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California, USA
Serve the Creator; pursue truth, excellence, and the good of each and all.
Interests: Space, aerospace, aviation, music, media, philosophy, metaphysics, religion, science, physics, technology, chemistry, radiochemistry, nuclear, self-improvement, autosuggestion, leadership, business, personal finance, personal computing, consumer electronics, military technology, science fiction, automotive, Top Gear, parenting, psychology, education, classics, reading, history, strategy, tactics, games, gaming
Recent Activity
I appreciate very much the way in which you clearly identify trends and problems with simple facts and ideas. I can't cite this, but I remember a quote: "An expert is someone who explains something simple in a confusing way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your fault."
I am back (RLI; netspeak for Real Life Issues). This article is stellar in its content and implications, another pupil-dilating eye-opener. 'The Anatomy of Peace' is a book I recently finished that gives an engrossing narrative on one of the thorniest problems in human development and relations; self-deception, and how it aggravates and perpetuates conflict between people and nations alike and how to stop it. It's one of those books I wish I had been ready to read much sooner. --- I'd like to point out two things. First is the graph. Before the foreground, notice the dark bands and the note at the bottom of the graph. Those bands indicate recessionary trends. They seem suprisingly regular in width and frequency; there is an interesting pattern to their arrangement. There is also a pattern to the graph itself. The rise in consumer debt as measured by the Federal Reserve is startingly simple; it almost exactly follows a simple algebra formula for exponential growth. Facing these two observations, it is difficult to escape concluding that our economy is going the direction it is =purposefully and by design=, not by chance or accident. And yet everyday experience indicates no rhyme or reason to the events that move money through our country. "Could somebody tell me what's going on?, I can't see through this thick wool covering my face." - The other is a point that would be easy to overlook, but the two are powerfully connected. The shift from phonetics to sight-reading is a subtle but powerful one. [Another one is described by C.S. Lewis in "The Abolition of Man", ch. 1]. I saw it as a shift from word construction to word memorization. I learned words in terms of prefix-root-suffix, and that a word could not escape from the meaning and denotation of its root. I never suspected that it could so deeply affect the overall quality of thought in a person or a culture. And yet I observe it is being taken a step further. Technology and social science are permitting a further shift in western culture, away from words altogether towards the use of -yes, right in front of our faces- ICONS. An icon used to be a cultural concept, but its original meaning is in fact linguistic. Icons represent =pictures=, where words represent =concepts=. The difference is painstakingly laid out in a book titled 'Thinking with Concepts', but any leader-reader will grasp the 'concept' fairly quickly; the difference between thinking using ideas and thinking using mental pictures. Today we find icons everywhere; most noticably in digital technology (computers, phones & tablets, service kiosks), yet also we find them in instruction manuals, on packing labels, and even road signs. While well and good in themselves, pictures used for abbreviation and convenience cannot convey the deep, great thoughts of the past. You are quite right that real, thoughtful leadership (accompanied by real, thoughtful reading) is the only way to avert this trend and the full measure of its consequences. Lead on! Reverse the flow of ideas.
Some important and useful insights on the connection between our thinking and our quality of life. Great information. I remember Curtis Spolar telling a story about whitewater rafting, and what happens if the raft capsizes (flips over, for you non-nauticals). Anyone caught underneath the raft is said to "be in the Blue Room." There is a big problem with the Blue Room; it feels safe; it is dimly, warmly lit, and the surface water is mostly calm, but in point of fact it is the most dangerous place to be in rapid water, because anyone in the Blue Room cannot see or respond to dangers such as jagged or outcropping rocks, or whirlpool or undertow currents. The bombardment of entertainment media and giant news conglomerates [see Orrin Woodward's blog, ( , title Manufactured Consent] have put most of our culture in the Blue Room, blithely unaware of the dangers they are hurtling toward. Speaking of neighborhoods, I was reminded of a song from decades ago, and it talked about cookie-cutter neighborhoods and cookie-cutter lifestyles. The refrain went, "and they're all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same." What I find curious about demographics today is that, since the 1940s, my perception is that population centers have been becoming more populated, and open rural areas are becoming somewhat less populated. Yet if one figures the total population of the United States against its total land area, there is enough land for each individual human being in the continental U.S. to own a full acre, with 2/3rds of the area left over. It is as if Alexander Hamilton's vision of centralized wealth and production is materializing like iron filings around a magnet. The only answer I can give is that a financially insolvent population is being compelled to congregate around applications of capital: The wealthy investors decide where to put money and what to do with it, and the masses, lacking their own means of production, follow behind them looking for their living. And responding to Kevin Park's comment, that is an uncomfortably sharp point. 'Credit' is really financial credibility, and many people's and nation's credit has been stretched to the utmost limit. What has been done with easy consumer credit is that honest, simple, nonviolent people have been deceived into bargaining their good name away for ease and prosperity. Character and trust are the currency of leadership, and at some point the bill comes due. LIFE Leadership is a truly remarkable project, spearheaded by many brave, thoughtful, compassionate, and perceptive leaders. The founders of LIFE have made it their mission to get people out of the Blue Room and safely to calm shores. And behind them trails a mighty wake.
