I SEE PIGMENTS TOO

Photo – Tony Ross – Unsplash

“I see pigments of myself from the people I meet.” Kimberly Pauig kimpaulig.wordpress.com

Thank you Kimberly. Today Spence A. Allen, Associate Author of OBSB adds his thoughts to a complex world. WDE

Isn’t this a great way of expressing what we call the “take away” these days when we meet new people or ideas.  Some pigments are great memories that add brilliant hues, or some deep rich meaningful color. I’m a happy guy and the colors decorate my day like flags. Looking up the word pigment, I naturally expected it to mention color. But pigment also means the carbons and metals that occur in nature. Pigments of myself then would then be the very makeup of who you are; that you see in others. That’s rather profound. Certainly, we are all individuals, but we are made up of the same natural elements. That would mean that the only “color” differences we really face are not the things of which we are made, but mythical definitions we have “made up” about the value of other people. We make up the pigments of race like a small child makes up imaginary friends.

We are more alike than we are different. It reminds me of the quotation from Major John Bell Hood – played by Levon Hill in In the Electric Mist: “Venal and evil men are destroying the world you were born in. It’s us against them my good friend. Don’t compromise your principles or abandon your cause.”

 I take that quotation as an upbeat approach to good. We all have the same ability, if we ignore the venal and evil of this world, to achieve great success as a person. Not as a people, but singular as a person — an individual. We can be an island of content and goodness if we recognize the piments. We share them with those who do not compromise their principles or abandon their individual goals. We travel this earth alongside them, recognizing the beauty of our basic sameness, while allowing us both to reach our uniqueness.

Spencer A. Allen

Adolescent Impeachment

It’s a hard read. This show trial business they are calling impeachment makes is hard to watch, understand and hear. But when you look at it from the point of view of the Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescent and what we know of the state of American education, it makes sense.

Let’s review. The Tri-A is an adult lifestyle, thinking and behavior model that shares all the characteristics of what we know about adolescence. We know that adolescence is a chaotic period in a teens life, but the Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescent is an adult locked in the mindset of a hot blooded, self-absorbed, hormonal teen. That mindset remains into adulthood but gets more complicated when the adult enter the working world, seeking positions where they can “change things” or “make a difference.” That’s when the adolescent tendency to choose almost every hill as the one they are willing to die on gets tedious. Everything they want becomes worthy of the ultimate sacrifice. That is just as long as they can have a Carmel Macchiato afterward and congratulate themselves.

Their side of the impeachment matter thinks they understand those very complex tools that change public opinion – but they are failing in their execution through poor selection of their prepared witnesses (Mini-Manchurian Candidates) who fail to support their hastily drawn and redrawn myth of what constitutes criminal behavior. The adolescent is the first to decide they can redefine things, like my son who decided at age 11 he was a teenager. His logic was that his age now had two numbers, making him a teen. It was just a minor change in interpretation of the rules. “But, but, it looks like a teenager!” (said with angst)

Another stand-out characteristic adolescent trait is the fear of being wrong and inability to accept criticism from those discussing their behavior. Much of what is displayed in the hearings is just that; fear. You see the “prosecution” side trying to find an identity for and a label for what they are doing when the rules do not really apply. There is an ongoing struggle to keep changing labels as the Tri-As seek an identity that works with their peers and supporters. Meanwhile, the adolescent belief that they can baffle us all into believing “their issues” are unique, never before solved and poorly understood by lesser minds. Therefore, actually creating out of thin air those issues has weighed heavily on the main aggressor, Mr. Schiff. Watching the collective minded cohort surrounding him, they become a folie à deux and appear to be apathetic to the madness. As he pounds his gavel in imperious fashion the worn out faux-trial tilts at windmill after windmill in search of a real crime. The Chairman’s chair becomes his own, Rozinante, as he tries to conquer what he sees as simple-minded opposition. It is like early adolescents who still have some idea that somewhere, in some special circumstance, they are special wield almost magical power. “I wear Sargon’s ring, fear me.”
On the other side of the argument there are a few trying to stop what looks like a hissy fit by a clique of Junior High girls who think they “know how.” Those few who do resist seem just as bombastic and oozing of misplaced enthusiasm. They play the role of an older group, somewhat adolescent itself but less collective in their thinking. The two argue over minor issues more because they dislike each other rather than something substantive. The only adults in the room who attempt to bring truth and reason to the situation are ignored. About half of the opposition group exhibit the same fear of criticism and sensitivity as the other. They hesitate to be truly involved for fear their behavior might cost them votes or fewer likes on social media. They certainly don’t want to discolor their self-constructed reality in which they are a sort of white knight, able to understand both sides of the discussion. They sound good, but like most adolescents they make decisions based on feelings and who is praising them. Both sides of the war-of-words, are like teens, tending to underestimate how difficult change and the complexity of things can be. They channel all things through the filter of “what will other people in my clique think?” The actual work they are supposed to be doing has been lost in a dust-devil of tears, hurt feelings and adolescent self-doubt aimed at proving themselves “right.”.

