Making a Better (+3) New Normal

John Oliver convincingly suggests getting back to normal after the pandemic…

         …is just not going to cut it. And honestly, it shouldn’t have taken  pandemic to expose the need for a better system.

He is saying we can’t just make it Less Bad, we must Make it More Good! I encourage you to listen and share your thoughts.

The ideas discussed by John Oliver, an imagined better world, is the type of thinking I promote and ask of my students and myself. I continually suggest we stop focusing on the problem and imagine a better future. A better future will of course eliminate the problem, or it wouldn’t be better, but more importantly it must be better than it would have been had no problem happened. If we prepare for a disaster, the world should be better from those preparations even if the disaster doesn’t happen. To do this this better future must be clearly understood so we can figure out how to create it.

To guide this thought process I use the Paneugenesis Process that starts with an imagined picture of a better future that would be the Idealized Outcome, or what I call a new +3 reality. (video clarifies)

This +3 future would Exceed Expectations by incorporating the concepts discussed by John Oliver that should become our new normal. The new normal must include basic human right Precursors like education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets as Global Public Goods – FOR EVERYONE.

Global Public Goods can create an even better world because it means Maslow’s Hierarchy basic Physiological and Safety needs are met and humans can improve and move toward self-actualization. Really this is something you have heard every time you get on an airplane.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to “put your oxygen mask on first,” before helping others. This an important rule because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

If you die, you can’t help anyone else.  If people are fighting get their basic needs and just survive, this means they do not have the ability to contribute to society and thrive. Putting your oxygen mask on first is practicing paneugenesis by being selfish, selfless & synergistic.  It is Selfish – take care of self so you can be Selfless – take care of others, which creates Synergy – because all are better.

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Making the basic needs of education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets global public goods will improve man and society because they can.  It also will give us the to create a bette world  This “New Normal” could also enable the development of what Robert Green Ingersoll called the “Improved Man”. In his words…

The Improved Man will be satisfied that the supernatural does not exist – that behind every fact, every thought and dream is an efficient cause. He will know that every human action is a necessary product, and he will also know that men cannot be reformed by punishment, by degradation or by revenge. He will regard those who violate the laws of nature and the laws of States as victims of conditions, of circumstances, and he will do what he can for the well-being of his fellow-men.

The Improved Man will not give his life to the accumulation of wealth. He will find no happiness in exciting the envy of his neighbors. He will not care to live in a palace while others who are good, industrious and kind are compelled to huddle in huts and dens. He will know that great wealth is a great burden, and that to accumulate beyond the actual needs of a reasonable human being is to increase not wealth, but responsibility and trouble.

The Improved Man will find his greatest joy in the happiness of others and he will know that the home is the real temple. He will believe in the democracy of the fireside, and will reap his greatest reward in being loved by those whose lives he has enriched.

The Improved Man will be self-poised, independent, candid and free. He will be a scientist. He will observe, investigate, experiment and demonstrate. He will use his sense and his senses. He will keep his mind open as the day to the hints and suggestions of nature. He will always be a student, a learner and a listener – a believer in intellectual hospitality. In the world of his brain there will be continuous summer, perpetual seed-time and harvest. Facts will be the foundation of his faith. In one hand he will carry the torch of truth, and with the other raise the fallen.

– RGI

Be strong, be smart and be safe as you work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact so everyone and everything benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

A Great Way to Improve While in Self-Quarantine

Tony Robbins sent this message about dealing with this difficult time. “…We will spring back to normal life, like we always do, like we’ve done for centuries. And when we do, will you be prepared? Are you trained for future challenges? I always say: The meeting of preparation and opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” This post provides you with a great opportunity to help you be more prepared.

In all my posts, I end by asking the reader to share how they “… generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits”. You can LEARN HOW  to do this by actively learning from Dr. Henry Neave’s FREE interactive  “12 Days to Deming” course.

Dr. Henry Neave worked with Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the quality management expert, that changed the world and my life. Henry also wrote a great book, “The Deming Dimension“.

Henry has now created a Virtual Way for you to experience the famous, life altering, Deming 4-Day Seminar with his FREE Course, “12 Days to Deming“. This is a great activity to engage with during our shared time in self-quarantine. You can FREELY access and learn from this powerful, educational interactive learning course at 2 sites: (1) the UIC site at www.theuic.com/deming/ and (2) the SPC Press site at www.spcpress.com/12-Days-To-Deming.php .

The “12 Days to Deming course helps the learner understand how begin to apply this breakthrough approach. The “12 Days to Deming program provides newcomers with a great introduction to a better style of manage­ment. It has also been able to fill in gaps in the understanding of well-seasoned Deming prac­ti­tioners.

Henry had the rare pleasure of working directly with Dr. Deming during the final and most pro­ductive few years of Deming’s fortunately long life. He says that he has laid out his course in the form of 12 days of study and activity because it took him personally three of Dr. Deming’s four-day seminars for the latter’s wisdom to begin to sink in!  

The “12 Days to Deming files (ordered by their initial alphabetic identifiers A­–S) are exactly the same on the two websites and are immediately downloadable from both.  The downloading takes only a few seconds at most.  Once downloaded, each file can then be viewed on-screen and/or printed out, irrespective of which of the two websites you are using. 

I encourage you to access these sites to get the course and learn the profound knowledge of Dr. Deming. It will change your life for the better. It is not another way to understand what you already know. After actively participating and learning his teaching you will be transformed because you will experience a very positive dramatic change. I encourage you to start right away, if you do, this quarantine time will help you become the positively productive person you want to be!

