasts now make perfect sense to me. He's really changed my life, by illuminating a path through one particularly hard to recognize adaptive window, a conceptual bottleneck. I can extrapolate from that path, to clarify the path to other tough windows as well.  Twenty years back I might have thought Mosler was lost in left field. Yet there's always a steady trickle of people (Socrates, Wallace, Tesla, Shewhart, Deming, Boyd, etc), who sense that orthodoxy never makes enough sense past yesterday, and are already looking for a better paradigm. Improving our National Adaptive Rate means turning that trickle into a stream.  As a nation, we need a faster CAR (Cultural Adaptive Rate).

Every culture faces tasks in dimensions beyond it's training.  We now have thousands of distinct, new professions that didn't even exist when most current adults were born, and a steady trickle of revolutionary innovators in each & every one of those professions. Yet we're grossly neglecting how to continuously explore & select optimal, revolutionary permutations of all these mini-paradigm changers. We're simply ignoring our own, multi-level selection. Our diversity is growing faster than our organizational methods, so that we're actually losing net agility.  That's ironic, since multi-variable calculus is a 400-yr old topic taught in introductory math, but not practiced outside the classroom by 99% of those who've passed a calculus class!

Methods drive results, and we are (mostly) what we practice, not what we say. Therefore, our bigger problem, really, is that even while we're desperately looking for new paradigms, we're simultaneously practicing the opposite, by conditioning most students to either not look, not recognize better ways even when they see 'em, or actively oppose anyone saying a better way is possible (or desired) - i.e., the insidious evil of Credentialism. We need a better underlying paradigm for dynamically addressing our paradigm progression! Our present approach ain't scaling. [Pirsig might say that we're personally dynamic ... yet socially static & self-suicidal, and that we're furiously training static-value thinkers in an obviously and increasingly dynamic-value world.  Hence, our methods momentum, as a vector, is carrying us away from, not closer to, our avowed goals, where we want to go. What happens when methods-momentum & goal-momentum are orthogonal? Ya got a really sick organization approaching an inflection point where survival & failure are equally probable options.]

It turns out that the rate limiting task for all social species - & now cultures - is how, exactly, to scavenge net diversity as a reserve, and drag it - kicking & screaming - through the sequence of rare windows that define an unpredictable survival path through "Adaptation Space." Forget banking reserves.  We need to be operating on an entirely different level - just to survive ourselves.

Unfortunately, we don't drive that situational awareness home at the beginning of training, even in biology 101, let alone in economics or political science or our 2000+ other training diciplines. We always have far, far more capabilities than we need, but always lag in developing the agility to use what we already have. Couch potato culture, indeed! It's actually much worse than even the most pessimistic among us imagine - but never hopeless. If we're a nation, Wall St. & the 1% are the bulk of the expanding duff we're sitting on, while our electorate falls ill exactly because of it! What's the economic metaphor for type-2 diabetes? The self-induced, runaway methods triggering maldistribution of incomes & assets?  What's the simplest prevention AND cure?  Coordinated, economic exercise?  That means simply unleashing public initiative, to feverishly explore, analyze and select from our exponentially expanding group options!  Why are we making this anything except insanely great fun?  What's the next scale beyond individual sociopaths?  Culturopaths?  Is that what we're slipping into? A Rush Limbaugh culture?  The smell is already noticeable, and a cleansing bath is needed - pronto.

Here's our Catch-22 dilemma [where's Joshua Chamberlain when we need millions like him?]:
We can't afford to leave the unmotivated behind, and we can't learn how to motivate their growing ranks fast enough - which means there's a better way.

[Continuously tweak & subtly alter the edu/training production process? Start practicing cheap prevention vs expensive repair in the way we continuously replenish our own electorate? Is it ALWAYS time to "fix-bayonets" in policy battle? We're in continuous war with our own bureacracy.  We don't want to destroy it, and we don't want to dismantle it.  Hence, we must fix emerging tactical bayonets and run circles around, under & through those parts of credentialism and bureaucracy that are always becoming obsolete - so we can take leaner/faster/better bureaucracy with us wherever we all need to go. We need continuously faster national, not just local, OODA loops, and national statistical process adaptation, not control (dynamic SPA, not SPC).]

To do that, we need a bias to action.  We need to trick the Luddites into rapidly enjoying what they don't understand, and make it fun for kids to try insanely novel exploration - WHILE always practicing agile, full-group feedback.  We need methods for continuously improving our quality of distributed decision-making.

We need Master Ooda and the Klaxon Klone Army ("Ooooda! Ooooda!").
We also need theme songs.  "Ooda loop loop, loop .. loop, loop."
   MMTcat stew?  Toughest paradigm alive?

Regarding personal investments, Warren's saying that the few in the know might as well spend more time playing golf, but take their AK-47s with them? :) As usual? That's good advice for those in the know, but also a way for the unpracticed & unprepared to have a heart attack on the golf course!

[And what about the rest of the electorate? We need to rethink more than just currency operations in order to address that growing topic. Personal investing is only treading water for an electorate. We need to figure out which metaphorical bayonets to fix, and which internal obstacles to charge. So far, we've only visualized some of our important goals, NOT how adaptive permutations of domain-specific revolutionaries can self-recognize and mobilize to win a policy maneuver battle and drag the Luddites with them.  That's a new ballgame, on a whole new level and dimension.]

Comically, neither economics nor accounting classes bother to tell most paying students that ignorance is still bliss. We'd be better off starting Econ 101 out with reviews of both Valhalla and CargoCult paradigms! That way more capitalists could at least be conditioned to heartily enjoy whatever time they have on or off the golf course, while audaciously thinking about inventing new games on a greater scale.

To practice, and increase agility at multi-level adaptation, we need to embrace agile use of cargo-cult tricks on on ourselves.  For example, constant battle with every one of our own existing methods - since they constitute our own cargo-cults.  A culture with infinite agility is one where audience participation runs the Kabuki show, knows it, embraces the fun of doing it, makes joke about themselves, and can laugh at themselves.  That takes practice, and preparation.  It's not for the faint of heart, but no harder than watching a toddler enjoying the new risk of learning how to walk.  Our kids - and even the "7th culture yet unspawned" - will do this, whether we try to shield them from the risk or not.  Better to enjoy the hell out of it while we can.


Roger Erickson said...

the never-ending process of deciphering ourselves is well underway

Yet we're over-analyzing old paradigms on their way out, and under-exploring our emerging options?

What the 2012 Election Was ... and Wasn't
"There are two truths about this election. The GOP's extremism was rejected, but a second term of Obama is going to bring more attacks on the New Deal ... ."

Adam2 said...

Roger... your points and style is interesting... just make your posts a bit shorter.

Jack Blackburn said...
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Jack Blackburn said...
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Jack Blackburn said...
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Letsgetitdone said...

I love that scene from Gettysburg. One of my all time favorites. Jeff Daniels was wonderful!

Roger Erickson said...

Latin poet Juvenal wrote:

"Nunc patimur longae pacis mala, saevior armis
Luxuria incubuit victumque ulciscitur orbem."

"Now we suffer from the ills of a long period of peace. Luxury, more destructive than war, has engulfed us and imposes retribution for our conquest of the World."