Enlightened Conflict

little but big & 100

December 21st, 2016

 little things big things

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“You’re little but you’re  big.”

 

—–

Pretty Little Liars

 

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“The human tendency to regard little things as important has produced very many great things.”

 

—-

Georg C. Lichtenberg

 

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Ok.

 

Today is December 21st … the littlest day of the year – the winter solstice. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in terms of hours of daylight one tree christmas winter<solstice basically means “sun stands still”>.

 

On the winter solstice, everywhere south of the equator have day lengths greater than 12 hours. Meanwhile, everywhere north of the equator have day lengths less than 12 hours.

 

The good news?

Daylight gets bigger from here. From here on out the days gradually get longer and the nights shorter.

 

Anyway.

 

On the littlest day it seemed like a good time to talk about big things … and their relationship to little things.

 

Couple of quick thoughts.

 

Time. We bitch & moan about not having enough time to do everything we want to do. I could argue that most people actually get more real practical pragmatic shit done on the shortest daylight day of the year then the longest daylight day of the year.

More focus. Less distractions. More shit done. less daylight hours. Littler day. Bigger productivity.

 

Time is time … neither little nor big.no-time-to-be-looking-at-the-bright-side-silver-lining

 

If you ever need an example of how littler can translate to bigger … well … the shortest day of the year is adman good place to start.

 

Little, or few, is more often than not a harbinger, forerunner or precursor to big.

 

From few, many. From one, multitudes.

 

This leads me to the heinous concept called ‘the big idea.’

 

I admit.

 

I get tired of hearing about ‘big ideas.’

 

In fact … in my cynical mind … whenever I hear big idea I hear hyperbole, fantastical thinking & likelihood of big failure.

 

I perk up when I hear someone say … “you know … I have a little idea that I think can make a big impact.” That I can get onboard with.

 

Let me make my point by showing how few, let’s say 100, can be the beginning of something big.

 

100 monkeys.

 

cancelled ThinkingMonkeyYeah.

100 monkeys.

 

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100 Monkey Theory

In 1952, on the Japanese island of Koshima, a monkey named Imo washed a sweet potato before she ate it.  She and her fellow, Macaca Fuscata monkeys were given sweet potatoes by the scientists who studied them.  The monkeys like the taste of the potatoes, yet did not like the dirt.  Imo taught her mother and the other monkeys she came into contact with and over time more and more monkeys were washing their potatoes.

 

Imo’s practice catches on.

 

Well, the interesting observation is that after a significant minority (let’s say 100 monkeys to use a number) of the monkeys were washing their potatoes, the scientists observed that very quickly after this, all the monkeys were washing their potatoes.  Like a critical mass had been reached and now all the monkeys were able to access this knowledge somehow even if they did not come into contact with Imo and her friends.  More interesting is that scientists observed that at the same time, on other islands monkeys were also washing their potatoes.

 

It appears that when 99 monkeys were washing potatoes and one more joined, a critical mass was achieved and this awareness was now available to everyone (please don’t get hung up on the exact 99 or 100 numbers).

 

This is known as the 100 Monkey Theory.

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So.

 

The foundation of the theory is when a certain critical number achieves an awareness of “something” <an attitude or behavior)> and that ‘something’ becomes accepted … it shifts into a norm, i.e., from the few, many.

 

I believe the truly stunning aspect of this theory is the ‘island to island’ aspect.

 

Oh.

 

And these monkeys didn’t have internet.

Nor a classroom.

Nor any physical contact.

 

This theory suggests that, although the exact number may vary, when only a limited number of people know a new behavior it may subconsciously reside as the conscious property of the collective people. I am NOT suggesting some telepathic mumbo jumbo … but … I am suggesting that accepting new behavior <and attitudes I imagine> has a tipping point.1 2 3 gif score rate life people

 

In addition … I do believe the ‘100th’ is reflective of my overall belief that great minds puzzling over similar situations are quite likely to have the same idea & thought <and inevitably the same innovation> wherever they may be and never having crossed paths with someone who is having the same idea at the same time>.

 

If you agree with that, then the 100 monkey theory is not as wacky or cerebral as it may seem at first blush.

 

Look.

 

You may not buy it.

 

You may not think people are related to monkeys.

You may think 100 isn’t enough.

But you should think about it.

 

You should think about how from little … something bigger arises.

 

And while I really do not want to get hung up on the actual numbers it is fascinating to think that there is a point at which if only one more person absorbs the new attitude and changes its behavior that somehow this awareness is picked up by almost everyone.

 

A book has been written on this theory, “The Hundredth Monkey,” by Ken Keyes Jr., I don’t suggest reading it because, well, the concept is pretty simple and you don’t need a book to explain it nor do I believe a lot of pages with graphs and explanations will convince you.

 

But.

Here is my point on the littlest day of the year.

 

It can take a littler amount than you may think to create the change and behavior you desire. Add to that thought the importance of 1 – as in 99 to 100.

 

Whenever you doubt that 1 can make a difference just think about the 100 Monkey Theory.

 

I believe any one even remotely interested in creating cultural change should invest some time thinking about this theory. Instead of needing dollars to create change or wacky ideas to affect attitudes or investing energy trying to create “a wave of change” someone should focus on “the 100” or ‘the few.’

 

Think about creating change by offering relevant useful behavior information and focusing on the few.

 

Gosh.

 

Sure would make life a little simpler huh?

 

<note: some people, like me for an example, call this creating an influencer base to influence mass behavior>

 

Lastly.

 

If you focus on the littler stuff, the fewer, well … this means you can have a planned what happenedlittler plan than normal.

 

I can hear the screams of disagreement from big idea people … “big ideas need to be nurtured and protected by big well thought out plans.”

 

Well.

 

The main issue with big plans and big planning is the fact that little things are always changing.

Even worse, these changing little things are oblivious to the neat orderly plan you had in place.

 

And even with all this change I imagine you have a choice … plow through the little changes swirling around with an unchanging plan … or watch the little changes <kind of like watching a double dutch jump rope> … and let your neat plan take on some less neat fluidity.

 

Little things can make big differences.

 

Little things can make big plans & ideas die.

 

And not everyone can see little shit when there is a big shiny looking shit dazzling you as if it were a star you shouldn’t take your eye off.

 

I would suggest that you know you are a big planner <as in one effective at creating Big plans> if all the little things that go wrong do not make your big plan go awry.

 

Little things can make big plans go awry.

 

Shit.

Little things can make anything go awry.

 

On the other hand.

 

Little things can make big impacts.

 

Little things can become big things.

 

So.hard to plan success_and_happiness

 

On this littlest day of the year think a little littler.

 

Think small.

 

Take a little time and focus on little things which, if nurtured, can become big things.

 

And maybe think a little about the fact that there is not too little time but rather maybe we should seek to do bigger things in the little time we have.

 

Oh.

 

And always remember … big shit is always a composite of a shitload of little things.

 

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“That is the problem, we give larger space to small things. We give them power to break us in the tiniest form.”

Kajapajo

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cannot resist the invasion of ideas

December 16th, 2016

 strategy think anger angry business ideas filter

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“One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.”

 

 

Victor Hugo

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“Our ideas, like orange-plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots.”

 

Edward Bulwer Lytton

 

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Well.

 

Whether we like it or not … whether we admit it or not … we are all ignorant. It ignorant people understandingis impossible for s to know everything therefore we have ignorance boxes <different topics> in our heads just sitting around collecting dust waiting to be pulled off the shelf.

 

Now.

 

Those ignorance boxes are interesting boxes.

They come in different sizes and shapes and depths.

 

In addition.

 

Ideas are an interesting plant to … well … plant in the ignorance box.

 

Why?

 

The roots of ideas will inevitably end up in conflict with the box they have been planted in.

 

That is the inevitability of the invasion of ideas … conflict.

 

That is the inevitability of the invasion of curiosity … conflict.

 

One territory … let’s call it ‘the country of what you do not know’ is always being invaded by an army of ideas and thoughts <some true and some untrue>.

 

Yeah.

 

There are winners and losers in this whole knowledge, curiosity & ideas battle … of which you, yourself, can be victor or vanquished. The only thing you can be sure of is you will always be in conflict and always be at war.

 

That is one of Life’s biggest truths.

 

Curiosity comes with a price … and a reward.

 

I wrote once … ‘far too often we place curiosity in some unequivocal good or bad space … “curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning” or “curiosity killed the cat” … but, truthfully, curiosity embodies both good and bad. And I say that as one who is unequivocally in the camp of “knowing more of anything is good.’

 

The constant invasion of ideas seems to revolve around two things near and dear to my heart:

 

  • Positive friction.

 

 

  • Enlightened conflict.

truth and conflict

 

The first is based on curiosity plus friction equals better ideas and thinking … therefore … the friction has a net positive effect. I could even argue that even bad thoughts that are well thought out and well articulated is positive friction. I imagine  could argue any thinking is better than no thinking.

 

Anyway.

 

The second is that … well … any conflict of thought & ideas will enlighten in some form or fashion. I tend to believe the arc of conflict leads to true knowledge. But “arc” is the key word. I think we get a little hasty with regard to people and thinking and this constant war. We forget it is a battle by battle thing and not a ‘battle which embodies the outcome of the war.’ We look at someone who we deem as ‘ignorant’ rather than viewing them in the midst of battle and somewhere on the arc of true knowledge.

I can honestly say there are few people I will not debate with, discuss with or have a discourse with. I will discuss anything with anyone and listen and respond … “go to war” in other words.

 

Yeah.

 

Other than purposeful ignorance I tend to view ignorance as simply the opening gambit in the battle of the day.

 

Regardless.

 

i will talk about anythingI am definitely a curiosity guy.

 

And, well, I guess I am definitely a conflict guy <when it comes to ides and thoughts and issues>.

 

And I love the thought that I am not actually seeking ideas or ‘working hard to learn’ but rather ideas and thoughts are constantly seeking to make battle with us … constantly invading our space, our ignorance, and … well … we go to war because it is a war worth fighting.

 

It is a fight for knowledge.

 

Look.

 

I have heard many people say “I want to know everything there is to know on this topic.”

I often wonder if they are up for the battle that will need to take place to make that happen.

 

I know someone can know a lot.

 

I absolutely know that you can know enough to be dangerous.

 

But I am 100% unequivocally clear that knowledge is a never ending battle.

Even on one topic you probably don’t have enough hours in a lifetime to know everything there is. I guess that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try … but suggesting you know everything is … well … not only silly but may actually be a reflection you do not understand the extent of the conflict at hand.

 

My site is called Enlightened Conflict.

 

My motto is ‘seek truth.’seek_truth

 

And I do feel as if I am constantly fighting a war … and fighting on the side of Truth.

Do I believe I know truth or at all truth? … absolutely not.

 

As any warrior would tell you … I get closer to be the best I can be as a warrior every time I fight. It is the conflict which fights ignorance and seeks to enlighten in victory … or maybe just survival of the battle of the day.

 

Maybe that is why the two quotes I opened with interested me.

 

The conflict of ideas does not have to reside in any open debate. You don’t even need another person. Ideas invade in any number of ways. They plant themselves in boxes you have forgotten you even had. They grow to a point where you cannot ignore them anymore and begin to battle existing ideas you have. It becomes … well … a war between learning and unlearning … new and old … what you knew and what you know.

Oh.

And once ideas bloom enlightenment occurs.

 

 

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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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innocent until proven guilty

October 30th, 2016

 

i-was-innocent

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“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made, or by dark images you hold about yourself.

 

They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. “

 

=

Alan Cohen

 

——————–

 

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

 

One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged.

 

————————-

 

I used the opening quote in this post in my ‘recognizing the real person’ post in which I suggested judging people is more difficult than many of us make it out to young innocence decisions context inspiresbe <“I could tell whether that person was guilty or not”, immediately, being one of the most misguided, and potentially damning, things we do>.

 

Thinking someone is guilty of something is an insidious little thought.

 

Like John Green said …

 

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 “Once you think a thought, it is extremely difficult to unthink it.”

 

——–

John Green

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That is the reason why innocent until proven guilty is difficult to grasp, difficult to do and difficult to practice.

 

And it is even more so in today’s world.

 

While our court system continues to practice ‘innocent until proven guilty’ … this practice continuously crashes into a society, and certainly a social world online, that immediately rushes to a “guilty until proven innocent” verdict world.

 

And if you do try and suggest that someone should wait until the facts come out … or that maybe, just maybe, someone is innocent … you are blasted for be being naïve or ignoring ‘common sense thinking.’

 

Well.

 

The whole scenario bothers me.

5.0.2

5.0.2

You are either a believer of innocent until proven guilty or you are not.

 

It is not contextual or situational or ‘right for one person and not right for another person.’

 

It is one of the basic beliefs of the American society.

And maybe we need a lesson in social studies or civic studies to remind ourselves of that.

 

 

I once wrote … we all have guilt for something. The something could be big … it could be very small. But that is the funny thing about guilt … its size doesn’t matter. Normal laws of space & weight do not apply to guilt. A sliver of guilt can bear the same weight as a mountain of guilt.

All that matters is how we choose to bear that weight.

