Sun Tzu

Change Whatever You Like

We live in a world in which a small number of people make decisions that affect everyone around them, and there seems to be little or no recourse when these decisions fail to do what is proper, right, or fair. The failures can be innocent, accidental, or corrupt but regardless, their consequences have significant long term impact.

This problem is magnified when the unaccountable decision makers are at the top of a hierarchical system of governance which is accepted as the unquestioned norm and people acquiesce to their roles as decision makers. The problem is much of our system does not work right and schools and colleges are not teaching people how to take full control of their own lives and not hand over control to anyone else without a proper system of checks and balances. For anyone to let the world to be come so imbalanced that a tiny percentage of the people control the majority of the wealth in the world tells you how broken doing so can become

This concentration of wealth and power enables a minority to manipulate the law and protection of individual rights. As one example, there should be no question in anyone's mind at this time that
manipulating the law to serve a partisan purpose is what is occurring in the battle over the selection of judges to the Supreme Court. The law should have as its aim the production of justice, failing that it has little authority other than as a tool of repression.

Even so, the founders ensured the public had the final say on the law. The fact that you do not know that and when studying it you see there are repeated and continual attempts to deny you that power tells you all you need to know about a minority trying to rig the system.

Preparing students to get a job and be compliant in a broken system is not taking care of them, it is making them victims and preventing them from fixing things in the future. Ideas on how to do that are below. I will back it up with links and facts explaining in far greater detail as soon as I can.

Most of the systems we live by have been manipulated to benefit and protect a limited number of people in society rather than everyone, a charge which is really easy to show. To be fair, if anyone can give themselves a permanent pension and protection against changing what works for their benefit, why not do so? It’s easy to blame the public for having too many children and for personal failures accounting for their lot in life, and I suppose a case could be made for the argument.

The solution is not to write everyone off, live in gated communities and only associate with others like you, which the wealthy and privileged can do. Rather we need to try to solve the problems, create infrastructure for people to help themselves, and identify the things that are manipulated and broken to reinforce the status quo and protect a limited number of people.

America is one of the greatest experiments in self-government ever created. But, as an open system it is easy to game, and when it is gamed, if the people who are supposed to police it, the citizens, are too busy trusting people and living by faith, things get screwed up pretty fast. 

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., a past president of IBM made the point clearly “People don't do what you expect but what you inspect.

We all went through a helpless stage in our lives where others had to look after us continually. Eventually however, we are supposed to be capable of looking after ourselves, which means we have to take responsibility for doing so. That does not mean handing off responsibility for our futures for someone else to make decisions for us and hope they do the right thing. 

Some of us are brought up with the idea that there is a great Superhero in the heavens that is so perfect merely trying to describe them is impossible. However I would like to point out that the Perfect One sure as hell does not know how to hire people. If the Catholic Church is evidence of the hires, then the Perfect One must have gone on an extended holiday while the elves of evil are diddling their parishioners' kids, each other, covering it up, and robbing the collection plates. 

Make note of the fact these scumbags attacked your children and hid it from you while you were living by faith. Look at how the upper ranks of the Catholic Church live, and compare them to the biblical representation of the disciples or Mother Theresa and what you see is an extremely profitable business providing its top executives with privileged amenities, protection from criticism, and their own private jail if they are exposed, and the substitution of repentance with attacks on whistleblowers. It was the Attorney General who outed these guys after victims came forward.  Not a chance any God has anything to do with this bunch.  I think they are supposed to go into solitude and think on their sins or something.  If that works, El Chapo should get a room at the Hilton with room service, but he can't use the pool or eat in the restaurant.   

Start By Taking Full Control of You

  1. WE LEARN TO ACT BEFORE WE LEARN TO THINK, out of necessity.  We are born completely helpless and over the next 7 to 10 years we need constant care and attention.  Our lives are fully controlled for our own protection.  Over time we grow somewhat less dependent, but for the most part what we do and how we act is controlled by our parent(s) or caregivers. That influence could extend up until we leave home. (1)

  2. Our food, clothes, shelter, where we live, who our neighbors and friends are, the schools we go to, our sisters and brothers, are all in place without our choice or involvement.  Those decisions are made by someone else. All of them directly influence our actions.  We interact with our surroundings, and our behavior is formed by doing so.

