Monday, January 02, 2006

Understanding Change

Not surprisingly, defenders of the status quo will try to convince us that humans, human nature, and nothing can ever change -- rather than that change is the first order of business for all life and living things, what life is all about -- and to try to deny that, resist that, is the deteriorating force of life, in trying to maintain an unvarying permanence in the swiftly flowing river of life.

The basic unit of change is not even slow, steady, linear change along a continuum of predictability -- but rather, the quantum leap. That is the instantaneous moment of change that releases tremendous energy, power and momentum -- which is the language of change, movement, dynamism. Change is movement -- which the metaphors of sports, conditioning and exercise, lend themselves so readily to -- with the central organizing purpose of success and improvement being the easily understood objectives and measurement.

Those ends have to change in order for there to be significant talk of “change,” and not the rationalization that the more things change, the more they stay the same, which is the mantra of the defeatism of the status quo. They’ll agree to any change -- as long as everything stays the same, which is of course, no change. This kind of self-delusion makes one vulnerable to all manner of deceptions -- because if one buys into the notion that change means no change, or should take much time before it can be detected, then it is quite possible and easy, to convince them that something that does no good, is very good indeed, and maybe the best that ever has been and is possible!

In such a culture of deception, it’s always been that way and always will be that way -- and that is why we have to do it that way, with the predictable no change, and no success or improvement. That is the language and culture of the dead, dying and despair -- and not the living, and so “culture” are the rituals of the past reaffirmed by the present -- rather than a living culture of successful, evolving adaptations being created and shared momentarily as the living.

One sees these cultures in every organization and activity in human society. These people just mindlessly go through the motions hoping for a different result -- and not realizing that the results, are in some way connected to what they are doing, or not doing. This is the prescientific consciousness of the world -- that exists in pockets of subcultures alongside prevailing cultures and actions that actually make a difference, are vital, evolving, really progressing.

Most people experience dead culture as the popular culture of common notions, myths and fallacies -- propagated by the rearguard institutions of the media, schools and universities.. Meanwhile, on the leading edge of these deceptions, common notions and ignorance, individuals are discovering and testing what actually works, not simply satisfied with more elaborate and convoluted explanations of why things aren’t working -- as though that was some kind of knowledge worth knowing.


At January 03, 2006 10:45 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The real measure of change is not whether the governor changes or the lawmakers change, but ultimately whether the people, culture and ideas change. The biggest change would be for every citizen to feel empowered so they could make a difference from whatever station in life they're in, instead of as in the past, feeling that only the leader could make any changes or a difference. And I think that has changed more than the laws and the government with the Lingle/Aiona administration -- because the meaning and purpose of this society is to create a more perfect society -- and not just create better and more government, or as a few even think, that the objective of government in Hawaii is to create more high-paying jobs for government workers.

In that way, we have government of, by and for, government workers, rather than of, by and for the people at large. The fact of the matter is that everybody can’t, and feel entitled to 2-3 times the median income -- with guaranteed job security. High wages are partly a premium for job insecurity. However, one can work to obtain the median income for everyone as a realistic objective.

And that is the problem of society in Hawaii -- that everybody demands to have two or three times more than everybody else has -- which ensures that everybody’s efforts will contribute to everybody falling further behind.

Those of us who have gone to the public schools here may recognize that a large part of the experience that makes education so traumatic and disastrous is that it conditions us mainly to be dutiful union workers -- rather than creative, imaginative entrepreneurs. So we grow up with this hostility to businesses thinking they owe us to slave all their lives at below-market wages so that government bureaucrats can pay as little as possible to other people while demanding as much from others as possible, even allowing early retirement that enables a few to get paid their regular salary on top of retirement compensation -- and then feeling magnanimous in “giving back to the community,” in some self-serving promotional. way.

What I think is very rare about this Administration then, is that lack of self-entitlement, “The rewarding of friends and the punishing of enemies” the previous governor boasted as the legacy of his leadership. There are still a few in people in public office with that mentality but it seems to be changing -- whether Democrats or Republicans. Unfortunately, the Democrats are handicapped with the senior system -- that nobody gets to move up until somebody at the top dies. As a result, a whole generation will not have an opportunity to serve as leaders, which is why the Democrats are having difficulty coming up with a candidate to run the obligatory token candidacy for the governorship.

Even in the Cayetano Administration, a powerful lieutenant governor was seen as a threat to the governor -- and so they spent almost no time grooming a successor, preparing the next generation of leaders. Instead, they fought them off, kept them as weak as possible, to keep them in line, in their places -- and nobody better cut in line. Thus everybody eyes each other suspiciously -- seeing who will be the first to make a move, at which point everybody deserts them to destroy their competition.


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