Does Equality Equal Freedom?

How Equality and Freedom Make a Bad Cocktail for most?

There is a topic that has been in my mind for years and just keeps egging me on.

It’s not an easy topic to write or even think about and perhaps in the few minutes I have today, I’ll expose more of the idea.

Since running into the inborn talents and limits that are naturally present, one realizes that we are not all equal, in anything.

I often hear people talk about us being equal under the law, having equal rights, but even that is a stretch because money always wins.  Thus, in our society the  more you have, the better off you are in relation to what most call equal rights.  Sure we can vote, but even then, if you don’t have someone to watch the children or pay your transport, or have a hard time getting off work like the poor, then of course, your equality under the law is not really equal.

But that’s not what I am referring to.

What I’m referring to is that we have this idea about equality and fairness, where sameness = fairness. This particular algorithm when running side by side to freedom causes some serious issues for those who are not as capable, not as well-heeled or with access to resources.

We defend this in our consciousness by saying, we don’t want to put limits on what people can do, be, have, become or contribute, given agreed cultural constraints (laws and mores), so we leave people alone to be free.

YET, my freedom, or go at it, is not the same as yours and hence, using the idea of equality and sameness = fairness, under the guise of freedom, causes most people to suffer much more than they would if they were not free.

Now, I understand Hayak’s remarks about keeping freedom available for those who would use that to make life better for all, and to me, that is a valid argument.  Yet, I wonder in the age of technology and information whether an either/or around equality and freedom is actually a good idea.

I realize we are wars and probably light years away from people accepting the idea that because we are different, sameness is NOT fairness at all.  In fact, the guise under which the 1-5% operate around this idea is probably harming many more people than need be.

But for me, how do we get people to accept less freedom as a given, when indirectly they have to accept it anyway, but without scaffolding or support, because they like you and me, are “free” to live their own life?

What I’m finding after living in the emerging markets toe to toe with people that are really and desperately poor is that poverty wins a lot more than it loses because of the way society punishes a person for lack of capability.  As society gets more complex, the punishment can often be very severe for generations, a lot of it is just plain luck, both good, and bad which drives our futures.

Of course @BS, we attribute good luck to our moxy and bad luck to other people’s stupidity, creating interesting causal loop reasoning around credit and blame.  Yet if you have ever watched the really poor for sometime, you realize that the reason they are poor is the algorithms they use are not going to produce anything but additional poverty, and those who by chance — either nature or nurture’s lottery — can move — do, and that actually aggravates the issues.

What if…

we were less free?

What if we decided that in large part people will not be able to navigate a meaningful life of freedom without a lot of scaffolding and support. What if freedom had to be earned, demonstrated, or approved, rather than as a right or entitlement?

Would there be MORE abuses now under the direct constraints of less freedom than there are with more freedom?

And here’s the kicker in all of this — the one that I can’t solve.

What is our feeling about people being equal and free?

Even though it’s obvious that those with capability and resources — nature and nurture’s lottery winners — are clearly outdistancing those with less equal capability and resources, do we still believe that equality and freedom should be the rule?

As I move forward in trying to understand, create, and maintain ideas about how to help people live better lives, the age old question seems to be, what are we entitled to in a good society?

Is it equality and freedom?

Or is it food to eat, medicine when we are sick, education for our children (which we may not be free to have?), basic shelter (not home ownership, omg, I think we see the issues with that by now), and some income with which to discretionarily spend?

Is this basic existence an entitlement in a good society?

If so, how do we manage that?

With equality and freedom as the lead horses?

While we are not yet capable in many forms of answering this question because we don’t have good moral alternatives yet, the longer we go in the direction we are going, the harder it will be to shift things in the future without disruption of our social rhythms.

In the meantime, we are preparing a project to test whether or not by scaffolding people who are poor and stuck in poverty without scaffolding… who are scaffolded as part of a demonstration project can lift themselves up with help and escape the gravitational field of destitution and despair.

I have mixed emotions about it, but to create a mini-society to demonstrate that scaffolding in the proper density and frequency works, I will ask each one of you to participate and encourage others to participate to allow this to occur.