After reading the comments, and agreeing with so many, I'd have to say that this article is a home run. It lines up beautifully with what Orrin likes to say; 'Failure isn't what holds most people back from their dreams; it's broken focus.' And after reflecting on the meaning of this article and the reactions and responses it induced, I felt it was necessary and helpful to say a little more. After reflection, I realized that focus is a wholly internal matter - it is a state of mental perception. And our emotions, which acutely affect our focus, are not just reactions to our environment, but to ourselves and how our actions and values either align or disjoint. If 'pain is an indicator that something must change', then emotional pain is an indication that something WITHIN US must change; either our values are skewed, or we are simply not implementing them in our lives appropriately. A remarkable set of insights, and very helpful. Thanks very much.
If this were Google I'd +1 that. Awesome and helpful.
For once, all I have to say is: ditto.
What important ideas and systems are in these programs; they are so compassionate and frugal, seeing that nothing - and no one - is overstretched or undervalued. And beyond all this, an 'armored car' version is being developed to strike at the root of a worldwide evil. This is just touching. I love seeing what happens when big hearts, deep pockets, and high principles all come together. Isaiah 61:1,3,7
What a great story and a wonderful and well-thought application of time, energy, and funds. It's like a big-box supply chain for charity goods. Another instance of God showing us that the church is made from invisible bonds, not visible buildings. Isaiah 43:19.
George, I think you've hit the bulls-eye with this article, and I could hardly add anything to it to enhance its impact. The problems that past generations have solved will only stay solved if we understand our history; what the problems were, how they were addressed, and what features in society gov't. or any local community keep those issues from rising again. And I'm with you 500% about the Supreme Court. It is little wonder that the process of appointing new justices to this country's 'final bench' has become a battlefield, with each new empty seat sparking its own little war. These problems in our gov'ts. won't get fixed until we fix our own lives and help our fellow national and world citizens do the same. And that is exactly what the LIFE Leadership company exists to do. I absolutely love these comments; I find many of them memorable and quotable. As one of my sci-fi heroes put it; "It's about the future, madam Chancellor. Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven't run out of history yet."
This is a great heads-up. All the data and information that technology can provide isn't worth much without an objective to measure it against. The question 'what are we doing' doesn't have much meaning unless we put it up to the template of what we want or ought to do. And the emphasis on focus is a great reminder, especially in the postmodern world where, as Seth Godin says "...attention is a scarce resource." "...everything and everyone is competing for and demanding your attention, and you have to decide who gets how much." You bring up the 'Track and Save' subscription, and it informs on just how powerful continuous analysis and feedback is. There are today wearable personal electronic devices that can measure pulse, respiration rate, resting muscle tension, muscle exertion, distance walked, and even gauge calories expended. In the 1970s and 1980s, professional and Olympic athletes would invest tens of thousands of dollars -=per session=- on the same kind of scientifically recorded performance data, and now it is for sale to anyone with a smartphone; spend in the neighborhood of $100 for the ability to have 24/7 fitness data collection, analysis, and summary. There is even a company that makes a sensor that can be attatched to a baseball bat, golf glove, or tennis racquet, that can measure and record the wearer's swing, and submit it to analytic algorithms to show how and where improvement can be made! My point is simple; if this kind of analysis is so important for our fitness, how much more important and useful can it be to improve our finances?!