I encourage you to use this quarantine time to learn Deming’s teachings by accessing and actively engaging with Dr. Neave’s course, “12 Days to Deming. If you are interested, I share some information below about some ways learning Dr. Deming’s quality methods impacted me, my life and my career.

My life was changed, dramatically, when I was a junior in college (1988).  In my organizational behavior class at Purdue l learned about the quality management methods espoused by W. Edwards Deming for an assignment. I learned a lot about it from my dad who was implementing these methods at his Bethlehem Steel Mill. He shared some materials that I read and it inspired me to learn more.

After reading the only book out at that time, “Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position“, the methods he discussed were so obvious, my thought was, “How could any other methods be used?” Later I also read his other books, “The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education” and “Out of the Crisis“. The New Economics is a great quick read.

After learning his methods and getting my degree, I entered my career in the working world. I was shocked when I learned that despite the proven success of these methods by the Japanese in the 1980’s and many others, most in America were still not using these methods. The dysfunctional, confrontational “prevailing style of management” was and, even today, is still being used. Many attempted to partially adopt his methods after the TV show NBC White Paper, “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?“, but partial adoption was insufficient. A transformation was needed. Those that did the transformation, such as Ford in the late ’80’s, had remarkable success.

Although I did not realize it at the time, Dr. Deming’s teachings changed my life. Everything I have done since learning Dr. Deming’s methods attempts to implement his methods. For example, I am applying quality management methods to health and my Paneugenesis concept, of selfish, selfless, synergy that generates comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits is my way of operationalizing Demings Methods.

I had actually forgotten the dramatic impact Deming had on my work until I attended a Deming Conference at Purdue in 2008. At that conference I realized all my work was my attempt to implement the teachings of Dr. Deming so I could have a positive impact on the world by promoting positive health just as Deming promoted quality.

To continue my learning, I read books about Deming written by his colleagues. I also attend and present at Deming Conferences ongoing around the world. In addition to my reading, I regularly listen to Deming PodCasts available through the Deming Institute and also access their resources. In addition to actively engaging in Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Deming“, if you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to do the same.

In my work I emphasize that we must “Do More Good, Not Just Less Bad“. This was one of my main takeaways from his teachings. As most of us now know, just fixing problems is insufficient, we must revitalize and restore to create a better, sustainable future.

The sustainability concept doesn’t mean keeping things as they are because that is not enough, we must do better. I attempted to describe this idea in the “Create More Good Not Just Less Bad” presentation I did for the sustainability committee at my university. I also address this concept in many other posts on this site.

Dr. Deming’s impact on our world was powerful and there are now many opportunities to learn about Deming’s methods. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to learn about this life changing information is by actively engaging with Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Deming“. The effort you put in learning Deming will have a profound positive impact on your life. The Deming Institute also offers multiple resources that I encourage you to investigate.

I am promoting this course because engaging with Dr. Neave’s 12 Days to Demingis a great way to practice paneugenesis so you will be able to generate comprehensive improvements by creating of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. After you learn from this course, please share your insights below and encourage everyone you know to engage with this course so you can help add a surge to the positive ripple Dr. Deming started. Thank you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

MLK Day FOR Everyone’s Benefit

I was in an MLK march today. I am all FOR equality for all because then everyone benefits. Being for things that improve the system benefits everyone. Justice for all!

We are all one system and we all must work together to create the best outcome. If one part attempts to take the most, it hurts us all. What is most important is how we all support each other and help each other so we can all be better. It all about how we build, maintain and continually improve relationships. Relationship with each other, with organizations, between organizations, with nature, and so much more.

If one part is not doing their best and not contributing what it can, it hurts everyone. For that reasons we should all work at helping all do all they can, help all reach their potential. MLK Day helps us realize what we can do to enable all of us to work together better. Making sure we all have the ability, capacity and potential to achieve our potential helps all of us do better so the whole system works better.

For instance, higher wages are good, however they must be earned. Pride can only be felt by people when they know the money was earned. Money follows, it cannot lead. Money given that was not earned does not create a better outcome for the worker or society, overall its just shifts issues. We all should work toward making life meaningful and valuable.

As Paul Collier explains in his excellent book, The Future of Capitalism, our basic drives are for belongingness and esteem. Building a better world where we all care and help each other and do jobs that improve our world can help everyone thrive by increasing both belongingness and esteem.

Very prophetically W. Edwards Deming declared:

Defend your rights, you lose

By this he was saying that if one just fights to make their part of the system better without understanding how it effects the whole system will be short sighted. I am trying to explain how this relates and this Deming Institute Podcast may help. I encourage you to listen.

The W. Edwards Deming Institute® Podcast
Deming Speaks – Episode #22 – 1991  00:21:13
This motivates me even more to Practice Paneugenesis because, at its core, paneugenesis helps us build stronger relationships with everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Week!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Please share your thoughts below. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

True cost is all about The External Ripple

When something is bought, we think the true cost is what we paid in that transaction. The true cost of anything however is much more than the transactional cost. I discuss this in the recent post: It is All about the Ripple…

I was reminded about the “True Cost” when I attended the sustainability movie shown at our school “The True Cost” (trailer below). This movie was about the ripple effects on so many by what is called “fast fashion”. Something I had not previously realized.

The low cost of our clothes encourages people to buy more clothes, ie. Fast Fashion. Unfortunately, those costs that we don’t pay are born by disadvantaged populations and our environment, something upon which we all depend which means we all pay the True Costs.

Currently our accounting methods do not account for the True of full cost – especially from nature. The current capitalism accounting methods favor supply side economics and market prices and these methods to not reflect the full costs or values. Resulting market inefficiencies mean Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” cannot make proper adjustments that would be made if all costs were being counted. 

Capitalism values lower prices and this encourages producers to shift costs to society, the public and the environment. True or total cost of ownership, or ecological economics, includes all direct and indirect costs and its impact on the system. Costs unknowingly born by society, rather than the producers, are termed externalities. For instance, polluted air or water caused by local industry is an externality or cost born by the public at large rather than the pollution-producing entity.

Externalizing costs impacts business decisions because, unless stipulated by law, these costs are not recorded. As an illustration, consider the industry-ignored externalities from single-use plastic bags used yearly in the US. The externalities were equivalent to burning 439 million gallons of oil, leaches of toxins into the soil and water, and harm to wildlife cost an estimated $4 billion.  Noting these impacts has led many to ban the use of single- use plastic bags. The invisibility of externalities also negatively affects benefits because they are hidden by current accounting methods.

While most see this issue as unavoidable, Interface International offensively designed a plan to change from a destructive to a restorative company. They created a collaborative, sustainable business strategy that expanded its business, increased its profits, helped employee morale, increased profits, and improved the environment. Interface was an example of how selfish, selfless, synergistic processes designed to benefit the customer, the company and the environment, generates improved outcomes.

Ray Anderson was the founder andvisionary leader of Interface Carpets who rebuilt that company from one that was ecologically destructive to one that is becoming restorative. You can see his inspiring TED Talk below.

Image result for anderson one day people like me will go to jail

His drive  also helped the climate crisis by developing and using regenerative practices. They put in place a better way so everyone and everything benefitted.
“The True Cost” movie is a reminder, however, in my view it falls short because it doesn’t tell us how to invest so we have a more prosperous tomorrow like Ray Anderson did for Interface Global. Ray Anderson practiced paneugenesis because he was able to generate all good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. This is how we can make today better while also investing for a better tomorrow. It is all about the ripple. Please share your thoughts and any other examples about how you are creating a positive ripple and a positive externality.
Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Living, Thriving, & Healing…Can it be simple?

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius

My career has been focused on working to do what can cause desired outcomes.  Is that the same thing as healing? As an athlete I worked hard to improve my performance.  As a student I studied hard to learn the material and to become educated.  As a professor and research I investigate to discover if doing good, causes good.  As it turns out, it does.  This may seem obvious and straightforward, however many times we do the opposite.  In business we seek to cut costs to improve service – how is that possible?  Quality management demonstrated if we focus on improving quality, a positive chain reaction results from which everyone and everything can benefit.

As noted in August 21, 2019 Post, Top CEO’s Refocus on More than Profits…Hurray!, many are realizing we must seek to profit the system, not just an organization. This was what Deming consistently emphasized and is why those using his quality management methods have been successful. One of Deming’s messages in Profound Knowledge is: Appreciation for a System . This emphasizes that we are an interactive system, rather than a set of discrete and independent departments or processes governed by independent circumstances. When all the connections and interactions are working together, tremendous benefits for everyone and everything can be achieved.

Elisabeth Rosenthal’s book, “American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back” everyone should read. It outlines the opposite of working as a system. Here is a NYT review. It provides an example of how we have made things complicated. What has happened in healthcare has also been cited as what also caused the recent financial crisis. In these situations, rather than work as a system, multiple independent groups attempted to maximize their benefits and profits instead of promoting the system so all could benefit. The result, we all lose.

Her book is eye opening, obvious, evident, disturbing and problematic.  How did this happen when so many are doing what they think is best.  It is an example of what both Deming and Ackoff meant when they said doing the best work is not helpful if you are doing the wrong things.

This story is also outlined in this movie, “Healing Cancer from the Inside Out”. It is available on Amazon and below on YouTube when posted. First is the trailer, then the movie.

Please keep in mind:

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius

Rather than work independently, I recommend the practice of paneugenesis. This practice works to generate comprehensive improvements to creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. There is no downside to doing this. Why would we do anything else?

Make it a Great Day, Week, Year and Life!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Email me if you want to discuss: 
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Connected Regeneration for a Better Tomorrow – FREE MOVIE

Without question, all things are interconnected. As John Muir, the first elected president of the Sierra Club, explained:

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

In other words, we are all interdendent on everything else. My paraphrase of what Jane Benyus of Biomimicry Institute demonstrates, a life well lived is one that makes life more livable. In other words, we live a life that make it better for everyone and everything. More about Jane Benyus’s work and Biomimicry is available at this post: Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative

This week Ocean Robbins of the Food Revolution Network promoted FREE access to a movie, “The Need to GROW“. This movie demonstrates and emphasizes these interconnection attributes of life on earth and and how they can be used to make life better for all.

The movie demonstrates multiple ways to improve our life that also will diminish problems. To me, it is important to understand, these actions will make our life better today and also make a better tomorrow more likely.

Know that these benefits are not deferred, they are immediate. We feel better right away, we become part of the solution and not part of the problem. It is an emotionally powerful way to practice paneugenesis.

Here is the trailer.

To practice paneugenesis is to generate comprehensive improvements to creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Why would we do anything else?

I look forward to hearing how you incorporate these ideas into your life and the related benefits you experience.

I encourage you to get the free access and watch “The Need to GROW” at this link.

Rob Herring, the director, shares this:

 

Please stand with us — telling your friends and loved ones that there is a new film that showcases heartwarming stories and powerful solutions.

You can also give this link to people you know, so they can sign up and join in the free screening too: TheNeedToGROW.com.

Make it a Great Day, Week, Year and Life!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Email me if you want to discuss: 
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Highlights from the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Hearing

Dr. Greger posted powerful comments from the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Hearing. I encourage you to watch these highlights and share your thoughts. More importantly I hope you create a better life for yourself by eating more plants…

Of course informing about problems is not enough, it must be demonstrated how good food choices create a better life for everyone and everything. I look forward to hearing about the how you  practice paneugenesis  by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions with your food choices so everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Day, Week, Year and Life!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Email me if you want to discuss: 
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Updated: I went to Burger King…and Baskin Robbins?

Is it true, “This Is the Beginning of the End of the Beef Industry“. This article thinks alt meat isn’t going to stay alt for long, and cattle are looking more and more like stranded assets. Cows are assets in there natural function, however evidence suggests they are liabilities as a food source for humans.

Surprisingly I went to Burger King and had an “Impossible Whopper” and it was good.

Is this good? The evidence suggests it is a net positive.  Most dramatically it has a positive influence on the environment, the resource upon which all life depends.  With regard to related personal health impacts, h John Robbins, author of “Diet for New America” provides and article, Plant-Based Meat: The Pros & Cons Of Veggie Burgers.

News suggests alt meat will also provide alternatives for chicken.  Beyond Meat is testing their chicken products at KFC and it had a positive reaction from the public.

I encourage you to try Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat products at Burger King, Red Robin, Friday’s, White Castle and many more outlets.  Ask about these alternatives and share your experiences. I look forward to hearing about the how you try this way to practice paneugenesis so you will generate all good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Make it a Great Day, Week, Year and Life!

PS: MORE VEGAN OPTIONS: I received a note from Ocean Robbins of the Food Revolution Network that his family’s company, Baskin Robbins, of which his father, John Robbins walked away from more than 50 years ago, is now offering dairy free ice cream.  Here is his note:

On August 4 of this year, Baskin-Robbins released its first two non-dairy flavors of ice cream, replacing factory-farmed milk with a base of coconut and almond. These new, non-dairy flavors are also free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup (though they do have plenty of sugar!).

Even though my dad walked away from the family company, and from any access to the family fortune — more than 50 years ago — and even though nobody in my family has had any connection to the company in decades, I still felt a small sense of pride.

After all, Baskin-Robbins didn’t make this change because they suddenly had an epiphany and decided to be at the forefront of the movement for health and sustainability. They made this change because they saw where the market was heading, and they knew they could make more money by offering vegan options.

And the truth is that we, as consumers, helped make that happen. Every time you buy food, you are, in a sense, casting a vote. And over time, those votes can add up to changes in how food is grown, processed, and marketed.

One result is that sales of dairy-free ice cream are expected to reach $1 billion 

Are these dairy-free versions actually better for you than those made with cow’s milk? And of all the options available, which ones are best (and worst)?

Get the facts on dairy-free ice cream and see how the different types compare, here.

Together, one bite at a time, we’re changing the world,

Ocean Robbins

P.S. More and more ice cream chains like Ben & Jerry’s, SubZero, and now even Baskin-Robbins are offering dairy-free options. But should you eat them? And what is the healthiest non-dairy ice cream you can have? Here’s what you need to know.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Email me if you want to discuss: 
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Veggie Burgers and Fake Meat: Pros and Cons

It is All about the Ripple…

When we drop a rock in a pond it causes a far reaching ripple.  Our actions also cause a ripple that spreads and has a far reaching ripple or impact.  Drawdown is the by-Product of a better tomorrow. By drawdown, in the book edited by Paul Hawken, they are talking about how to drawdown the carbon emissions that are causing problems.

The actions discussed in the book, “Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming“, make a better today and a better tomorrow.  Drawdown is the ripple, not the only impact.  A way to make a better tomorrow, starting today, has been outlined by Paul Hawken and a great group of colleagues. The book itemizes 100 examples of how to start to make this happen.

Chad Frischmans TED Talk below provides a summary of the 100 solutions provided in the book.

I always thought my work and focus has been about how to create a better tomorrow by discovering the most effective, efficient and sustainable way to get what we want that also benefits the future.  The concept is similar to how Rory Vader explains how to multiply time.  As he explains, take action today to make a better tomorrow (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…).

As I continue to learn, I realized it is “All about the Ripple”.  To feel good for doing good, the ripple, or long term impact, must also be beneficial.  In other words, to add to Vaden’s goal, to focus actions that can be taken today, that will make a better tomorrow…For Everyone and Everything.”

It is possible to create a better today that also makes a better tomorrow more likely, however traditional ways must be improved.  Drawdown is the “Moneyball (also a Movie of the same name)” or better way for the environment, like Upcycle. Better ways have also been found for education, business, industry, health and policy (see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad and Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad (described in video). We can ask ourselves, what ripple happens because of the actions taken?

We are not using the ideas outlined by Hawken and Frischman as commonly as we should because skeptics let us doubt ourselves. To instill doubt they focus on the unknown since we can’t answer ever question. Skeptics have been using the idea of doubt to distort our reality for a corporate agenda.