Join us in helping create this demonstration project in the Philippines and give life to the ideas of scaffolding poverty in a win-win-win scenario.  Learn more at http://livingatflow.com/crowdfunding/teaching-people-fish/

Mike

 

 

Happiness

A TPOV[Teachable Point Of View] on Happiness through the lens of Living at FLOW:

I think, without a doubt, this concept of happiness through an @F-L-O-W lens is MOST difficult and perplexing because of how I think of happiness as I see it through the @F-L-O-W lens of reality.

There are many definitions of happiness, and I would like to attempt to redefine it for the purpose of your consideration, without discounting the others.

In @F-L-O-W, happiness, or a felt and realized sense of satisfaction, along with the accompanying states of bliss, flow, and values-based alignment, or contentment, is key.

Now, the perplexing thing is that @F-L-O-W Happiness is not always going to represent or produce what most say is a “positive” psychology.  I am convinced from my own and the studied experiences of others, that true happiness emerges from the properties, which combine to produce it.  This may result in the state of “happiness” to have a negative connotation using a conventional frame of reference.

People will say, “How can you be happy if it produces a negative, alternate, or mismatched state?”

Possibly in the conventional meaning, we might not label this state as happiness.  But let me make the case for why happiness, or this being state of values alignment can be negative and still be deemed happy.

Happiness, to me, is a “sort” of contentment; it is an alignment…a felt sense of realized satisfaction.  It makes it OK to be depressed, to be melancholy, to be angry, to be doubtful, and to drift, or remain in states of negativity.

In fact, I will say this; I have seen some people MOST happy when they are being negative, confrontational, self-doubting, critical, or tough.  It can be a natural alignment for them to look for half-full glasses, and to work on what we would call the negative side of things rather than matching, or going along with others.  They are most content, most in alignment, when they are moving against, or away from the status quo, or the conventional thinking.

In physics and chemistry, we don’t label electrons BAD, because they have a negative charge?  Bad is a judgment, the negative charge is just what it is, a negative charge.  It’s in our labeling and judgment that we then call them good, or bad.

Therefore, @F-L-O-W adds dimensions to happiness, that to some would NOT fit the ideas they had about happiness, because positive and negative are really just two sides of the same thing, aren’t they?

When we view the negative, opposite the positive, or what we might call the mismatched dimensions of reality, we do not preclude happiness being a continuum that is labeled by some as good or bad.  We must allow ourselves to realize that an addict, living in squalor, might actually be happier than we think.

This kind of perspective FORCES us (in order to hold it as a possible reality), to think and feel differently about the “nature” of reality and the people in those realities which we would conventionally label as ‘sadness’ or unhappiness…when the very fact they are in those realities is due to natural values alignment.

Helpful Hint: Try to hold the idea that happiness may look a LOT different than you think it is.  Even when it might appear sad to you, it might be in perfect alignment for another, producing the tensions that emerge behavior in ways that confound your conventional thinking.

Action Step: The next time you see someone who appears sad, angry, or unhappy according to conventional means; think about what I’ve said.  Consider how that behavior you experience, with them, or in you, might be in alignment with what is taking place as natural, and an alignment with your deepest values.

Now, with that in mind, shift your behavior to them and see what happens, noting that the state they might be in might be producing happiness for them, than what it appears on the outside.

You may also want to have our Kindle book, TPOVs @F-L-O-W which exposes you to more insights into Living at FLOW.

Life at FLOW

The key @F-L-O-W

How do we ever come up with standards and practices for living at FLOW?

A very important point:

While we seek BS [Blank Slate] at our 1-5%, it works for us and is not BS, UNTIL we project that as a generalized solution.

That’s an important distinction to continue to make.

The key @F-L-O-W, IMHO, is to improve/enhance/enable (your choice of wording) happiness, and through happiness stop driving consumption.  Although with that being said, except for the 1-5% where consumption makes them happy.

What I spent a decade trying to unravel for myself is a lifestyle that could be part of the solution and less a part of the problem, at least for the idea of “limits to growth” which means until we allow technology to help us, to decelerate consumption/activity, and even in some cases, complexity for the masses, who do a really bad job of fractionalizing it and creating many more problems than they solve (emergenics).

So, for me…

Continuing to drive happiness rather than success is an appropriate substitute.

Something that I am starting to understand ties back into the “transmutation” of sexual desire.

I know this might seem an unlikely place, and an unlikely topic, but I want to try to relate something here, based on a little known or understood idea in Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich.

Hill indicated that achievement is enhanced when the sexual desire is transmuted, but what I am beginning to notice is that the same idea around transmutation may drive us to achievement and success, so the puritanical approach to sex, especially for me, may actually be inciting a good deal of the achievement angst and drive for success because frankly… men are not getting enough sex… ugh.

I know for women at least as I see it from my dim male view, don’t walk around all day thinking much about it, as intimacy can be emerged from many different vectors, which are not sex.

But it could be, that my original idea to substitute happiness for success to decelerate consumption, may have something to do with this whole issue of sexual energy and its transmutation.

I have not had time to delve deeply into Propaganda by Bernays, only reading a few chapters but I can’t help but think that sense BS is so involved in deep substitution of sexual stereotypes with subtle images and shapes… that there is something here.

Traveling around the world, I have noticed a lot of differences in sexual practices and what seems to be a relationship to consumption and more and more I’m wondering if my switching happiness and success might have some relationship to this transmutation of doing nothing after sex… but in lieu of sex, activity increases — more than likely subconsciously to get at something that is not occurring sufficiently.

With a focus on rational man, we should discipline ourselves but all we do is probably regress these desires from conscious to subconscious making a perfect substrate for mindless consumption because we are never going to consume that which is the ultimate aim.

Just some ideas I have been wanting to broach, not sure if the list can handle this, or not, but that hasn’t stopped me before, or so it seems!

Mike
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Stress

Stress – is it good for us

At http://www.mattmorris.com/motivation-and-inspiration/motivational-monday-153/ is a 14 minute video on “Stress”.

Author’s comments on video:

Have you ever felt stressed out? That’s kind of a silly question because I’m sure you have just like all of us have at one time or another. The bigger question is, has it ever left you feeling overwhelmed and unproductive?

Well, here’s a new way to look at stress with some scientific research supporting that stress is actually GOOD for you.

This is super interesting and a total life changer in regards to success in business and in life.

After you watch this video, the next time you say you’re stressed out, you’ll look at it with a healthy perspective and actually feel joy from stress?! I know it sounds crazy but…

Can you imagine what that really means?

How many people run away from stress and in turn, run away from opportunity?

How many people hear “hard work” and hide anywhere they can to avoid it because they are afraid to get “stressed out”?

There’s a list a mile long of all the things people do to avoid stress but what do you think would happen if you could transform that undesirable feeling to a feeling of joy with a simple shift in you perspective and belief?

Everything in your life would change VERY quickly wouldn’t it?

It also shows the HUGE benefit in helping others.

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal did this study and I want to thank her for sharing it at her TED talk. It’s amazing information to create transformation.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

Looking through Mike R. Jay’s lens:

This is a 1-5% @BS solution at best.

Almost all motivation assessments show a continuum of needs surrounding stress, how it affects us, and what levels of “tension” are good for us.

We couldn’t breathe if we didn’t have “atmospheric pressure”.  So tension, usually noted by most as stress, is important; particularly EUSTRESS which I don’t think the author states… that form of stress or tension being necessary for growth and development.

Problem is with almost all pundits is an emphasis on some “research” which makes their point.

Most of what any pundit says will more than likely represent a path or solution for about 1-5% of the population… who are designed and scaffolded epigenetically like they are.

Most of the advice to the other 95-99% is useless, ineffective, or even harmful.

What we are trying to be, do, have, become, and contribute @F-L-O-W is correlated to the design and scaffolding of your unique epigenetic purpose!

A Role for Governments

Something that you might have thought you would never hear me say…as even I’m saying it, it feels like someone else put it in my mouth…and that is…

…we need MORE government, not less, as complexity accelerates…unless the 1% adopts a FLOS Lens.