  3. Over time the things we do repeatedly become habits.

  4. Our habits are who we are.

  5. Our friends and family know us by our habitual behavior, and as long as we behave the way we always have, things run smoothly.  Same for us when living with their behavior.

  6. Our habits are reinforced by everything around us, our friends, family, schools, our socializing.

  7. Our established habits are controlled by an internal shock mechanism.  Think of swallowing some electrical device that shocks our stomachs and tightens our chest when things go wrong.

  8. Our habits become so strongly established, our thinking adjusts to support what we do habitually. We effectively learn to think because of the way we have been trained, brought up, socialized or conditioned to act.

  9. Later, when we might qualify to go to college, external factors impact if we go and where we go.

  10. And when we get there, we have a choice of courses to take, but we had nothing to do with designing the course or who teaches them.  Someone else decided what is being taught and what it takes to graduate. We can pick the course but we have no idea if the course or the people teaching it know what they are talking about.  Given the fact that supposedly 200 people control most of the wealth in the world I would guess somebody is full of it.

  11. Then, like little kids, we go begging for a job. Or, if we are really confident, we “apply” and make sure our resume looks good.  Again, we do not create our own job, invent our own industry or profession, someone else does, we just join the parade.

  12. At this point it should be fairly obvious that we are kind of running on behavior or habit tracks someone else laid down and we get to follow them.

    Rapidly Changing Behavior, Our Actions, Without Thinking

  13. We can go from being a nice person to a killer, murderer, torturer, or believer in any BS we are told in just a matter of months.  The army has been rapidly changing millions of people for many years.  Anyone who tells you that is not the case is simply lying or trying to mislead you. Why would they want to do that? Think about it very carefully.

  14. And if you are told that this is completely untrue, then did you start the phony Iraq war and torture and murder millions of innocent people?  Did you start the Vietnam War that killed millions of innocent people? Or, did someone program your behavior and you simply followed orders?

  15. The army does not ask your permission to change you.  They just do it.

  16. They don’t ask you where you would like to live, do you want blue walls, what color of khakis do you want, do you want your boots made in Italy, would you like to have some nice thick gold chains around your neck, how do you like your hair cut, what time you would like to get up, do you have any preference in television shows, do you like steak or pasta, and how do you feel about getting in better shape.  Get it.  No vote, no opinion, no thinking, no decisions, just do it. They replace key elements of your behavior with new behavior. 

  17. So change does not have to be about permission, in fact it becomes somewhat harder when your mind is involved.

    Understanding What Keeps Us Doing the Same Old Things So We Can Fix It

  18. When our habits are built up, the shock mechanism is fully embedded in our gut. And the shock mechanism is designed to keep us doing the same old thing.  If we move too fast or too slow it gives us a kick in the gut shock.  Slow and steady does it.

  19. This process has developed in our bodies and minds over tens of thousands of years.  It does not ask our permission.  If you did not have that mechanism you would be in trouble.  To prove it, if you can drive a car, drink one gallon of water fast, eat a package of Exlax, get in your car and drive 150 miles on an interstate with no rest stops and listen to an audio book while you are driving.  The test is what you remember of the contents of the audio book when trying to drive and not crap your pants or wet yourself. 

  20. Better to let all of the internal processes run on full automatic.

  21. The problem is when everything is on full automatic, you lose a lot of control.

  22. Now here is the important part. Any change in your life you try to make is regulated by the automatically triggered shock mechanism. The process is called homeostasis and is triggered by stress.  The triggering event is called a stressor. It is a physical and mental process (physiological process) that operates below your level of normal awareness that maintains the status quo.  It keeps the habits you have going.  Great if your habits are good, bad if the habits need to change a lot.

