Paul A. Tanner III posted Dec 23, 2012 2:45 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed): > On Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM, GS Chandy > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote (at: http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7942623) > > This refers to the exchanges between Paul A. Tanner <SNIP>
> With respect to one person and one person only, the > power to influence > the societal situation is of course minimal. This is > true whether we > would be talking about voting for candidates for > government or about > other things such as a person bargaining with an > employer for levels > of compensation for labor. > > But the real power that the people have in voting or > in bargaining > with an employer for levels of compensation in other > such things is > not in one person and one person only, in the people > COLLECTIVELY. > I agree, almost in toto with a great many (not all, by any means) of your arguments. (But I had recently responded to Kirby Urner on some issue demonstrating how - even in the case of a single person - he/she could certainly learn to be much more effective in what he/she does. I am unable right now to point you to that specific message - but I attach a couple of documents herewith that may help illustrate/ clarify my claim. In particular, please see the the model "To enhance my effectiveness" in the document "How to accomplish a Mission").
In any case, when we use the conventional means of 'thinking and communicating', namely, the 'prose mode' that we are using here at Math-teach, we are definitely unable to think or communicate very effectively within or about the complex systems in which we are embedded - and the result of this inability is seen in practically all of the fruitless argumentation that we see right here at Math-teach in the case of practically every issue taken up for discussion. (In fact, we see such fruitless argumentation in most conventional fora - including august ones such as the Senate and the House of Representatives [in the USA] and in *Parliament* [in India or Great Britain], etc. [I emphasize that the above-noted fruitless argumentation will also be seen in the discussions at most of the 'Union meetings', for instance - though I have seen only Union meetings conducted in India]).
*It must be admitted that discussions in the British Parliament [and, for all I know even in the august bodies of the USA] are more fruitful than the argumentation we often see in the Indian august bodies. This must be attributed to the different characteristics of the people involved in the 'argumentation'*.
The difficulty is (partially) that when even just two people discuss an issue using conventional prose, what happens is that one of them is 'focusing' on some specific aspects of that issue (depending on his/her background) while the other is 'focusing' on some other specific aspects of that issue (again, depending on his/her background which generally quite different from that of the first person). What happens, in the case of each person involved in the issue, that there is, almost always, inadequate understanding and appreciation of the issues relevant to 'the other' person. This difficulty is multiplied exponentially with the numbers of people in any discussion.
I have, in many posts, pointed to a minor extension of the 'prose mode', something I call the 'prose + structural graphics' (p+sg) mode (of thinking and communicating) that can help us overcome several of the deficiencies of the pure prose mode of 'thinking and communicating' within complex systems on complex issues.
In several of those posts, I have also provided some description (with examples) of this p+sg, that can help to raise the level of thinking and discussion quite significantly - one such message appears at the head of the thread 'Democracy - how to achieve it?' - http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536.
The 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) that is described at the attachments noted above goes a couple of steps further in that it enables any individual or group -regardless of his/her background knowledge of systems science - to apply all the sophisticated concepts of systems science to the issues thought about or discussed - with very little background knowledge required about systems science.
One difficulty most people face is that they sometimes find it extremely difficult to grow out of this 'prose mode' of communicating. Underlying this difficulty is that there is some (a very small amount of) learning along with some (a fair bit of) 'unlearning' involved in using p+sg on any issue. As often observed before (but apparently not understood to date), the learning and the 'unlearning' have to happen in tandem. Thus, UNLESS the individual or group is willing to do a little 'unlearning', he/ she/ they will find it extremely difficult to do the needed learning. We see instances of this phenomenon in most of the responses to my messages discussing the OPMS - most often in the responses from Haim, Wayne Bishop and Robert Hansen.
> And when we look at the power of the people > collectively, we see > immense power to change the societal situation. > I agree. But the actual power that's available (when the people are using conventional prose) is minimal - in evidence whereof check out:
-- the deficiencies in the US educational systems (relative to what is possible given the current state of development of existing US educational systems - which are, I admit, better than most [not all] nations and significantly better than, for instance, the educational systems we have in India today).
-- the fact that Haim and Wayne Bishop (supported by Robert Hansen) continue to call out to "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!" and "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!" despite the almost self-evident fact that neither of these measures will, if successful, help improve the US educational systems.
-- the incompetence and the ineffectiveness of the Teacher's Unions in the USA to put their case before their critics.
-- the incompetence and the ineffectiveness of the Teacher's Unions in the USA to improve the effectiveness of the public school education system(s) in the US in the areas where they are not performing well.
-- the deficiencies of the Indian educational system (see the PowerPoint presentation attached to message pointed to).
-- the fact that that about 42% of India's children are malnourished in the midst of plenty
-- the utterly ineffective and incompetent governance of my nation (India) - the most recent instance of this is the response of our government over the past few days to the huge protests that have arisen all over India (in particular in Delhi) on account of the rape and attempted murder of a 23-year old paramedic student
-- practically every other complex issue you can name - where the "collective power" of the people is very rarely (if ever) brought to bear on the issue taken up. This is the case in the US almost as much as it is in India (where the situation is utterly disgraceful). > > This immense collective power of the people to change > the societal > situation via new laws by those voted into power is > why those > presently running the governments in political > dictatorships all over > the world - Chinese, North Korean, Cuban, Syrian, > Saudi Arabian, you > name it - are not about to give the power to vote to > the people, not without a fight. > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > Looking throughout history on this: > > Consider all those examples in country after country > in the last more > than 200 years - including the present - where people > died and are > dying who were or are declaring independence from or > protesting > against or fighting against the dictators who ran or > are running their > own countries, in the name of obtaining the power to > vote. > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > Consider all those examples in the past and even now > where in those > countries where people have the power to vote, we see > conservative > lawmakers - in agreement with conservative voters - > having passed and > even now passing laws designed to suppress the vote, > based on the > observed fact that as a higher and higher percentage > of the population > exercises the power to vote, the more liberal and > progressive and yes, > pro-democracy and pro-the-people the average vote > becomes. > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > This immense collective power of the people to change > the societal > situation is why conservative employers - in league > with conservative > lawmakers - are not about to give the power of > collective bargaining > to the workers, not without a fight. It's why they - > in league with > conservative lawmakers who make anti-union laws - try > to influence the > voting of their employees when their employees vote > to either go union > or not go union. Looking at history: Consider what is > happening in the > US and all those examples in country after country in > the last more > than 100 years - including the present - where people > even died who > were working for collective bargaining rights. > Mostly agreed - but see above. [NOWHERE in the world has the real 'power of the people' been able to 'take control' as it should. Check out the OPMS for a practical tool to enable such to occur, in real life, on the ground]. > > On this last point: One of the things that so many do > not know is that > as soon as anti-democracy types get into office - > these could be > anti-democracy types in either the so-called > political left or right - > they try to kill off the independent labor unions. In > Venezuela, years > again when Chavez took power, one of the first things > he did was to > kill the the independent labor unions and replace > them with > government-based labor unions. And on this point, > consider these > quotes: > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > "Labor Quotes" > http://www.cfce.org/labor_quotes.html > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > Quote: > > "Franklin Delano Roosevelt [,the most progressive US > president in US > history, said]: > Mostly agreed - but see above. > > It is one of the characteristics of a free and > democratic nation that > is have free and independent labor unions." > Mostly agreed - but see above.