This really gets to the heart of the problem (yes, there's a double meaning there) of the corrosion and erosion of our freedoms in North America. You actually identified the stages in reverse order. Illiteracy, which is the inability to learn, not read, according to Alvin Toffler. Following illiteracy is ignorance; of history specifically, but ignorance in general of the principles that operate in the world and the knowledge and skills that gives one power in their intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual life. Ignorance requires the formation of government policies so that the public at large do not become a danger to the government or themselves. Oliver DeMille once said that "...if ignorance becomes real bad then we actually become the dumb masses who need government and institutions to shepherd and protect us." Following gov't. policy is propaganda to make the choices of gov't. socially acceptable, hence the use of media to sway and control public opinion. Finally, the use of educational institutions to indoctrinate the next generation into accepting the established order. Uncomfortably, I see each of these stages materializing today. Without any research, driving by schools and hearing not the mechanical bells that I was used to, but an electronic tone that sounds unnervingly similar to a police or disaster siren. 'Why the change?', I asked myself, 'What was wrong with a bell?' Then when I made the connection, I was morally horrified. It's happening here, now, in our schools and in our living rooms. I read Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 almost twenty years ago, and I would like to make one thing absolutely clear: I SEE THAT WORLD BEING CREATED IN OUR TIME, RIGHT NOW. The journalists and editors and officials are telling us to 'just accept it, that's the way it is.' But others were told that: Patrick Henry was told that. So was John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Martin Luther, Copernicus and Galileo, Thomas Edison and Nicolai Tesla, Dr. Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and many others were all told to accept the status quo. But they didn't listen, and the world has been the better for their deafness to popular opinion. And now here we are. We are in possibly the most enabled, enlightened, empowered society that has ever dwelt the earth. The television and the smartphone are two incredibly powerful tools for shaping and programming the human mind. Will we plug in to the wavelength of popular opinion and blend in to society? Or will we 'pull the plug' and use these tools to program ourselves? Will we listen to the -kosmos-, the world system, or will we choose to be deaf to it, and listen to our dreams instead? "You take the blue pill... You take the red pill..."
That was great, George. Like Dave, I saved it for future reference. There's a lot of meat in this one. Hungry for more!
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2015 on LEADERS REFRAME at George Guzzardo - LIFE Leadership
Wham. Like so many others I am amazed and excited about how differently you present familiar concepts. Unfortuntately 'pyramid' is one of those words that gets so overused that it loses its intellectual content and simply becomes a carrier for emotion, which is also known as a 'buzzword.' And I despise buzzwords. Not the words that actually mean something, but using a word that is emotionally charged just to project a certain emotion or energy about or onto something. When something is 'labelled' with a 'buzzword', someone is simply trying to plaster their established feelings onto the subject and sidestep the rational process. When someone uses the term 'pyramid' but can't explain it, they're not trying to mount an argument: on the contrary, they're trying to -AVOID- argument because they are probably in a situation that they know isn't in their or their family's best interests, but they would rather justify not changing than put in the effort to build a better future. OR: Someone uses buzzwords because they want to create a certain emotional climate and forward an agenda that they don't want talked about or debated. Either way, buzzwords are anti-educational and anti-leadership because they don't contribute to a rational thought process, but tend to undermine it. It is one more way our EQ and WQ (Will Quotient) get tested and strengthened. And I just love the quotation of Pres. T. Roosevelt: 'safety first'! When I first started hearing that growing up I rapidly grew to loathe the phrase and the teaching behind it. It makes no sense to me that we live in a world shaped by scientists and adventurers/explorers, who took risks to produce many of the modern conveniences we enjoy today, and people are teaching their children in homes and schools to put 'safety first.' Please don't misunderstand, I don't want safety last. In fact putting safety in the top 5 priorities of education I fell is a positive move. But putting it 'first'? To lift a line from one of my most treasured Sci-Fi serials (fans will recognize this): "It's not safe out here. It's wondrous; with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross... but it's not for the timid."