  23. Just so you do not mislead yourself and think stress means bad things, look at these two tables, the first is the Holmes-Raye Life Stress Inventory.  A significant number of items are really positive, the issue is simply one of the change of state, behavior, equilibrium, habit or whatever you want to call it.  Changing anything is the problem.  The second table is from the Federal Occupational Health Table which lists Common Signs & Signals of a Stress Reaction.  It list 75 types of response triggered by stress in 4 categories.  You might sweat, your heart could beat faster, you get tired, your mother whines, your spouse cries, you fall asleep.  Who would have thought trying to change your habits could cause some of the reactions cited in the Federal Occupational Health link? Its actually funny in a way, especially when you think of the good things happening and the anti-change shocker kicks in.

  24. Anybody that has served in the military will know homeostasis kicks in at training until your habits change.  The military training and discipline are the mechanisms to counter this behavior to change it. 

  25. It does not take long, and you are kept too busy doing what you are told to do to think much about it. Part of the process is building up camaraderie with the other people in the group experiencing homeostasis like you do and encouraging each other to keep going.  That is a key to remember this when you are no longer serving and working with others to make change happen in civilian life. Work with others, a buddy system.

  26. Another thing to remember is the fact that the military does not let you get confused about why you are there. Imagine joining the military and being told George Bush is war mongering a**hole who wants to start a phony war in Iraq so he and his buddy Cheney can arrange for their friends in the oil business and Halliburton to steal the Iraqis’ oil and the country’s money. All of which is true and documented. But then the army’s position is you are supposed to shut the heck up and obey orders because you get a wage, three squares, free dental, a weight loss program, the chance to shoot some Arabs enemy flavors of the month and if you get killed you will get a nice burial and a flag, and if not, you could get seats at a football game and people cheering for you. If you knew all of that up front I doubt they could sell it. That is, unless you need the job badly and could care less as long as you get paid. 

  27. Moving on, one of the tools to control homeostasis is a clear idea of what you are doing, and recognizing it when it starts shocking your butt off.  Think about having your teeth drilled until you get used to it and it no longer bugs you.  Eventually the old habit is replaced with a new one, but this time it’s of your choosing. Get a buddy for change.  Think spotter, coach or workout partner, or even a larger group.  Recognize one important thing and think about it.  Your comfort zone, your habitual environment is not just you but also the people around you.  Think of some dramatic way their being a different person would make you not want to be around them and you will understand the leveling effect of the group habit. Military change works partly because the behavioral influence of your surrounding circle of friends and family is gone.  When you keep going back into those old comfort circles it is like taking up a habit you want to get rid of.  When you see someone you have not seen for a long time, do you see the new person they are now, or the old person in your memory?  Which do you think would be easier to be comfortable with?

  28. The last thing is, once you know how to take control of all of it without the homeostatic shocks, what are you going to do with your new found skill?

  29. You have to figure that out.  I would like to suggest anything you want, just treat others like you want to be treated and start fixing the world while you are at it. It’s yours to do so, and the few thousand idiots who have had the game to themselves for a long time really have no power at all if you really get serious about taking things back. Remember, money is one weapon of choice, yours and anybody who understands the game like you do.  That and voting.
About your potential future. Little kids about 2 to 5 are a like picture window to the universe, until we screw them up.  The have no color, race, religion or bias and just do things.  They are what they imagine themselves to be and have no need to be consistent.

If a child wants to be a space person, a great chef, at the moment they think they are, they are.  If you want to be a critic, you can say oh, they are a lousy chef, they don’t know how to measure, blah, blah.  But everything you say is simply about missing training, the first step is being that person now. It takes a while to learn how to learn, but trial and error is part of the process. Find something that inspires and motivates you and pursue it.

"Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it, no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works.

If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it." - Richard Feynman

When You Control You (Updated)

You have to learn and understand what is going on and how things work so that you can do something about it. The enemies of the people make that easy.  The four five six most powerful weapons you have in changing the world around you are: