Enlightened Conflict

How do you solve a problem when one half absolutely hates the other half?

February 10th, 2017

Polar Opposites conflict

 

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I want people to think about our politics here in America, because I’m telling you guys that I don’t know of a single nation in this history of the world that’s been able to solve its problems when half the people in the country absolutely hate the other half of the people in that country.

This is the most important country in the world, and people in this body cannot function if people are offending one another.

Marco Rubio

 

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Well.

 

Polarization can create some pretty foul conduct.

 

Polarization can bring out the worst in people.

 

Polarization can create stillness within turmoil when movement within teamwork is needed <and desired>.

And.

 

Polarization within leadership is a virus that infects everyone in the organization … not just in leadership.

marco rubio speech on respectful conflict

I was reminded of this as I watched a completely underreported and under the radar speech Marco Rubio gave on the senate floor after <I believe> Elizabeth Warren had been asked to stop speaking.

Warren gained all the headlines where Rubio actually had the words we should have all been listening to. It is maybe 8 minutes long and worth every second.

 

 

Please note that I believe this message is more important than just one directed toward the Senate … it is a message which all Americans should take note of.

We are fortunate to have the privilege of freedom of speech & thought and we should embrace that freedom as one to permit healthy discussion, debate and disagreements … all of which should enable healthy, positive decisions.

 

Freedom is a tricky thing. In the United States of America we have the unique opportunity to “criticize a president without retribution.” <as past President Obama said to a group of military people at MacDill Air Force base>.

 

But our freedoms are being challenge by Trump and his attitudes & behaviors in ways we haven’t really seen in a very very long time.

 

The Trump Affect ripples way beyond simple executive orders and specific friends unfluencers ripples2actions that will have an impact on the people of the country. The more dangerous ripple effect is one of attitudes & behaviors.

Within this dangerous Trump affect ripple,  the freedom to freely criticize is a little less secure … and the way we criticize, debate & discuss in the Trump era appears to be one of not listening, not respecting and not believing that there could possibly be a way to do something differently than the way “I believe.”

 

Trump and his merry little band of morally corrupt liars suggest that there is no middle ground for “ladies & gentlemen to disagree with ladies & gentlemen” <note: this is a rip off of the Ritz Carlton motto>.

 

The Trump Affect has trickled down into his direct organization … the congress.

 

And within that ripple Republicans either embrace the bully opportunity or simply privately watch in horror as leadership decorum and leadership example <which, by the way, IS important as impressionable children and adult seeking cues on how to be leaders watch closely>.

And within that ripple Democrats screech & gnash their teeth in impotent frustration over not only having no power to shift the tides of change but also because, in their heart of hearts, they know this is not the way business should be conducted.

 

Balance has disappeared.

compromise balancing actWhile people can bitch & moan that decorum, in the past, has only encouraged stagnancy & lack of action they should not confuse with what business is conducted and how business is conducted.

Just as I am more accepting of my high school football coach if we have a losing season but the players play with respect & dignity and go to class and show signs of growing up with a healthy personal responsibility … I am less accepting of the coach who permits poor behavior & lack of respectful competition even if they win more.

You can have all the good in this case. But balance has been lost.

 

In fact.

 

We should face the fact that balance deserted us the day Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy.

 

And that is why Rubio’s speech is so important. Without actually saying it he suggests that we shouldn’t let Trump drag us down into some dysfunctional squabbling amorphous blob of indignant jerks.

 

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“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.

Both are nonsense.

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

 

———-

Rick Warren

==========

 

I like conflict and I think conflict is healthy.

creative spark light bulb

It is a basic Life truth that conflict is the positive friction that often creates innovations and new thinking and new ideas.

But, as with most things in life, there are degrees of conflict.

 

The kind of conflict we need now, more than ever, is the productive type.

 

We need to better embrace the valuable contradictions in life.

Things like:

 

Smart and funny.

Silent but says a lot.

Liberal conservative.

Cynical optimist.

 

Oh.

 

And enlightened and conflict of course.

 

We need to better embrace the fact that contradictions are powerful.

They create a chemistry ending in positive friction <when done right> and the fire for innovative thinking and thoughts.

 

In general I believe contradiction not only make life & people interesting but they also forge the kind of decisions that become the iron construct for a solid culture, civilization and country.

 

We need to embrace that conflict is part of life and not treat it as only a negative thing.

 

void embrace the unknownHumans are neither passive nor stagnant. We move. We do. We think.

 

Combine that fact with individuals are unique <although they may group together> and inevitably there is some conflict. It can simply be healthy competition or it can be staggeringly evil intended activity <i.e. there will be conflict because your point of view and thoughts shouldn’t exist and I am going to extinguish them>.

 

We need to embrace the fact that conflict can be “managed”.

Maybe call it competitive camaraderie. I call it enlightened conflict. I believe if people know more about stuff <I don’t really believe it needs a technical term> then conflict will be conducted with knowledge.

 

I would suggest that ignorance, and being close minded, guides conflict toward evil interactions … while knowledge guides conflict to responsible interactions.

 

Lastly.

 

We need to embrace that enlightened conflict is really some version of pluralism.

A pluralism in that it encourages, and embraces, freedom to learn and freedom to think different thoughts.

 

In the end I imagine what I really care about are people’s actions. They can remain mute as far as I am concerned as long as their actions respect others opinions and others lives and meets global responsibilities.

 

Look.

 

enlightened conflict ideasIt is silly to think that conflict doesn’t exist as part of our natural behavior <I apologize to all the “why can’t we all get along” groups>.

 

It is silly to think that friction between beliefs and causes is not the spark for something better.

 

It is silly to think conflict and friction is not good.

Good conflict leads to positive friction and ideation and evolution of ideas.

 

But it needs to be conducted with respect. Respectful disagreements & debate lead to two things:

 

  • Positive friction.

 

  • Enlightened conflict.

 

 

The first is based on curiosity plus friction equals better ideas and thinking.

The second is lack of ignorance plus conflict equals respectful competition.

 

We here in the United States have an incredible privilege … a freedom to say what we want and disagree and criticize whomever we want. We shouldn’t abuse that privilege by not understanding that it creates good conflict which enlightened conflict thinkenables ‘gooder’ ideas.

 

Marco Rubio did something in his speech which I endorse wholeheartedly … he tried to make an impact on his own little corner of the world … encouraging positive friction for enlightened conflict.

 

 

Marco Rubio had a stellar enlightened conflict moment … and more people should see it and listen.

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“Enlighten the people, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

Thomas Jefferson

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adulthood is better than okay

May 21st, 2015

—————-

adulthood sharks

The cult of youth cheats young and old alike.

Let’s reclaim adulthood.

A culture always looking backward, toward the joys of a vanishing youth, cheats everyone: depending on your age, the “best years” are either an increasingly distant memory, or they will be, all too soon.

In a culture that celebrates growing up, by contrast, everybody has them to look forward to – unless they’re already enjoying them.

=

Oliver Burkeman

—————–

 

 

 

adult growing up skin comfortable

 

Well.

 

 

I am an unequivocal supporter of today’s young, youth and young adults. I believe our future is in good hands <assuming we older folk don’t fuck them, or it, up>.

 

 

I am an unequivocal basher of today’s older generations. I believe our future is slower to come to fruition because of older people reluctant to let go of the past and ‘how it used to be done.’

 

 

And, yet, I am an unequivocal believer in the joys and passion and benefits of adulthood.

 

 

I think far too often the young look at adulthood, flippantly, as ‘the future sucking.”

 

 

I think far too often older people perpetuate this belief by vocally bitching about how ‘this sucks’ <and do and say some fairly absurd things to maintain some semblance of ‘youth’>.

 

 

While the responsibilities of adulthood can sometimes appear daunting <especially if you compare it to youth’s most basic responsibilities – go to school & don’t get thrown in jail> I tend to believe we should be celebrating adulthood.

 

 

And it, frankly, is not that hard.

 

 

I could simply state “if I knew then what I know now” as the prime exhibit for how adulthood has shaped and improved that which we were in our youth … but I will suggest we think about adulthood more.

 

 

I sometimes believe we confuse the messy complexities of adulthood with only ‘bad.’

 

adulthood training

Complexity is not bad … it just is. It is a mix of good, bad, fun, sad, disappointments and successes.

 

 

Uhm.

 

 

But complexity has a tendency to make anyone LOOK bad.

 

 

 

Therefore.

 

What becomes slightly ridiculous in this whole discussion is that the young look at grownups as a group of ridiculous, ill-equipped for today’s world, stagnant & stale stubborn assholes … and the grownups feel the same way <except the asshole part>.

 

 

We feel that way … and appear that way … because adulthood is complex. It is a mishmash of individual responsibility, independence & personal choice change clashing with collective shared responsibility, dependence &  system choice change. We seek simplicity therefore are constantly attacking adulthood Life with formulas to do and ‘ways to simplify our Life’ … and yet they are simply stopgaps to the onslaught of a complex life.

 

 

And all the time we are seeking ways to simplify … we adults continue scoffing at the young … uhm … yet emulating the young <trying to recapture some nebulous thing we believe we have lost>.

 

 

We look silly <we adults>.

 

 

We look silly not admitting life is complex and in its complexity, while harrowing at times, it is a joy of multiple experiences and a series of blood pumping moments.

 

 

Yes.

 

I believe that.

 

 

And I thought about that as I scanned an article about “Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age” by Susan Neiman.

 

She makes the case that our youth-fixated society is a symptom of something worth worrying about: we’ve defined growing up as nothing but a question of decline.

 

 

“Being grown-up is widely considered to be a matter of renouncing your hopes and dreams, accepting the limits of the reality you are given, and resigning yourself to a life that will be less adventurous, worthwhile and significant than you had supposed when you began it.”

 

 

Whew.

 

 

Resigning yourself to a life … anything that begins with those words sends a shiver down my spine.

 

 

 

Do not go gently into the good night … those are the words adulthood should embrace.

adult professional

 

 

 

And, yet, it seems like we <we actually being adults> have created a world in which growing up is something nobody would choose if given a choice.

 

 

We suggest the best years of your life are with the young.

 

 

We suggest that dreams are for the young.

 

 

We suggest impossibility is possible with the young.

 

 

We suggest ‘your whole life is ahead of you’ to the young.

 

 

 

Shit.

 

Who wouldn’t choose being young if we offered all that?

 

 

Aw.

 

What crap.

 

 

Adulthood is awesome if you can get your head out of your ass.

 

 

Life isn’t about the innocence of childhood and ‘dreams of what could be’ … it is about doing, experiencing and getting the most out of what is presented to you.

 

 

Life is about ‘not going gently’ and it is certainly NOT about looking backwards.

 

 

Life is about … well … control … personal control over personal choices and personal destiny <or fate>.  We need to remember youth was maybe a 20/80 experience.  20% personal choice and individuality and 80% of Life dictated or controlled. Adulthood is the reverse … 80% personal choice and individuality and making decisions with regard to your own destiny while 20% of Life around you is constructing obstacles to what you want.

 

That said.

 

Adults today have some wacky perspective on adulthood.

 

 

They demand respect. They demand opportunity. They demand money. They demand fairness <yet demand ‘what I deserve’ at exactly the same time>.

They demand perfection.

 

And if they don’t get what they demand?

 

 

They get angry.

 

 

 

 

Today’s adulthood is too busy being angry to understand that adulthood is great.

 

Many adults get so angry they refuse to grow up seeking solace in the trappings of youth <revisiting a time in Life when “I was angry at older people”>.

 

adulthood roles reverse

We are simply exchanging today’s anger for the simplicity of the anger we had in youth.

 

 

 

——-

“Refusing to grow up may be a form of rebellion. But really growing up could be a revolution.”

=

Susan Neiman

——————-

 

 

This is crazy.

 

Fucking crazy.

 

 

Where the hell did we get the idea that youth is the best time of our life?

 

 

What the hell was so great about youth that we have decided to idealize youth?

 

 

For some reason we have decided that adulthood means you need to renounce hoping for something better … and dreaming or pursuing dreams.

 

For some reason we have decided that accepting the limits of your current reality is a given … you need to be resigned to it <it cannot be changed>.

 

For some reason, because of those things I just stated, we have accepted so many ‘less than’ thoughts associated with adulthood that we just look … well … sad and pathetic.

 

 

Geez.

 

Why would any young person aspire to that?

 

<they wouldn’t>

 

 

Why would any adult embrace an adulthood that looks like that?

 

<they wouldn’t>

 

growing up adults

Adulthood doesn’t mean you are finished growing up.

 

 

For some reason we seem to think adulthood means you have to stop being a work in progress and instead ‘stop moving around and stick with something and be the best you can be.’

 

 

 

Why does one have to be exclusive of the other?

 

<they don’t>

 

 

————–

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”

=

John Connolly

———–

“It is not fair to treat people as if they are finished beings.

Everyone is always becoming and unbecoming. “

=

Kathleen Winter

————–

 

 

Being an adult & adulthood is all about becoming someone and something … and unbecoming someone and something.

 

 

We are constantly developing and undeveloping and we continue to survive the missteps and step backs and figure out where & how to excel with momentary glimpses of what ‘could be’ … and that is what adulthood is all about.

 

 

That is the model of adulthood which we should be providing youth so that we can take back the greatness of adulthood and stop thinking youth is so great.

 

 

———

“Don’t you find it odd that when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams.

But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”

=

Ethan Hawke

————

 

 

I find it odd adults discard the great aspects of adulthood and gladly embrace the not-so-great aspects of adulthood.

 

I find it odd adults confuse consistency with stagnancy in how they live their lives.

 

I find it odd adults enjoy looking backwards more than looking forward.

 

 

I find it odd because while I love today’s youth … I love adulthood.management what growing-global-executive-talent

 

 

Simply.

 

Adulthood is much much better than okay. It is much better because while some call it the burden of responsibility I call it the freedom to enable my own destiny.

 

You do with your destiny what you want … you can  get angry if it doesn’t happen the way you want but suffice it to say … adulthood is great because it is YOUR time to make it happen.

 

 

And I wish adults would reclaim adulthood and let the youth have their youth.

businesses jumping on education bashing bandwagon

November 25th, 2013

 

Well.bullshit language

There is a funny joke going around.

Heard it?

Businesses are blaming the education system for not being able to hire skilled employees <reading between the lines … it is not our fault we are not doing as well as we could be>.

 

It makes me laugh out loud.

 

And it is a bad joke <if not just out & out bullshit>.

Is there a dearth of talent waiting to be hired these days?

Of course not.

 

I had an article in my files from maybe 2000 or so that said this:

 

“… a recurrent complaint by firms is that they cannot get enough college graduates with the right skills to staff up for growth. Yet an extensive study in the early 1970’s and the late 1990’s found that American colleges produced more than enough graduates in technology, engineering and maths to meet demand. The problem was that a growing proportion of them did not pursue careers in their field of study. Some may have been lured by the siren song of Wall Street and many others concluded that it did not offer a stable career.”

 

Look.

2013.

1993.

Pick whatever year you want since a formalized education system has been set up so that the everyday person has access to lower and higher education.

 

This issue is crazy.

And stupid.

And wasted energy.

 

I am certainly not going to suggest that the existing education system is perfect.

In fact … I may actually suggest that one of the issues today is probably a reflection of how the education system has already responded to business ‘demands’ <or societal pressure for ‘measured results’>.

 

What I mean by that is an unfortunate result of trying to match up with business is that information and skills have been segregated into discrete disciplines in order to manage them more effectively for student learning <i.e., math is separated from science is separated from English is separated from history>.

 

We have attempted to create silos of isolated disciplines in the minds of students and have assumed that they will assimilate and integrate this information successfully to solve real problems in life and work <this is a mirror of today’s business acumen of ‘specialized expertise’ rather than general knowledge>.

right versus convenientUnfortunately this has happened despite the fact that cognitive learning studies suggest that only a few students can learn efficiently via “silos of information.”

Worse?

Even fewer can apply what they’ve learned to experience and practice.

 

I don’t argue that today’s job market requires some skills … but if you agree that those skills include some level of proficiency in technical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills … well … how is that different than the past?

 

Please note.

I sometimes believe we confuse the true definition of skill.

 

We so often silo the definition within some incredibly tight constraint of learning and application of that learning that we overlook the fact skills are almost inevitably driven by the Pareto rule … the 80/20 rule.

80 percent of skill is proficiency in just that skill … while 20 percent is proficiency in … well … anything else but that.

 

Am I suggesting schools dedicate 80% of the curriculum to a specific skill for a student? Nope.

Because the young are 100% curious.

 

And curriculum should be dedicated to filling that 100% to the brim. Life places you on the journey and you start moving mentally. As you travel … and frankly the farther and faster you travel the better for your mind … the closer and closer you get to the 80/20 mix and your particular area of expertise.

 

But … and there is a really BIG but here … if you agree with this thought … 80/20 of a plus sized learning is significantly different than 80/20 of a regular sized or even a ‘skill focused’ sized learning.

 

And while it’s fair to urge young people to gain ‘specific basic business skills’ … schools play a larger role in preparing children for productive careers … they also prepare children for a productive Life.education civilization

 

Why?

 

Well.

Simplistically … if you could guarantee me that every child will not only know what they will be good at and happy doing at the age of 10 to 12 … then I will change the entire education system to focus their skill development on that.

But that is not realistic nor is it Life.

 

Oh. I will also take a moment and point out another thing to businesses trying to outsource their training to schools.

If you want to suggest that a 10 to 12 year old should be beginning to decide what direction they want to take in Life I will point out that I believe about 50% of the people I began my employment with ultimately ended up in a completely different job in a completely different industry.

 

Most were qualified … it just wasn’t what they wanted to do forever. My point? 50% of 20something year olds did not know what they wanted to be, an do, when they grew up. And they were out of school.

 

And you know what?

Businesses know that.

In fact in the good ole days the incoming training was actually to help you decide whether this was the right job for you.

Gobs of people are qualified to do just about anything.

But gobs of people don’t want to do ‘just anything.’

 

Anyway.

 

Therefore … focusing on specific career skills without the knowledge of how the world operates intellectually is not fair … to the children nor to the world itself <let alone businesses I may add>.

 

If we do such a thing … will businesses then assume the responsibility to teach their young employees about Life?

 

Will we give businesses the responsibility for shaping thinking <without bias>?

 

How about amassing knowledge beyond their specific expertise as a way to better become thinkers in their own expertise?

 

I have to be honest.

I don’t want to entrust businesses to do this.

 

Their current selfish <some warranted and some unwarranted> behavior doesn’t instill confidence with these responsibilities.

 

Today’s business world appears to have a desire to off-load training costs for their own potential employees <who are borrowing gobs of dollars> to get the training that a company seems unwilling to offer.

 

And they are being exponentially stupid because in the end they will find that all this ‘training’ doesn’t really match up exactly with what they want <so they may not hire anyway>.

 

And yet they also seem to be more than willing to make investments into office space features like free coke in the kitchen, ping pong tables, flex time and whatever feature you want to suggest which doesn’t really add any benefit to the skill or company output but is environmental.

 

And, lastly, these same companies seem to be more than willing to fire anyone even if they did the investment in their own training.

 

<yikes to all of that>

 

Maybe I could suggest to companies that they engage the labor market with something more than a promise of ping pong tables and free coke in the cafeteria and maybe offer a vision for the company, higher initial salaries, training on the job and job security.

 

For centuries businesses have induced labor to acquire skills by paying salaries, training and then promoting.

They didn’t demand that employees hit the ground running.

 

Whew.

Imagine the company in today’s business world who recruited young people by simply saying ‘will train.’

Show people that they are not only willing to Invest in people but WANT to invest in people.

<kids will be lining up outside your door>

 

A bonus?

Then your employees will know exactly what you want them to know.

 

Yeah … yeah … yeah.

All those silly businesses claiming there is no loyalty and young people job hop and the fact that in today’s world there is no job stability.

 

Shut the fuck up.

 

You breed loyalty… you don’t demand loyalty.brezinski bob-denver-as-gilligan1

 

If your company bleeds talent on a daily <or some consistent> basis … it ain’t them … it’s you.

 

Look.

Students get an education hoping for careers … not jobs.

Is that semantics? Possibly. But an important one.

 

We need to be educating that while technical skill sets come and go the business world continues to be conducted with cognitive thinking and critical thought.

 

We need to begin understanding that education is a superior investment for a longer future perspective … not just the entry level job.

 

If businesses really do give a shit about this issue <and just aren’t blathering like they have a tendency to do> … businesses should consider online as supplemental schooling.

 

Yikes.

 

Am I suggesting business should go into the education business?

Nope.

 

But I am suggesting that if you are a business and you are demanding that someone have some specific skill from which their future employment could depend on … then offer it to them … and partially <if not completely> subsidize it.

 

Businesses should consider how online learning can bring high-quality career education to more students and to invest in the tools and curriculum to make it possible. It enables more students <potential employees> to pursue instruction in any field you may believe is important to your company’s purpose <or this could be an industry association skill learning center>.

 

Look. If businesses don’t like the existing vocational system … then rebuild it.

Shit.

They benefit so why shouldn’t they?

 

I could suggest that we have entered a more global-view economy <albeit I would argue that “global” is simply a compilation of “local” work> with some aspect of technology as a core business acumen and traditional vocational education was created to teach manual skills for the industrial and agricultural sectors of our economy.

 

You may think community and technical colleges <who do not usually refer to their offerings as “vocational” choosing instead descriptors such as “career” or “technical education”> would fulfill this role but these tech ed programs are mostly filled with adults <average age 29 years>, many of whom require additional education in the basics in math, science, and communication and who generally take one or two courses <part time> to help them get new jobs or to refresh their skills.

 

Oddly when viewing this whole ‘businesses bitching about less-than-qualified candidates is the fact that with the rapid transformation to an information based economy … businesses are actually placing less value on short term skills and more value on one’s ability to work as part of a team and to synthesize, integrate, apply, and build on basic knowledge <and how is an education system going to do that?>.

 

Anyway.business inclusiveness

 

But businesses <or I> designing the education system is ludicrous.

 

The issue is not “skills versus knowledge” for some students.

 

It is the appropriate combination of skills and knowledge for all students.

 

Now.

While I have slammed businesses for trying to take this stance that ’there is a dearth of skilled talent to hire’ I will take a moment and make a point about the education system.

 

I absolutely believe the silo mentality needs to be rethought but the real issue to me is <partially using some words I found somewhere> that the current state of American education is now a mish-mash of public, private and charter schools each on its own divergent mission.

 

What may be worse is that we flail about expounding the latest TED speech, or adopt a fad like 1-to-1 learning, but it is all talk and no action. Actual coaching, facilitating and teaching ends in the flailing.

The needs of the generations-after-next, generations that require interconnected, non-silo interdisciplinary studies from the moment they log on to the Internet or set foot in a brick and mortar setting is being ignored <or worse … being mis-directed because of businesses bitching>.

The legacy educators who dominate policy and curriculum development from kindergarten, college and professional education seem to fear not only change but the diffusion of their own power with academic departments, school districts and unions.

 

I believe we should destroy most of the non-interdisciplinary studies. Humanities and the Sciences, integrated and competently taught in combination with science/more technical skills would provide a far more dynamic learning environment for students.

 

I tend to believe that proposed national education standards such as the Common Core Standards or those represented in the No Child Left Behind Act are nonsensical in a world where businesses are asking for people who can act and think across time, place and culture. What purpose is a fact without context and framing?

 

I believe the current standardized testing <SAT & ACT> should be eliminated at some point.

The SAT dates back to World War I and seems to incorporate a military ideology standardized testing to rapidly assess practical skillsets <note: I say this because the old traditional business structure & culture was also based on a military hierarchical organization command and control structure>.

 

Lastly.

I believe that without bright, interdisciplinary minds we risk losing the freedom of the individual. Education should empower the individual to be the best possible … reach whatever heights the individual can reach. This skill should not be for ‘a few.’

 

It is a civilization Truth that cross disciplinary minds and the internet will inevitably the main tools available to counter false and damaging narrative that  try and infringe upon freedom in every day Life <freedom of thinking and thoughts>.

 

Regardless.

 

Businesses know this <and shame on them for dumbing it down> but learning is a complex and multifaceted process that goes far beyond drill-oriented, skills focused stimulus and response methodologies.

 

Interdisciplinary learning encourages discovery of meaningful relationships between abstract ideas and practical applications.

 

Today’s schools shouldn’t be filled with technical courses that “teach the task” or simply require memorization. They should include interdisciplinary learnings and knowledge combined with mind challenging tasks that inevitably lead to thinking & problem solving.

 

It seems that people are forgetting, and businesses are losing sight of, the fact that most real world problems <and tasks> are not compartmentalized in only one academic discipline <i.e., math problem, physics problem, history problem> but rather  they involve some complexity … requiring a somewhat abstract base of knowledge with which to integrate and synthesize information. I say this even when discussing what is condescendingly called ‘menial tasks’ because the truth is that many real world problems are open ended and do not have a single best solution.

 

We need to build on the knowledge and skills acquired in the academic disciplines by combining them to solve the real, complex problems that confront the global workforce of the future business world <and civilization>.

 

Anyway.

To me?

 

We all know career preparation has always been a valued component of public education but not in specific skills professional skills … in thinking skills.education lifelong desire

 

I believe public education should not be providing narrow job training in high school, nor should it track any students and/or limit their opportunities to pursue further education.

 

Yes.

I do believe the education system needs to seriously consider new ways to deliver career-related curriculum <within a contextual interdisciplinary scenario>.

Personally I believe that education systems should be as flexible as possible while being built around core values and skills.

 

And yet I also believe the system should be intrinsically bound up with the work market, particularly at the higher levels, so that schools are producing workers with the basic skills to meet incoming requirements to ‘get some work done’ at the job they desire.

 

But the idea of business blaming the education system for lack of qualified skilled talent is a joke.

 

A really bad joke.

And it is bullshit.

global generation 5: education messaging underpinnings

June 14th, 2010

So.

Under the whole “objectives, strategies and tactics” mumbo jumbo I would imagine this post falls under the Project Global Generation objective silo.

Therefore message underpinnings (and by message underpinnings I mean “how do we choose what to have as content on the web educational platform?”) would have an objective to:

–          Fight ignorance.

–          Or call it an anti ignorance initiative.

–          Maybe suggest fight intolerance through education.