Krugman recently has gotten so frustrated by this he calls the climate deniers depravers.  That is he is accusing them of moral corruption. I encourage you read his 11-26-2018 article, The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial: Risking civilization for profit, ideology and ego.  I am confused by this approach because doing this means they do not get as many benefits either. These shortsighted approaches leave a lot “on the table”.  More benefits will transpire when the aim is to have a positive ripple beyond the initial impact.

What can be done? Dr. Pinillos, a professor at Arizona State University suggests using  probability in his article, Knowledge, Ignorance and Climate Change.  As he explains, because we can’t know everything and we also know that we don’t know everything, he recommends we “…to stop talking about “knowledge” and switch to talking about probabilities”.  As he explains, “…people in the grips of skepticism are often still willing to accept the objective probabilities…”

Plans are not perfect and no matter how smart or educated we are, what we don’t know far surpasses anything we know. Socrates taught us the virtue of recognizing our limitations. The ideas presented by Paul Hawken and Chris Frischman are ones we should already be using so lets get started using them and continue to collect data about those actions and improve as needed. In other words, plot our progress and if it is not happening, we must optimize the process again ( see Improve when Predict, Observe, Get Feedback, and Adjust.

Doing this isn’t always easy.  It is easy to be against something, fight against a perceived injustice or what seems wrong. Although doing this is morally correct and necessary, it is mostly action to stop something.  Then what?  Being for something takes more effort to persistently develop, design and implement and continually improve a better way that not only is initially good, but also has A POSITIVE RIPPLE.

So what am I doing, I am going on offense by working toward renewing, rebuilding, restoring, and building  a better life.  Not just a less bad life, but a better life than where we are.  This isn’t about putting out fires to get us back where we were, it is about redesign to create a new and better reality that makes life better today and tomorrow. We must exceed expectations!

Joining these efforts, not only means you get to experience the benefits a better world, you get the intrinsic rush of knowing you contributed toward everyone and everything doing better. Please share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing about the how you practice paneugenesis so you will generate all good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

 

Do we need an Independent Referee for Life?

For some time I have been thinking about the importance of perceived fairness.  Evidence suggests fairness is innate because we see it in very young children.  I also believe I have seen the concept of fairness in my dogs.  Is it a law such that even dogs want fairness?

As I had been thinking about it, I learned about Michael Lewis’s new Podcast, Against the Rules. This podcast promotes itself by explaining how it will “…look at what’s happened to fairness.  The podcasts look in financial markets, newsrooms, basketball games, courts of laws and much more.  He asks, what happens to a world where everyone hate the referee?”  I have only listened to a few, however what I have heard have been great!

To me, fairness is a basic necessity or a precursor to being able to do better than what is expected or what have been called best practices. For me fairness is the 0 I emphasize in my exceeding expectations video (below).

Please share your thoughts about how we can build fairness into our daily lives so people don’t feel cheated.  When things aren’t fair, everybody loses something because the cumulative benefits, though tilted toward one party, will still be less for all.  I will continue to work at generating comprehensive improvements beyond just being fair through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Update: Evidence that Culture Beats Strategy – A Story…

As of May 6, 2019, I learned about a wrinkle to this story.  The wrinkle appeared when I listened to Michael Lewis’s Against The Rules Podcast, “The Alex Kogan Experience”  on Against the Rules with Michael Lewis and it puts into doubt some of the claims.  I encourage you to listen to this podcast to go along with this post.  Enjoy!

Original Post:
Once again, in my continual quest to learn, it seemed all was connected and a story was formed.  In the morning I listened to the NYT’s Daily broadcast: The Whistle-Blowers at Boeing from The Daily in Podcasts. The story made clear, despite quality managers, the culture did not make it possible for them to do their job.

Evidence between culture and strategy relates to short and long-term results.  Strategy’s can work for a short time, but in the end, culture determines what happens. This Daily episode resonated with so many other things I had been reviewing and hearing, it indicated to me there was a story being told.  This is the story I heard being told…

Although I am late reading Jeremy Rifkin’s 2000 book, “Age of Access: The New culture of hyper capitalism where all of life is a paid for experience“, it is currently relevant.  Now, because I have the ability to use hindsight, I am amazed by his prescience or foreknowledge about how technology would impact our world.   He accurately  predicted the changes that have taken place because of the Internet, FaceBook, and our almost constant reliance to our online world.  Throughout the book he talks about how it will, and now has, impacted and changed our culture.

Most importantly, near the end, he explains that culture is the precursor or necessary prerequisite to commerce or a market economy.  He points out that trust and empathy, something developed from face to face contact, is necessary for a caring society.  He was concerned that having only an online relationship could cause harm.

I then heard an example of how the harm he predicted may be attributed to online interactions in Carole Cadwalladr’s TED Talk, Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy. Through this presentation she outlines how an online culture was the instigator for Brexit and Trump.  Of course, all of this was possible because of our innate gullibility and our brain biases or the mental illusions we face as humans.

Then I heard another TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,The danger of a single story.  In her presentation she explained how all these things in very simple terms. She explained how it all relates to when we rely on a single story.  Kahneman and Tversky’s work backs up her presentation when they talked about the representativeness heuristic.  The representative heuristic happens when people ignore base rates or likely outcomes and become biased by a story that seems representative, this therefore becomes The danger of a single story.

People are easily manipulated.  The original research on representativeness heuristic explained how i a situation where there were 100 people, 70 of which were lawyers and 30 engineers.  Despite knowing this, after a description was given of a random member of that group that was representative of a lawyer or an engineer, those initial 70-30 base rate probabilities were ignored if they were asked to pick the likely profession of a member of the group.  Instead of using the 70-30 base rate, the participant instead used the description or story to predict which profession, lawyer or engineer, the random participant held. If no description of a random participant was provided, people correctly used the base rates provided to make their prediction.  In other words, people were manipulated by the story.

If this summary is not clear due to its brevity, I encourage you to watch either or both of the short YouTube video’s below about the representative heuristic.  I also encourage you to read MIchael Lewis’s book, The Undoing Project or the many examples of these studies provided online.  Overall these studies demonstrated an innate mental bias we have related to stories.

 

To finish the story, I read a January 19, 2019 column, More Schools and Fewer Tanks for the Mideast, from my favorite columnist, Thomas Friedman.  In this column he drove home the point of developing and creating a CULTURE for a better tomorrow is the most important and effective way.  The story suggests that we need to take action to help others become all they can so we can live and help develop a better world, instead of destroying what could be.

Below is Friedman’s column:

The U.S. should send more soft power and less hard power to the region.

Tunisians last week celebrated the anniversary of their 2011 revolution.Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

Tunisians last week celebrated the anniversary of their 2011 revolution.Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

President Trump’s sudden announcement that he’s pulling U.S. troops out of Syria and shrinking their number in Afghanistan has prompted a new debate about American ground forces in the Middle East and whether keeping them there is vital or not. I’m asking myself the same question. To answer that question, though, I need to start with another question:

Why is it that the one Arab Spring country that managed to make a relatively peaceful transition from dictatorship to a constitutional democracy — with full empowerment for its women — is the country we’ve had the least to do with and where we’ve never sent soldiers to fight and die? It’s called Tunisia.

Yes, Tunisia, the only Middle East country to achieve the ends that we so badly desired for Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan, did so after having hosted more U.S. Peace Corps workers over the last 50 years than U.S. military advisers and after having received only about $1 billion in U.S. aid (and three loan guarantees) since its 2010-11 democracy revolution.

By comparison, the U.S. is now spending about $45 billion a year in Afghanistan — after 17 years of trying to transform it into a pluralistic democracy. That is an insane contrast. Especially when you consider that Tunisia’s self-propelled democracy is such an important model for the region, but an increasingly frail one.

American service members arriving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

American service members arriving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2017.Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

It’s threatened by labor strikes, the spillover of instability from Libya, a slowing economy that can’t produce enough jobs or income for its educated young people, a 2016 International Monetary Fund loan that restricts the government from hiring, all causing stresses among the key players in its power-sharing deal involving trade unionists, Islamists, old-regime types and new democrats. For now, Tunisia is holding together, but it could sure use one week’s worth of what we spend in Afghanistan.

Why could Tunisia transition to democracy when others couldn’t? It starts with its founding father, Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s leader from independence, in 1956, to 1987.

Though he was a president-for-life like other Arab autocrats, Bourguiba was unique in other ways: He kept his army very small and did not waste four decades trying to destroy Israel; he was actually a lonely voice calling for coexistence.

He educated and empowered Tunisian women and allowed relatively strong civil society groups to emerge — trade unions, lawyers’ syndicates, women’s groups, who were vital to toppling Bourguiba’s tyrannical successor and forging a new Constitution with Tunisia’s Islamic movement. Tunisia was also blessed by having little oil, so it had to invest in its people’s education.

Tunisia, in short, had the cultural underpinnings to sustain a democratic revolution. But political and cultural transformations move at different speeds. The U.S. (myself included) wanted to rush the necessary cultural transformation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but as Peter Drucker once noted, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That fact — plus our own incompetence and their corruption — has eaten alive the U.S. democracy efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of this shapes how I think about Trump’s abrupt order to withdraw from Syria and desire to get out of Afghanistan. I think he is right on Afghanistan. We’ve defeated Al Qaeda there; it’s time for us to negotiate with the Taliban and Pakistan the best phased exit we can — and take as many people who worked for us as we can. Afghanistan has hard countries around it — Russia, Pakistan, India, China and Iran — and they have the ability to contain and manage the disorder there. We gave at the office.

I’d keep our special forces in Syria, though, but not because we’ve yet to defeat ISIS. ISIS is a direct byproduct of the wider regional struggle between Sunnis and Shiites, led by Saudi Arabia and Iran. ISIS arose as an extreme Sunni response to the extreme efforts by Iran and pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria to ethnically cleanse and strip power from Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. As long as Iran pursues that strategy, there will be an ISIS in some form or other.

That’s why the only peace process that could have a stabilizing effect across the Middle East today is not between Israelis and Palestinians — but between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

What the small, not-all-that-costly U.S. force in Syria does that is most important is prevent the awful there from becoming the truly disastrous in a couple ways. It does so in part by protecting the Kurds and moderate Sunnis from the murderous Syrian government and Turkey. The mainstream Syrian and Iraqi Kurds have been, for the most part, forces for decency and Western values in that corner of the world. One day we might build on their islands of decency; they’re worth preserving.

Our forces also help stabilize northeastern Syria, making it less likely that another huge wave of refugees will emerge from there that could further destabilize Lebanon and Jordan and create nativist backlashes in the European Union like the earlier wave did. To me, the European Union is the other United States of the world, and we and NATO have a vital interest in protecting the E.U. from being fractured over a fight over the influx of Mideast refugees.

