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Posts Tagged ‘problem solving’

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No limits

The label “sociopath” is bandied about a lot these days. Haters are gonna hate but lets get our insults correct at least.

Sociopaths are glib, with a superficial charm. A winner’s charm goes all the way to their core. Glib? Never. They are many things but never insincere because their passions fuel the fire inside them.

Sociopaths are manipulative and conning. Winners are clever and cunning.

While sociopaths are lack the empathy to understand the people they interact with, seeing them only as objects in their own internal theater, winners err on the side of over-empathy but they also recognize that there is a bigger picture and that humans tend to act in a self serving manner that runs counter to the good of the group and understand the nature of human psychology well enough to get people to do what they would not ordinarily do under normal circumstances.

Sociopaths have a grandiose sense of self, making them feel entitled. Winners see themselves with bright and non-judgmental clarity. They understand that they win simply by being the best.

Sociopaths are pathological liars. Winners understand that truth is like the layers of an onion and that one can make an make an honest argument for anything, and will debate the pro or con of any statement with equal ease. Both can pass a lie detector test but for diametrically opposed reasons.

Sociopaths lack of remorse, shame or guilt. Winners understand that there is a cost to winning and that those who stand outside of the passionate undertakings looking in will judge based on their own artificial value judgments. Winners know their will be haters and have learned to grow a thick skin. Do the ends justify the means? Depends on the means. As long as they do not compromise the core belief in oneself, then yes.

Sociopaths have shallow emotions. There is nothing shallow about the passions of a winner. Do not mistake their outrage as an inappropriate emotional response. If a winner is outraged, he or she has something very real to be outraged about. A winner may seem unsympathetic to your pain but that is only because they have gone further down that road than any normal person could imagine and have survived.

Sociopaths are incapable of love. Winners do not date outside their own species. This limits them to less than one percent of the human population.

Sociopaths need for constant stimulation. Winners are driven by an innate and intuitive need to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Winners are never quitters but they have learned to revise their goals based on the most current information set.

Sociopaths are callous, lacking empathy. Winners are pragmatic. Shit happens. Get over it.

Sociopaths have poor behavioral controls and have an impulsive nature. Winners operate on a deeply intuitive level and run their lives based on a heady soup of gut instinct, brilliant intellect, and an innate ability to cut to the core of any conundrum. If they seem angry with you when you try to argue with them, it is only because your fuzzy logic is vexing and tiresome.

Sociopaths have early behavior problems and a history of juvenile delinquency. Winners bore easily and their creative use of play and their out-of-the-box problem solving might piss off some authoritarians who think all children, even the round peg children, can be squeezed into square holes.

Sociopaths are irresponsible and unreliable. Winners never renege on a promise but if they do, it will be for a good reason. Hopefully you will understand when they try to explain to you why they might have to break your heart. You will never get them to play the blame-game. Shit happens. Life moves on. The winner is already trying to figure out the next twenty steps in their game plan.

Sociopaths are promiscuous. Winners so very rarely meet any of their own species that they might be forgiven if they stray once or twice.

Sociopaths lack a realistic life plan. Winners dream big. Really big. No. Bigger than that. Megalomaniac big. But they are really happy with failing because their failures are leaps ahead of everyone else’s successes.

Sociopaths have a poor work ethic. Winners are driven. They are the first to show up and the last to leave.

Sociopaths have a criminal or entrepreneurial versatility. So do winners. Sociopaths are always running away from a lie they have told. Winners can reinvent themselves at a moments notice to accommodate the ever changing arena in which they play.

One thing winners and sociopaths have in common. They know that the rules do not apply to them because rules were made to lubricate the friction created by living an everyday, mundane, civilized life. There is nothing ordinary or mundane about the circumstances of being a winner.