What I do know for sure is that I hesitate to call it a human rights objective but in my infamous “stimulus – response” thinking I would imagine a response from this program would be enhanced human rights (but that isn’t a direct objective).

The intent of the education platform is rather than having countries, or culture, impose a belief system on children permit children to understand the belief system choices and decisions … and empower them with enough basic knowledge and critical thinking knowledge so they can move forward in life and ‘make choices’ in a civilized moral fashion.

 

My thought always seems to center on cultivating behavior and belief systems.

So.

Whatever you want to refer to educating a global generation program go ahead and call it what you want (although I attack this issue again in a later post).

This post is on messaging.

Global generation 6 will be the tactical plan of action.

But this one may be the trickiest. choices happend to be jung

Okay.

It is the trickiest.

 

But ultimately this education platform is to develop a healthy respect for “understanding of choices” (note: not freedom of choice but understanding of choices).

It has to be cross cultural. It has to be unbiased. It has to cross government ideology. Education shouldn’t be dictating style of culture and government (or ‘Bill of rights’) it should inform people to be able to make choices and understand choices. Sure. It may ultimately affect culture & government & law and things like that but it shouldn’t dictate it.

So. Let me tell you what I think. Objectives include:

–          remove cultural filters

–          abandon destructive behaviors

–          stimulate individual creativity and ingenuity.

In the book 2048 they outline a human rights bill with basic freedoms – religion, from fear, from several other things.

And I would imagine on that bookend (I describe my bookend thought in Global Generation 4) in the legal world those types of freedoms need to be identified (so they can be implemented with boundaries).

 

Within this particular “education bookend” it is all about informed choices. Maybe thinking about it as limitless boundaries.

 

Understanding choices within each cultural or government construct as well as crossing cultural/government lines. Maybe this is all about fighting intolerance? I don’t know. I do know that there are some cornerstones of a generational education plan of action that create a foundation for smarter choices by individuals leading to more enlightened decisions. I strongly believe that if we want a less conflict driven society we have to work for it and the best place to start is by teaching our children that:

 

–          “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.

And I believe you can only do this through teaching and not ‘telling.’

I truly believe while intervention initiatives like Amnesty International and Human Rights Action and etc. are important it is only through teaching our children critical thinking (how to think) in combination with mutual respect for all people that we can ever hope to obtain a more peaceable, or an enlightened conflict, world. Because an education program builds behavior rather than managing behavior (like the other programs I mentioned).

 

So.

Me being me and liking contradictions. I see this as having two messaging platforms that intersect in a crossover of “positive friction” decreasing ignorance and enhancing a sense of “competitive camaraderie.”

GG platform benefits

 

So. On one side it is “thinking stuff:”

–          History. Learn from others. Respect for other cultures through historical learning.

–          Thinking/problem solving (or call it Critical thinking fundamentals).

–          Religious belief underpinnings.

–          Education fundamentals (abc’s – multilingual – basic arithmetic, writing).

Note: This isn’t a college preparation platform but rather a life preparation platform. Basic educations skills prepare a generation to be successful (if not more competitive) in life.

Ok. Before I move to the other side of the platform let me take on a couple of these thoughts.

Critical thinking methodology for kids? Yup. Albert Einstein, icon of intellect and insight, said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” the rising generations of kids are going to be solving problems we cannot even envision at the moment. In addition many of those problems are ones we created (and haven’t solved). We need to make sure this generation can think.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? Well. I wrote not long ago about “unlearning.” We begin far too early in the education to encourage “memorization to learn” versus “understanding to learn.” My friends at Flying Rhinoceros have developed a wide variety of web based game that encourages critical thinking ‘brain muscles.’ It can be done.

Next. The elephant in the room. Religion. Those who insist that all ethical teaching must be religious in origin are talking nonsense. Some of it may be but much of it isn’t. The truth is ethical guidance is something we have never actually been short of. All I really believe at this stage (young children) is setting up the foundation for choices – cross culturally and cross religion. If you talk to any true evangelist in ANY religion they would tell you that if someone truly has all the knowledge the choice is obvious. True evangelists don’t seek to ‘convert’ they seek to educate. And that is all about overcoming ignorance.

And specific content? Some people (Facebook’s new peace initiative and an organization called 2048 and even Google) have danced with the idea of digitizing all books for the betterment of everyone but most of the existing programs are focused on changing belief systems rather than cultivating a belief system. This content would most likely be some digitized book, some already developed education material, some existing online education content and some newly developed information. Maybe call it an “infopedia” for children.

On the other side is “how to act” (or behavioral) stuff:

–          How to win and how to lose

–          Respect

–          Value of human life

–          Understanding failure and success

–          Valuing the environment

global respectThese are “big topic” type items and unlike the other side of the chart these are not simple logical educational “factoid” driven topics. These are situational behavioral type learning things. Does this mean they have their own “education sections”? Probably not. They get incorporated into the content and the interaction style of the games and learning techniques.

But. Notice I am hesitating to use words like values or ethics because I don’t believe we humans, and kids in particular, lacks those things. As discussed in Global Generation 3, I, and Nietzsche apparently, believe these things are inherent in human psyche.

Yes. There will always be the few who will want to test the boundaries seeking individual benefit.

But a Global Generation attitude won’t solve “the few” it will only empower the “many” to stop the few before they can do too much damage. A great, or strong, attitudinal generation values base will curb (or possibly not eliminate but diminish the extremes) range of conflict within a value/ethic boundary.

So under the behavioral aspects there are a couple of personality characteristics which would be helpful to encourage within the educational construct. These are things I am not sure you can “teach” but rather keep in mind as characteristics you would like to encourage or foster as you develop an educational initiative. What I mean is that there is no sense in teaching people ‘things’ if behaviorally they aren’t strong enough to step up and take action in some way with the knowledge.

Ultimately I would imagine we are seeking to help raise a courageous generation. A generation with respect (for human and global life). And ultimately a wiser more knowledgeable generation.

As for generational characteristics? Probably three main underlying traits I would build into the message underpinnings within the program are:

  1. 1. Modesty.

Modesty is important because it is the basis for learning. It is the acceptance that it is impossible to know everything. A humbleness to seek ‘more.’ Modesty in a person, and groups of people, means among other things the fitting of form to the meaning, and not mistaking style for substance. A modest generation, for instance, would have to think for a moment to remember whether their choice was the right, or best, one as well as probably less likely to encourage a “gossip driven media” society. Acquiring modesty in our public life would be a big step towards developing a realistic sense of an individual’s (or country’s) size and position in the world.

  1. 2. Intellectual curiosity.

This follows upon the heels of modesty. It is the component of modesty that insures enlightened conflict and ongoing learning. A wakefulness of mind might be another term for it. A generation conscious of itself and of its history, and of every thread that made up the tapestry of its culture. It would believe that the highest knowledge of itself had been expressed by its artists, its writers and poets, and it would teach its children how to know and how to love their work, believing that this activity would give them, the children, an important part to play in the self-knowledge and memory of the nation. Leading to countries where this virtue was strong would be active and enquiring of mind, quick to perceive and compare and consider. Such a nation would know at once when a government (or an individual leader) tried to interfere with its freedoms. It would remember how all those freedoms had been gained and an attack on any of them would feel like a personal affront.

  1. 3. Courage.

Maybe this is courage to make mistakes (or is it courage to make decisions and handle the repercussions?). We cannot start this belief too early in someone’s life.

Courage is foundational.  It has so many dynamics integral to a successful enlightened generation I am not sure I could list them all. Suffice it to say it’s what we need so as to be able to ‘do the right thing’ even when we’re afraid, in order to exercise good and steady judgment even in the midst of confusion and panic and to accommodate long-term necessity thinking even when short-term expediency would be easier. A courageous generation would continue to do what was right even when loud voices of leaders were urging it to do wrong. And when it came to the threat of external danger, a courageous generation, or enlightened groups with countries, would take a clear look at the danger and take realistic steps to avert it.

So. That describes what I would consider the message platform for the Global Education program initiative. Global Generation 6 will discuss the tactics. And some costs.

Bottom line. I don’t believe we are developing a global education program asking the globe to be people united as one. I don’t believe it is possible and probably more importantly I don’t believe it is a good thing to do. I believe some positive friction throughout the world has some massive positive benefits. Therefore the message underpinnings of education or created with some type of conflict in mind.

Simplistically. We are all unique in our own body, we are different in gender, language, race, nationality, childhood, location, cultures and environment.  But we share a globe. That’s it.
Philosophically I get excited every time I discuss the idea with anyone because in the end with this program we all need to remember that the same spirit resides in all children (and probably all of us in some form or fashion).  A spirit of goodness. It is only as they shift into adulthood and experience things that goodness gets challenged.

The same spirit that recognizes ethical, or value based, motives and can speak cross culturally with respect in mind. With the advent of the web globally we have a ‘one time’ opportunity to do something good. And create a Global Generation with attitudinal behavior aspects to manage a conflicted world.

Enlightened Conflict