For the most part, the entire episode can be likened to a disagreement over the decoration of the gym for prom by two sides of a simple question that has been answered many times in the past through patience and understanding. This isn’t the first prom; we have fixed problems like this in the past easily and cooperatively. But this time, the aggressor, Mr. Schiff must lose. They act like children, but the adult solution was written long ago specifically to guide us in how to deal with these matters – we have rules. In this case, each side is seeking some Deus ex Machina that provides a third solution without either having to compromise. It’s emblematic of self-destructive Adult Arrested Adolescence. Gone is reason, humanity, kindness and humility.

[1] Folie à deux, shared psychosis, or shared delusional disorder is a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief and sometimes hallucinations are transmitted from one individual to another.

[1] :  Deus Ex Machina -A person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty

Read more at woodyedmiston.blog OBSB Authors

Random Thoughts

Avoid anyone who gives you advice starting with “All you have to do is . . because these people will cause you pain.

Occam’s Razor does not apply to conspiracy theories.

Love is what make’s two people think they are pretty even when no one else does.

Any person, having taken delivery of a dump truck load of 9 yards of earth — and being equipped with only a shovel and a wheelbarrow will have no problem with the suggestion aliens built the pyramids.

A Beginning

A couple of years ago, Looking Backward, Forward was published. I wrote the book and placed it on Amazon to copyright so to speak a concept.  It wasn’t ready. At the time, having a Website and Blog had not entered my radar; I had no idea what it could be.  This is the first in a blog series that is what that book should have been in the first place.

Looking Backward, Forward – the Blog

Some 40 percent of our culture contains adults who are locked into thinking characteristically like an adolescent child, a term coined as Adult Arrested Adolescent or Tri-A.  It is derived from my reading of Eric Hoffer’s book, The True Believer, thoughts on the nature of mass movements, (1951.) Hoffer was the first to give us definitions and an understanding of how mass movements work. Central to his concepts is the idea of the true believer. True believers see themselves as damaged. They instinctively look for a way to fix themselves by becoming part of something bigger and not always better. Being famous for crazy stuff is good enough. Ideas like Progressivism, Socialism, Catholicism, Christianity as a religion, Protestantism, and Islam also contain a large number of fanatics. Social Reformers like Barack Obama seek out these who mistakenly or foolishly see themselves as nonredeemable. They offer them glory by “hitching themselves” to their movements. To accomplish that ruse, Obama bastardized an idea of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s whose suggestion was for the individual to personally set high goals, “hitched to stars” rather than subsume themselves to lower expectations. To be fair, warrior chiefs, generals, and all other forms of totalitarians seeking cannon fodder have used the same spiel throughout history. From those ideas I began to look at them as seeds of a latter-day behavioral disorder I previously called Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescence.  Hoffer didn’t say a word about the Tri-A himself, my research following his line of thinking lead me to the Adult Arrested Adolescent.  

Utopian schemers have created the Tri-A to be the ideal follower to their causes.

Then as now, Hoffer showed us that Utopians are constantly trying to make their fiddling a needed control mechanism of mainstream American culture. If then the Tri-A concept takes that one step further, and they do line up very well, I contend it was not an accident. By manipulating the American school systems quietly and promoting politically correctness culturally Utopian schemers have created the Tri-A to be the ideal follower to their causes. On this topic I will be discussing the entire issue as if preparing a probable cause statement by an investigator. Developing the idea of cause is part of my background and training. Perhaps one day a psychological tool can be created to determine by a set of established standards if the Tri-A as a legitimate addition for the Desk Reference to Diagnostic Criteria. It may become a diagnosis like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Depression.

After WWII and the revelations of what fanaticism had done to millions in the world, Hoffer could study the direct cause and effect of manipulative governments and populist leaders.  Hoffer watched these activities as they occurred during the 1930’s through the 1950’s.  He then compared them in The True Believer to ideas that are more ancient and the words of commentators who spoke on similar eternal truths of those periods.  What he taught us has passed the test of time.  Hoffer understood mass movements because he immersed himself in the topic. Since 2006 I have spent hundreds of hours studying the Tri-A.   For the last three decades since first reading his book, I have applied his ideas to what has happened in America.  Since the lure of Utopian ideas and political movements are highly attractive to the person who feels he is damaged and incomplete they are interested in changing things.  Change — without any further definition has become a war cry for Progressive partisans trying to recruit those who seek to reinvent themselves. The same partisan evangelists promise that change will make the damaged person whole but offer only fairness, equality, and promises of creating new legislation.  Each evangelist hopes that their one great effort will guarantee equality and fairness.  They tell every listener the solution is to promote the concept of centralization of all matters to the highest authority.  The first problem with all their solutions is that fairness and equality are concepts that work between individuals.  A third party, unless it is a judge deciding a fact of law, is a poor choice to determine fairness for others. So is a judge, but that’s how we set it up in the legal system. Fair solutions cannot be enforced by a top-down structure that comes from an overeager government.  As far as centralization and dictation from government on the outcome of things is concerned – why do we think people in government know better?  The kids of my heyday would have said, “Who died and made you king?”  Secondly, teaching that there is an ultimate authority to which all disputes can be referred does not teach self-reliance and the ability to negotiate with your friends and neighbors.  In early civilizations, the elders of more organized societies met at the city gate to act as judges in disputes.  It is an ancient method.  But involving the police or courts in your affairs speaks of weakness of character and that you cannot reach a constructive agreement.  At that point, the only thing left is to recover damages from whatever the elements of the dispute show are called for. Letting others decide how to live your life is like shooting nuclear warheads.   A real rocket scientist who worked in the intercontinental missile program told me, “No matter what happens, if we use these things; we lose.”  To teach children that they cannot get through life without handouts or help from the “boss” is to teach them to be peasants.  We lose. Have you not asked yourself if there is something more serious going on when grown people have no understanding of things taught in high school.  They cannot understand or construct simple sentences or grasp more complex issues like cause and effect?   Were you slightly amused at the number of people who went to psychiatrists because their candidate lost the election in 2016?  Do the people who serve you, work for you, sit next to you at a ball game sometimes amaze you with their childish view of things?  Do you wonder how they arrive at concepts like, “Drug free zones” or “Safe Spaces” since those are hopelessly childish views of how social control works?  That is the point.  They are not just acting like kids; they really are still adolescents behaviorally. They let others tell them how to live and so nor understand why it does not always work out in their favor, interpreting fair and equal as “The way I want it to be.”  

In later posts I will continue to layer evidence that will point to the validity of the Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescent. Follow us and leave your email so we may keep you updated. WDE

Mistakes

Today’s blog is by Spencer A. Allen

So much of life is about mistakes. It was once a problem of enormous importance to never make a mistake, thereby never revealing the depth of my ignorance. I took to heart Lincoln’s warning: “Remain silent and be thought a fool or speak out and remove all doubt.”  In my mind, the the likelihood that revelation was more likely than not.

But the only way we learn is to make mistakes and repair them. Even when we receive training on some discipline, then actually doing them poorly is first required before we become accomplished.  School kids, like I was, often get the idea it is not safe to make mistakes.  I tell those I teach the reason they are in school is because it is a safe space to make mistakes and try not to react badly when they do.  Many instructors fail to support the idea of a safe mistake place by overreacting to minor spills, slow trips to the restroom, or failing to recharge computers.

We send our athletes to specialized training camps our dancers and cheerleaders to places where they can accel, but that is all about excellence.  How about the rest of us who need to learn from our mistakes to become competent – especially those whose parents can’t afford dance or training camp. 

Kids are loud. Adults sometimes find that annoying, kids get into scuffles, adults get very emotional about potential injury. But locking down the education process to the point of regimented 50-minute classes where students complete 10 or 20 multiple choice questions by reading several pages in a book.  They don’t get to stretch their imaginations or time to complete more complex or in-depth study.

Maybe high school should adopt the college model. Two-hour classes and one and a half hour classes on alternating days.  Let them find something that brings them joy – not be crammed full of facts in preparation for a test. That will keep statisticians busy appeasing state legislators with tests results that tell us nothing about learning.

Thanks for reading, Spence Allen (SAllen@woodyedmiston.blog)

High School

Senior year. A final year of learning supposed to get us ready to enter life as an employable person, able to cope with others and make some contribution to society. Or something like that.
Have you ever noticed in this over psychoanalyzed society how often those four years of high school enter into our adult lives. For instance, movies include all kinds of high school events that spill over into adult behavior and cause by all sorts of bad things. Serial killers; dissed as kids for their disabilities, their weakness or poverty become murderous. Shy teens decide that attempting to better themselves is impossible because they are of the wrong “caste.” Carrie, of course is one of the more calamitous. In how many Criminal Minds and SVU episodes have the high school victims becoming the adult bullies. Former high school heartthrobs are dead at the hands of this person who has become a predator?
Even Hallmark Romances are heavily sprinkled with stories of high school sweethearts who are reunited. They are popular. They feed upon the regret of an audience who all wish some lost love would have worked out.
But twenty years later, many of us are still reacting to today’s events based on what happened to us in High School. We still see ourselves as outside the “cool kids” group. We are afraid to talk to a co-worker because he or she is too pretty. Worst, we refuse to talk to co-workers because we think we are too pretty. Alternatively, we live on those high school memories of long-ago football or Class Favorite successes without every accomplishing much more. High School is a place to make mistakes. It’s not a launching ground that defines who we will be in the future. It’s just supposed to educate us at the lowest level. We should never stop learning and we don’t need school to do it. We never finish learning, and that is the successful way to approach life. We must not have college to succeed, but we must keep learning. Never before has this been easier. Learn something today, it will do you good.

Swimming in the Ocean

Your potential of having a life full of accomplishment is your ability to be comfortable with uncertainty.

Arlington J. North

Why do we ignore the risks while blithely swimming in an ocean full of man-eating creatures? Those who are close to the seashore almost completely ignore that risk unless sightings are posted. There is some uncertainty in that – but not a lot — attacks are one in 11 million. But people do get attacked and killed.

Many more are afraid to fly although there is a one in five million chance of dying from it. Walking down the street is 1 in 400. We hop in our cars to just go for a drive when the chance is 1 in 103 of it killing us. But our fears and uncertainties paralyze some of us over the more mundane unfamiliarities.

The uncertainty of going to college in another town; taking a job in a state where you have never visited, much less lived; these are things many of us face. College in another state, hum? It is comfortable, and certainly cheaper, to go to a local community college. Where you live may have a very low cost of living, parents, friends and all sorts of things like that. Those things are real and sometimes limiting. You cope.

But It is a little sad to watch fear of risk stop talented people.

 But human beings have a need for a sense of awe and it is important that we tap into it. We look at the stars and wonder what they mean; why do we find them fascinating? Nature constantly amazes us, and we wonder how it all works. What makes it do those things that give us awe. It is their uncertainty that causes awe in the stars and nature and in other people. Every human has a need to be awed and when we are, we are better for it.

 Young people, strong and capable should try as many new things as possible. I don’t mean just teens; I mean young strong healthy people. One day you are going to be old and your biggest regret will be not taking a chance at being awe; of learning other things.

You don’t know what you don’t know. When you take that chance to be awed, to see the other side of the mountain, to plumb the depths of the ocrean; you will be awed by what you did not know. Take a chance don’t be reckless, but start small, get our adventure legs under you. Then GO!