I love the comments on this article as well as the primary text; it goes in so many different directions and the thoughts I have read are inspiring and provocative. I'd just like to, at the risk of tempering the spirit of the writer, refer to a piece of media that impressed itself on me many years ago. A movie known as The Neverending Story starts as a harmless fantasy in a book, but then the viewer's perspective is shifted to see the book's plot as a real one. The main character confronts a monstrous nemesis that has been hunting him, and is revealed as "the servant of the Power behind the Nothing." He explains that "people without dreams, are easy to control; and he who has the control, has the power." So it should not be surprising or strange that at this stage dreaming itself is being assaulted and stunted by a flood of trite tripe and shallow entertainment: For if we dream, if we dare to imagine, and think, and start to shape our own thinking, our own lives, and begin to write our own futures for ourselves, the aims of those who seek to empower themselves at the expense of others are suddenly put under fire.
I remember what Seth Godin was teaching some years ago about the new information-driven age; that attention itself, mental focus, was a resource, and an extremely scarce one compared to all the media it could be directed at. I compare this to George Guzzardo's article on media and finance: “In reality, propaganda cannot exist without mass media. ... Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life.” -Jacques Ellul, 'Propaganda' One engineer friend of mine put it this way; 'You have to be smarter than your equipment.' For some of us, that is a tall order indeed, and it begs the question of who is the user and who is the tool.
"It's like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, technology style." Wow. Nailed it. We can't be 'us' when we're being manipulated by media technology, and smartphones are the most ubiquitous form of it. 'Who was that smartphone-masked man?' '...the world may never know...'
First off, I'd like to say that I'm pleased as peppered, parsleyed pasta that WordPress now properly interlinks with Typepad, so my handle has changed a bit b/c I'm now signing in using WordPress instead of Google accounts (that support has been ended by Google). Now, to the article. ' “If work were so great, the rich would have hogged it long ago.” It’s time to invest back into ourselves with a liberal education,... ' Absolutely. This is a fantastic article, and I want to go in so many different directions with it. But when I see what has been said, in both the article and the comments, about clandestine forces duping the masses and siphoning off the value they add into society without any fair exchange, I am reminded of two things. One, to continue the 'Matrix' analogy, is Morpheus saying "free your mind." The other is an equation of ideas given by top economist Paul Zane Pilzer: Resources x Innovation => Wealth I rephrase this equation to read; Matter x Information => Value Essentially, value is created when material stuff (mass and/or energy, in line with Einstein's notion) is organized according to an intelligent pattern. People do this every day when they are productive in their employment, in their families, in civil or military service, or in personal hobbies. The information is what shapes WHAT KIND OF VALUE is embodied by the finished product, not just value in terms of dollars. Having said that, and said it carefully, let us look at the Financial Matrix in light of this idea. What information does it use? It uses techniques not to inform and empower, but to manipulate and subjugate others. It relies on ignorant and compulsive behavior, a near opposite to what education, liberty, and leadership produce. What material does it use? It does not use raw materials, but the finished products of civilization; money, law, commerce, and human desire. It is a system that does not create value, but rather extracts value from those who produce it and appropriates it for those who created the system. The Financial Matrix is nothing short of a parasite that feeds off of a healthy civilization. What is to be done about this? We cannot use the products of civilization alone to correct this condition; instead we must arm ourselves with information. The Matrix as a system relies on uninformed and desire-driven behavior; therefore, the more informed, convicted, and resolved we each and all become, the less power the system will have. If enough of civilization resists its operation, it will struggle, it will fight, and then it will finally starve and fall off, like a poisoned leech. The answer is information, and the courage and will to use it. The answer is in liberty: Knowledge gives rise to the freedom to choose, which in turn yields the freedom to act. LIFE Leadership has some of the most insightful and effective information on financial awareness and skills, and its all available in a few packages. Look it up if you haven't already. It is changing lives and bank accounts day after day, year after year. It is how we turn the tide and populate civilization with our own values, rather than the values of those who use civilization and its honest citizens as a source of unearned wealth. The answer is, as Morpheus put it, to "free your mind."
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Apr 30, 2015