 

 

innocent no_one_is_innocent-graffitiI sometimes think because we all know we are guilty of something that we struggle to find innocence in others in the public eye. And, yet, I should remind everyone, that while we may be guilty of something, we are more likely than not … innocent of more than we are guilty of.

And, maybe we should all self reflect a little, I tend to believe we would all like to be judged more often by the bulk of our innocence than on the sliver of guilts we may bear.

 

We should sit and think about that.

All of us.

 

There is no such thing as an innocent word.

 

They are all going to end up being guilty of something.

I say that because we should use words wisely with regard to people’s innocence.

 

Anyway.

 

I could get extremely philosophic with regard to why we people may err on the side of wanting to jump to ‘guilty’ rather than innocence but I will not.

 

I will not because America actually makes it much simpler.

 

Innocent until proven guilty is part of who we are as a country.

 

Just as a right to bear arms.

 

Just as a right to speech.

 

Just as a right to believe different thoughts.

 

Just as a right to your own religion and religious thoughts.

 

And, yes, even people in the public eye deserve the right to be innocent until proven guilty.

 

And that means people in roles of responsibility … well … have a responsibility to maintain that same belief and vocalize it.

 

This presidential election has not only been crazy but it has brought out craziness with regard to who and what we are as a country.

 

What someone is guilty of is not something to be speculated.innocent-until-proven-guilty

 

Why?

 

Because they are innocent until proven guilty.

 

The right to be presumed innocent is one of the mainstays of who and what we are as Americans. And, yet, the presumption of innocence is undergoing an uncomfortable change in ‘society law’ which is encouraged by an increasing amount <oddly> by extreme conservative websites & spokespeople <who are supposed to be the ultimate purveyors of the constitution and constitutional rights> as well as … uhm … natural human behavior <which embodies a natural instinct to ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ attitude>.

 

We cannot, and should not, ignore these dynamics. But the right to be presumed innocent is one of the main procedural safeguards in the framework of an American criminal system. And it should remain one of the main procedural, mental, safeguards in the societal framework.

 

It not only benefits the accused but it benefits society.

If we sacrifice that we sacrifice more than just the right we sacrifice a significant part of … well … a ‘better society’ and better citizenship.

 

As Ben Franklin noted … giving us liberty for the sake of security means we are not deserving of the freedoms.

 

Look.

 

Yes.

 

Presidential campaigns seem to bring out the worst in everyone.

 

One of the things that forces us to bring out our best is … is … well … innocent until proven guilty.

 

Yes.

 

The worst thrives in a public social online universe that feeds on ‘guilty until proven innocent” <which our forefathers inherently understood that ‘perceptions of guilt are almost unrecoverable in the public eye and thought to head that off at the pass>.

And that means ‘our best’ needs to have some backbone and resolve and resilience in the face of our worst.

 

Innocent until proven guilty.

 

This is a constitutional right.

 

And maybe some Republicans <and the RNC> need to be reminded of that. It is part of what makes America different and makes America fair & reasonable & … well … makes Hillary different from Trump.

 

I believe if you feel like you have done nothing wrong of course stand up and say so.

 

I believe if you have done something wrong of course stand up and say so.

 

But ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is not about what you have done right or wrong … it is what America stands for.

guilty-until-proven-innocent

Someone smarter than I needs to figure out how to remind everyone of that.

This is simply my small attempt to do so.

 

I have no idea whether Hillary Clinton has done anything criminal or is a criminal. What I do know is that we are all innocent until proven guilty.

And shouting from the mountaintop that someone is guilty, without specific proof, does not make it so.

 

If I were the Clinton campaign I would make the ‘high road’ pivot in the last week based on ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

I believe they have the opportunity because of this new FBI thing to pivot against the so-called law & order candidate and his “law” surrogates who seem to have forgotten that the whole foundation of law & order is innocent until proven guilty. The heinous “they look guilty” is at the root of profiling, stop & frisk, prejudice against Muslims, Jewish people, Catholics as well as ‘anyone who does not look like me’ … and the rights of everyone in America.

we-are-innocent-until-proven-guilty

Regardless.

 

This is bigger than any presidential election.

 

Innocent until proven guilty is institutional.

 

And to defray this part of our institution is to seed rot in our house. And, at this time and place, I see far too many responsible people irresponsibly planting seeds of this rot.

 

Anyone shouting guilty, without any real proof … and I mean REAL proof <not speculation or innuendoes or ‘common sense’> is rotten.

 

We need to eliminate the rot. We need to refind who and what we are as Americans. Americans who are innocent until proven guilty.

Enlightened Conflict