However, the government we have now formed is the wrong government…because they are BS and don’t understand ideas that would show the real diversity of the people, and how individual differences need to be scaffolded in order to promote adequate levels of human dignity in an exponentially complexifying set of conditions.

Most likely, we will never be able to have the government we need until we revisit the fundamental reasons for, and reasons why government is needed.  Early on, when the world was far less complex, getting out of people’s way and allowing human endeavor to emerge produced more than adequate conditions for the tide to raise all boats.

Yet, in times of accelerating complexity, where only a few will be fully conscious of the major issues up and down the stratified democracy, a republic is probably a better idea.  This is why you see so many banana republics doing as good in many ways as the other more complex forms of participative government.  In many cases, they have fractured the complexity and manage it incompletely, but well enough to scaffold, in some ways, people where they are, instead of where we are, which requires much more capability.

There is one, or several relatively capable people in these developing countries (for whatever drawbacks that capability brings with them)…who is a supreme leader.  Even in Iran, there is one person making decisions, even though there are many layers of decision-creating authority.

The bottom-line on what could be a major work is to identify that in a complex world, fewer and fewer people can put together the delays among cause and effect, and string the variables together well enough to see how small actions create disequilibrium, and a practical loss of dignity.

In allowing an elite, which basically has earned their rights vs. being endowed with them in a society where what works is who has the best game…an elite that doesn’t understand truly that what put them there, isn’t what makes up a great society, we end up with a fractured benevolence that is not correlated to needs under accelerating complexity in a post-modern world.

In other words, private individuals are not going to realize that the vast amount of wealth they have attained is due more to luck, an invisible infrastructure, and timing than anything else.  They will continue to pretend that it was their doing, projecting that onto the rest –> thinking that with enough _____________, they can do it too.

This absolves the fortunate from getting to know their fortuitous circumstances and creates an air of I did, you can, which under load is just not the case.  We ascribe too much success to our volition and not enough to our fortunes; thus creating and scaffolding the ideas that government is the purview of the elite to direct in a manner that is consistent with their needs…and that by their acts, an invisible hand will somehow reach out and scaffold the many.

OBVIOUSLY, this is not working.

While violence may be down, humiliation is up.  While we may have shifted our notions about how we treat each other, we have now crossed into dangerous territory on many fronts, where it is becoming less probable that more, not less, will benefit in terms of the dignity of civilized living in this new calendar age.

I don’t believe this makes me a socialist, or a communist, because I don’t believe that by turning race horses into plow horses we gain anything.  However, I do believe there is a ground, and it will require the figure, or ego in that ground to reverse itself and stop taking so much credit for success, and be a little more humble about what each person needs to be, do, have and become to be a functional part of civilized society.

For truly, a great society, maybe one that is not great, but humble.

Helpful Hint: Government needs to be in the scaffolding business, not in the bureaucratic business, and the difference between the momentous leap we all are watching for, will not be related to so much a bigger and more invasive government, but a government which is required to scaffold a humbler society rather than pound their chests about being representatives of a greatest nation on earth?
Action Step: Imagine this.  Imagine that we would view government as a group of people who are most suited for, and funded by, all of us towards creating the support, resources and scaffolding required by each level of capability in our society to live their capability under contribution to the whole.  And while that would take many forms, and require a continued hard line for those who outlie too far, as to disrupt the nature of civilization in progress, we can be compassionate about those outlying individuals, knowing they exist and scaffold them earlier as well as later in their journeys.  What kind of philosophy would emerge?

TPOVs @F-L-O-W: Skill vs. Inborn Motives?

“My greatest skill has been to want but little.” – Henry David Thoreau

Based on what I know about Thoreau, this is not a skill, this is a motivation that is more than likely inborn, BIG difference!!

His cabin was within walking distance to “mom’s house where he went for a good meal now and again” (scaffolding the hermitage, hehe, easier when mom is close, or so I think I read somewhere.

Caveat: Thoreau could have meant this in a way that I do not see, FYI, but the topic provides fodder for my rant, thanks!

A skill would be developed that says I have x dollars and I can get 5x what other people can get with those dollars, through compounding and leverage, as an example, part of what I am doing in the Philippines.

I can’t get what I want and I feel I need (body work per se) in the USA, so if I need/want, I can use my skill to move to a culture where instead of paying $90 dollars for a single massage, I can get it for $3, which is the price of my daily foot massage, and that same $90 was applied with skill (not inborn motivation) to last the entire month, making me feel like a king, without having me living close to mom… hehe

Helpful Hint: There is a big and notable difference between skill and motivation; skill in its various forms as it is modified by vertical, horizontal and oblique capability! We are all going to experience the juggling of needs and wants, and vice versa, so we don’t want to necessarily live a Spartan or ascetic life style per se. That is not the goal, as it is for the 1-5%, but to use compounding and leverage, along with less resource consumption for Life @F-L-O-W.

In my mind, hehe, I have a big debate going because the lectical system (which I like a lot) is based on Fischer’s skill theory and not entirely subject to the same tenets as Commons, et al Hierarchical Complexity Theory; although both derive similar results, or so it might seem. But Fischer is more @BS because of the use of developing skill… which I think you can’t do if you can’t.

The kind of skill you can develop is not the same as you can have, or generate…

Action Step: This is a key set of factors in determining not only how to explain, but how to use the skill you have to get as far as you can with what you have.

This also begins to unravel the notions of how we live @F-L-O-W… and that I believe is important.

Mike

 

Coming to a Town Near You

[NOTE: Almost every day Mike Jay posts to his Inner-circle ideas and information he has gleaned from his vast readings and his unique ability to spot patterns.  Below is one of the posts he mad to his Inner-circle today.  From time-to-time I will post more articles Mike has written so you too may glean some knowledge from him.  It is important to your well-being to at least consider what Mike says because he has been right much more often than not and in order to protect you and your family from what may be coming your way, it is at least good to have a chance to be better prepared.]

This is coming, if not already here, to a town near you (if you live in the west!)

“As consumption drops, consumption dropping accelerates…the reason the FED is pumping money into the system is to do what it can to avoid consumption decelerating faster… What has been happening is humiliating.  If I fail, and businesses like mine fail, then everything else fails. We are going through a financial war, which is burying us. Will there be any survivors?”

These are the comments of the Tedeschi family, owners of a small Italian woodworking business, in an interview with The New York Times.  Italian businesses are failing at a rate of 1,000 per day.  The Tedeschi’s business is barely hanging on, and had to lay off half its workforce since 2011. The backbone of Italy’s economy — small manufacturers — is weakening at an alarming rate.

Italian stocks, well off their old highs, may look cheap — but they operate in an economy that’s destroying shareholder value. “Throw all the bums out!” was the message from the Italian elections.  Investors must not ignore the political upheaval under way in Italy, for it will shake the foundation of the euro system.

Don’t think for ONE MINUTE that this is not going to affect you, shift your design now, look at how falling consumption can affect your situation now, near and far.

AMERICA is 90% service economy or more, which means we sell stuff to each other…IF WE STOP BUYING, and we are, trust me on this, we are slowing discretionary consumption–we all are in trouble BIG TIME.

JUST A 5% drop in consumption (which btw is now being manufactured by sequestration-type issues) will CRATER the system!

WATCH EUROPE, as this become more widespread, as we start to see drops in GDP around the world due to austerity/deconsumption…you will start to see more and more issues described in the quote…NOT EVERYONE can retire, and when they do, IF THEY DO, the drop in consumption will accelerate in the WEST, taking the EAST with it…  My guess is that we are a decade away from the EAST providing enough income potential where incomes in the WEST can be affected…and it’s all about income….

EVEN with an ENERGY MIRACLE, which is in doubt…we STILL are going to suffer a paradigm shift of a magnitude which has never been seen…and truly what is the greatest fear (mine as well), is deflation and the devastation it can do to your life.

mike

PS: Be sure to watch our video, Life @F-L-O-W, to see how your life may change by understanding that Less is More.