Finally, I’d take $2 billion of the $45 billion we’d save from getting out of Afghanistan and invest it regionally in all the cultural changes that made Tunisia unique — across the whole Arab world. I’d give huge aid to the American University in Cairo, the American University in Beirut, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, and the American University of Afghanistan.

And I’d massively expand the scholarship program we once ran by which top Arab public school students were eligible for a U.S.-funded scholarship to any U.S.-style liberal arts college in Lebanon or anywhere else in the region.

I’d also massively expand student visas and scholarships — especially for Arab women — for study in America. And I’d offer 5,000 scholarships for Iranians to come to America to get graduate degrees in science, engineering or medicine, with visas available in Dubai. That line would be so long! Nothing would embarrass the Iranian regime more.

And I’d give Tunisia a $1 billion interest-free loan and quadruple the size of the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund that promotes start-ups there.

The other $43 billion I’d spend on new infrastructure in America.

Since 9/11, we’ve relied almost entirely on hard power. Some was needed, some is still needed, but most of it failed. It’s time we tried more soft power. It’s time we focused on giving more Arabs and Iranians access to the ingredients that enabled Tunisia to transform itself by itself into a democracy without a single U.S. war fighter.

Yes, it will take a long time. But there was never a shortcut, and the approach we tried with the Pentagon in the lead has only led to multiple dead ends.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Thomas L. Friedman is the foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist. He joined the paper in 1981, and has won three Pulitzer Prizes. He is the author of seven books, including “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award. @tomfriedmanFacebook

 

Please share your thoughts.  I will continue to work at generating comprehensive improvements through the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Science, Beauty, Evolution, and Progress

This post was inspired and improved by information provided by Kerry Sewell. Thank you Kerry.

I am constantly reading and listening to presentations to learn new things.  As I learn I am awed by what I learn and how everyone and everything is interconnected.  Recently I listened to an interesting RadioLab presentation and 2 TED Talks and they all seemed to tell an interconnected story.

To start the story,  Phil Plait ‘s TED talk, The secret to scientific discoveries? Making mistakes,(see below) provided a fresh perspective on science.  He reminds us that mistakes are part of the scientific process.  He also suggests that many people misunderstand science because they  think that “…science is just a big pile of facts.” He emphasizes the problem with this belief is not only that it is wrong, but that collected facts are not even a goal of science.  He then explains how the process of science provides humans with the best chance to learn about our reality, objectively.  Next he explains what most of us know, but fail to admit, “…people are flawed” and easily fooled. Science is valuable because it provides a method to be objective  (for more about our difficulty seeing things accurately see, Innate Gullibility Highlights the Value of Predictability)

Science helps because it gives us a process that minimizes our biases so we can see reality more clearly. I encourage you to listen to his presentation below.

Next, an interesting RadioLab discussion about The Beauty Puzzle (show linked) challenged the evolutionary scientific idea of fitness as the determining factor.  In other words, it suggests we may have made a mistake.  This hypothesis suggests beauty or aesthetics, not survival of the fittest, is the determining factor, and that the ’survival of the fittest’ paradigm was a deliberate perversion of Darwin’s original theory..

 

 

The evidence providedfor this hypothesis,, while it has some merit, for me, provides an unconvincing alternative.  The discussion did not factor in the idea of mental illusions or mistakes in the scientific process as discussed by Phil Plait.  Nor did it take into account mental illusions as outlined by Kahneman and Tversky. (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us)   As I understand it, evolution is an ongoing big experiment and not all experiments are successful.  Their examples may represent some experiments that may contribute but may not be successful. Possibly, or maybe…

Then I heard Marjan van Aubel‘s TED Presentation about solar energy, The beautiful future of solar power.  She suggest beauty may in fact be the determining factor for OUR survival.  In his presentation she explains the importance of aesthetics or beauty and suggests it as necessity if we are to adopt and use the power of the sun.

All together these interesting presentations seem to recommend for us to progress toward a better tomorrow using study, science, experiments, and mistakes to learn how to contribute to a more beautiful tomorrow.

Please share your thoughts.  I will continue to attempt to push evolution with science by creating more beauty through the generation of comprehensive improvements from the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Creating Abundance Better than Poverty Elimination

Information from a recent (3/7/2019) NYT’s column “How to Think About Taxing and Spending Like a Swede” by Monica Prasad, a professor of sociology at Northwestern, linked and  below, indicates the Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad promoted here and many other posts on this blog works.  This is the idea of paneugenesis, which is generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

As noted, using tax money to make it better for improves society for all.  As she notes, “…Sweden has very low poverty and inequality, and economic mobility is significantly higher than it is in the United States; a poor Swede is much more likely to become middle class than a poor American is.”  Sweden’s program is not a Robin Hood, take from the rich and give to the poor strategy or even a way to use taxes to create programs for the poor. “… Sweden does not target much of its spending specifically to the poor.Tax revenue is spent on universal programs, like health care, which benefit most those who live longest; free college tuition takes from those who do not go to college and gives to those who do. Many aspects of welfare state spending in Sweden — as in other European countries — are linked to income, so that the more you earn, the more you receive in benefits. This is enormously effective, because it gives an incentive to Swedes to work hard and earn more.”

To me this seems like a tax policy that can facilitate progress for all.

As you know, I will work for progress by generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the progress you help generate.