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I true dream. It is one of the tools I use to problem solve. Whenever I encounter an illogical, crazy and/or destructive behavior or situation in my studies of the universe, the planet or the human condition my brain goes into a delighted fugue. Yay, Another puzzle! When I discover a puzzle, I do the right brain equivalent of getting out of the car and walking around it to kick the tires and look under the hood. Then I sleep on it. I have amazing dreams.

The problem with trying to understand the human condition is that we are one big ball of convoluted, obfuscated, and just plain wrong headed beliefs that are based on an incomplete understanding of the nature of life, death, and creation and for the most part, very few of us have figured out where we fit in the big picture. In the world of puzzle solving, trying to understand the nature of being human is the equivalent of trying to untie the Gorgon Knot.

Oh, I did not start out with such a lofty goal. Who was I to solve the problems of humanity? I couldn’t even balance my check book. No, I started out small. I wanted what everyone wants when they first begin to understand that something about their life might be irreparable broken. I tried to solve the puzzle of me. I walked into the heart of my chaos and dared the universe and the powers that be to show me what I needed to know. (Do not try this at home, children. It’s akin to sticking your finger in a light socket: a whole lot of information blasts through your brain looking for someplace to call home.) Pandora, upon opening her box, could not have been any more surprised than I. After I managed to control the crazy, I began the almost insurmountable task of translating that information into language.

My life, like every other living thing on this planet and in this reality well, is part of the greater whole and if I am to solve the puzzle of my life, I must solve the greater puzzle. Using the Gorgon Knot analogy: every life is a rope that stretches from the beginning of time to the end of time; the Present, the moment in time that you perceive with your left brain as being Now, is the Knot into which all space/time is compressed; trying to untangle one rope means you must untangle all of them. (Alexander the Great supposedly solved his knotty problem by hacking the knot apart with his sword, a clever cheat if one is not above total annihilation as a means of problem solving. I would hope our mental acumen has become a little more subtle in 2300 years.)

My quest to unravel my relationships with my family had morphed into something bigger and was now somehow directly linked to the inception of life on this planet. Der? Imagine coming out of a meditation with that answer. It made as much sense as the Ultimate Answer in Douglas Adam’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Oh, great, I thought, phreakin 42. Now, what was the Ultimate Question?

Not long after this, I had my dream about the Cow-eared Boy.

A farmer was giving me a tour of his calf barn. He wanted to show me his newest calves, products of his intensive breeding program to better the species for milk production. But instead of bottle feeding calves, he fed things that were half human, baby cows with arms and hands. The babies wanted to reach out and help hold the bottle but the farmer kept slapping their hands away. The farmer wanted his calves to act like calves, but the calves had become something else, something more, and they were as equally intent on exploring the limits of their new bodies as the farmer was in preventing it.

I questioned his brutal methods. He took me out into the pasture where he kept the mothers and fathers and older calves. Imagine cows with sharp teeth and sharp hooves. The cattle were locked in pitch battles, male against male, mother against father, waging mindless violence against themselves, a life and death struggle that ravaged their numbers and crushed their children to death under its weight.

One could not fault the farmer for wanting to breed out the violence. Neither could one fault his belief that no matter what the breeding, the cows came from wild stock and would always be a brutal and vicious species and that one should not encourage human like skills in the herd.

What was the solution? I could not return the mutated herd to the wild. The farmer had altered them too much. They would never survive, being half human and half cow.

In the dream, I took one of the calves into the farmhouse and gave it a bottle, rocking it in my arms like a real child. It became a human baby…except for those pesky ears. We would to have to do something about those cow ears eventually.

In all the debate about evolution, human evolution in particular, no one bothers to interview the farmers and the breeders who have been practicing the art of selective breeding for ten thousand years. They will tell you that in the space of two generations you can irrevocably alter the nature of any species, including the human species. Humans do not perceive the change in themselves because we have created intricate civilizations to insulated our physical selves from the forces of nature, thus relieving our bodies of the exhausting need to accommodate environmental change. That does not mean we are protected from change. As any anthropologist will tell you, we have changed radically since the dawn of history. What are the forces that alter us? We have always been our own worst enemy. The history of human violence can also be a road map of the subtle shift in human awareness. It is not our bodies that are evolving, after all, it is our brains. We are all reaching for that brass ring called sentience.

The question is, will we be able to make the final leap into full sentience or will our cow ears betray us in the end, taking us down the path of the dodo, the mammoth and every other species who ultimately failed to change enough to survive?

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There is a vacuum in modern education. If we have made the left brain into the sole focus of our educational process, then the left frontal cortex is the rock star. Conversely, the right brain has become the retarded second cousin we keep locked up in the attic: throw it a bone once in a while to keep it alive, try to ignore the weird howling noises in the middle of the night, and  pretend with all your might that it does not exist when the neighbors come to visit.

When we do talk about the process of the right brain, it is hard not to fall into the language of the occult and the arcane, for the simple reason that we have ignored our retarded little second cousin for so long, the only language, the only words that exist that can even approximately describe its processes rise from our more primitive and superstitious past.

It is only now, as we begin to understand the mathematics of quantum space and time, that we begin to realize that the seemingly disjointed and ofttimes insane babble coming from the attic was in fact the learned instruction of our Uber Einstein brain, a brain that exists not only in the attic but beyond any physical wall, touching all of space/time. With it, we can turn corners into other dimensions. We can communally share information with all other lifeforms. With just a thought, we can remember all the knowledge that has ever existed and that will ever exist, being limited only by the sophistication of our ever evolving consciousness.

Call this vast extension of the right brain the Uber Library. The first trick to accessing information in this library is not to get overwhelmed by the amount of information that exists there. Do not be fooled by the apparent chaos. All things, even this, have a pattern and a direction, a point and a purpose. The second step is to understand that you already have the tools to navigate here. You just have forgotten how to use them. You were born fully connected to the Uber Library, after all.

Consider how we problem solve with the left brain. Here we find the seat of our perception of Time. A leads to B leads to C, D, E, F, G on down the line until we reach Z. If we were to solve a problem, exclusively using our left brain, we would start at A, form a hypothesis and then investigate that hypothesis, step by step until those steps led us to a conclusion. If we are lucky, that conclusion solves the original problem. Unfortunately, odds are good that the conclusion will have only told you that your original hypothesis is wrong and that you failed to ask the right question at the very beginning of your long and tedious study.

Now, let’s problem solve using our right brain. Here is the seat of our perception of infinite space. Imagine deep space. No atmosphere or gravity wells to hinder motion. Imagine that you stand at point A. All around you, in no particular order, lies a cloud of infinite possibilities, call them B through Z. A is not a problem to be solved. A is the point of existence. A just “is”. To get to point Z, one then merely lets go of all preconceived notions, imagines the existence of Z, thus establishing a link between point A and point Z and simply goes there. Free of constraints, the space between point A and point Z folds to accommodate that wish. Ta da! Problem solved.

The hardest part about the right brain problem solving process is convincing your left brain that the answer is correct. The left brain will still want to investigate all the possibilities of B through Y but the most difficult part of the process has already been done: Knowing the correct answer, one merely reverse engineers the issue to arrive at the right question.

A whole mind, a holistic mind is the perfect balance of left brain and right brain thinking.

Having a holistic mind is part of our acquired skills in the evolutionary arms race of survival. Think of it this way. Our left brain, diamond faceted, linearly logical, and clear sighted,  gives us the ability to perceive change as action or motion along a vector. Unfortunately, there are an infinite number of vectors to choose from. That is where our right brain steps in. It acts as our internal compass by pointing us in the right direction, thereby assuring that all decisions are the correct decisions, and no motion is wasted. As an added bonus it also assures us that every action is in harmony with the OnePattern since it is the OnePattern that allows us to perceive order in chaos.

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