For more information about this I encourage you to read Monica Prasad’s column below:

 

How to Think About Taxing and Spending Like a Swede

Europe has less inequality and more social mobility because its taxation schemes reach deeper into society and do more for everyone.

By Monica Prasad

Ms. Prasad is a professor of sociology at Northwestern.

George Wylesol

In the recent rush of proposals to tax the rich, Democrats have forgotten — or never really cared to learn — an important lesson: The countries that have been most successful at reducing poverty and inequality have not done it by taxing the wealthy and giving to the poor.

Take Sweden, a country often cited by progressives for its extensive social programs. Sweden has very low poverty and inequality, and economic mobility is significantly higher than it is in the United States; a poor Swede is much more likely to become middle class than a poor American is.

We can learn from Sweden, but the lesson is not what many people think. Rich Swedes do get taxed at high rates, but so does everyone else: The average American worker’s total tax burden is 31.7 percent of earnings, compared with 42.9 percent for the average Swede. The Swedes actually tax corporations less: 19.8 percent, compared with 34.2 percent in the United States in 2017, the last year for which we have comparative data — and yes, that’s after all the loopholes and deductions have been accounted for. The American rate will be lower after the 2017 tax bill, but it’s still unlikely to be as low as Sweden’s.

Estate tax? In the United States the average effective rate is 16.5 percent. In Sweden, it’s zero. Swedish national sales taxes, which fall disproportionately on the middle classes, are much higher than sales taxes in the United States. In France, another country held up as an exemplar by progressives, the economist Thomas Piketty and his collaborators found the overall tax structure was actually a bit regressive, meaning the wealthiest pay slightly lower rates of tax than the less wealthy. Throughout Europe, since World War II, the rule has been high taxes on labor and low taxes on capital.

On the spending side, Sweden does not target much of its spending specifically to the poor.Tax revenue is spent on universal programs, like health care, which benefit most those who live longest; free college tuition takes from those who do not go to college and gives to those who do. Many aspects of welfare state spending in Sweden — as in other European countries — are linked to income, so that the more you earn, the more you receive in benefits. This is enormously effective, because it gives an incentive to Swedes to work hard and earn more.

Poverty and inequality do get reduced, though not by redistribution from rich to poor, but rather by redistribution within classes — as the American sociologist Arthur Stinchcombe once put it, from the healthy to the unhealthy, from the young to the old and from the lucky to the unlucky.

These patterns go back to the early 20th century, when many European countries were trying to figure out how to compete with the rising American economic behemoth and decided that they had to nurture their capitalists to do so.

European welfare states have many origin points and many causes, but they took their modern forms around the Second World War, when in countries like France and Germany there simply wasn’t much capital to tax, because the capital stock had been destroyed by war. Higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy in the United States also have their origins in the early 20th century, when politicians representing Midwestern and Southern farmers ganged up against Northeastern industrialists.

Some scholars have drawn on this history to argue that the United States needs to give up its fixation with progressive taxation and adopt a national sales tax as every other advanced industrial country has done.

But this is too literal an interpretation of the lessons of history. It’s hard to make a case for a big new tax in America on the middle classes and the poor after decades when most of the economic benefits have flowed to the wealthy. European countries adopted their tax policies at times when economic growth was desperately needed and capital needed to be built up. Much has changed since then, and European tax systems could at this point stand a bit of reform in a more progressive direction, as the Yellow Vest protesters in France have been trying to tell us.

In Sweden, tax revenue is spent on universal programs like health care.Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Sweden, tax revenue is spent on universal programs like health care.Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The real lesson to take away from Europe is that progressive social programs are most popular, most effective and most durable when they are carried out in ways that do not damage business prosperity. European social reformers didn’t just reduce poverty and inequality. They created a new reality. When conservatives come into power in European countries, they find they cannot take away the progressive policies.

European reformers managed this by embedding progressive policies in business-oriented arrangements. Low taxes on capital are just one example. We don’t need to enact exactly the same policies now — given how much wealthy Americans have benefited over the last several decades, progressive taxation still has a role to play in the United States — but we do need to learn the larger lesson that the secret of the European welfare states is that they are surprisingly business-friendly.

What would a policy that takes these lessons to heart look like in the United States today? It would look a lot like a business-oriented version of the Green New Deal. The recent proposal by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Edward Markey needs a great deal of work, but it is far from a pipe dream — indeed, it’s the only proposal we have that is trying to face difficult truths.

For the plan to reduce carbon emissions, however, it has to get started now, and stay in place a long time, including through the next few conservative backlashes. The only way to do that — the only way to make it the new reality of the American economy, rather than a temporary attempt swept away by conservative populism — is to get business on board. This isn’t just because businesses will otherwise fight it, it’s because the American people will otherwise fight it.

To move from vision to reality, the Green New Deal coalition must include business groups, manufacturers, farmers and unions, and reformers need to genuinely listen to and respond to their concerns. They need to focus on solving problems such as the decline in productivity and work force participation, by using the revenue from a carbon tax to create jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and by using higher taxes on capital gains to fund infrastructure, education, and research and development.

Green reformers also need to explain the enormous business opportunity that this historic shift to a zero carbon economy presents. Get businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and you make your policies not only more feasible, but also irreversible.

None of this would create a European-style welfare state. But if done right, it would create something even more extraordinary: a new model of capitalism that European progressives themselves would, someday, try to imitate.

Monica Prasad, a professor of sociology and a faculty fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, is the author, most recently, of “Starving the Beast: Ronald Reagan and the Tax Cut Revolution.”

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

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