Dumbfounded, Discouraged, and Dismayed

I haven’t posted anything new in a while. I’ve been too busy reading the political news and wringing my hands. My sense is that the world situation is getting worse. We have, of course, had “dark days” in times past. I’m not sure there has ever been a time the planet was without at least one war going on. Most recently, in the States we experienced the World Wars (I and II), the Korean War, the “conflict” in Vietnam, and whatever is currently going on in the Mid-East. We’ve also had Civil Rights challenges, and various other conflicts and difficulties . . . → Read More: Dumbfounded, Discouraged, and Dismayed

Old Dogs and New Tricks

An alternate title for this blog entry might be “Adjusting to Social Media.” Many of us who are older “dogs” at this point haven’t really caught up with the changes in forms of communication that have occurred in recent years. Some of us are making the effort. Others aren’t. If you’re a student of communication, you’re probably familiar with Morris Massey, who has used the lens of generational differences to help individuals understand the communication process. Where we were when, especially in pre- and early adolescence, influences the principal frames through which we view the external environment. When I was . . . → Read More: Old Dogs and New Tricks

Perceptual Frames and Self-fulling Prophesy

In case you haven’t noticed, the United States is embroiled in a political and financial conflict that is influencing the stability of world financial markets. One of the headlines of a recent (9 August 2011) New York Times article states, “Wave of worry threatens to build on itself: Hesitation over the uncertainty of the economy can make things worse.” That led me to wonder the degree to which perception can actually determine reality. The term I associate with perception as a determiner of reality is self-fulling prophecy.

Although the concept of prophesies determining future events is ancient, its modern . . . → Read More: Perceptual Frames and Self-fulling Prophesy

Coping with Complexity

In a recent article, Spencer Critchley discussed the difficulties a number of “conservative” Republicans are having coping with the complexities of the modern world. The part of his essay that caught my attention is the following:

The truth, as usual, is complex. But complexity is what the right-wing historical revisionists don’t like. They prefer to reduce it to binary choices of right-wrong, good-evil. We see this on the extreme left, too, where some argue that because the founders did not extend full rights to slaves, women or Native-Americans, they were no better than any other white, male oppressors. For . . . → Read More: Coping with Complexity

Arguing with Reality

Previously—”I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy),” 4 June 4 2011—I lamented the need for greater understanding and appreciation of the essential premises of Alfred Krozybski’s Science and Sanity, which evolved into the metamodel of NLP. Those premises are basically a cry to pay closer attention to reality, known in both Korzybski’s work and NLP as “territory,” which is distinct from “maps,” which are human beliefs. The problem is that beliefs too often argue with—disagree with—reality, and, as Byron Katie (Loving What Is) has said, “When you argue with reality, you lose. But only every time.”

If you want . . . → Read More: Arguing with Reality

I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

With apologies to the Beatles and “A Day in the Life”:

One of my daily habits is reading through the major online news sources to get a sense of what is happening here in the U.S. and in the world. I often find it fascinating to see what subjects are drawing the most media attention—and the kind of attention they are attracting. Here’s a brief round-up of recent “stuff”:

Placebos are in the news (again): One of the things I find most interesting about placebos is that articles about them written by medical doctors studiously avoid the word . . . → Read More: I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

What Is NLP?

Most readers of the Beyond Mastery Newsletter and this blog already know what the letters stand for: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and most have some idea of the meaning behind the term. Our use of language, our mental “programming,” and our neurology are interrelated. When one changes, the others change as well. The interrelationship is dynamic and ongoing. A standard definition for the term is, “the study of the structure of subjective experience,” which means that those who “study” NLP are studying the various ways subjective experience is structured.

This concept presupposes that our subjective—internal—experience differs from objective—external—reality. In Korzybski’s famous . . . → Read More: What Is NLP?

What’s the Deal with Science?

If you’ve been paying attention for the past 20 or 30 years, you’ve probably noticed that “Science” keeps changing its mind about a lot of things. Also, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that Galileo’s “problems” with the Catholic Church have been a recurring theme. It seems to me that the conflict between “science” and “faith” is at the center of a number of what might be called “modern problems.” Problems of the sort that Galileo had with the Church have, of course, occurred in a variety of ways over the years. In general, . . . → Read More: What’s the Deal with Science?

The Bell Curve Theory of Life

The “Bell Curve” is the common expression for what is otherwise known as Standard Normal Distribution. The concept basically states that in any category, most members of the category will be grouped in the middle, with fewer members at the extremes. Wikipedia provides a fancy definition:

In probability theory, the normal (or Gaussian) distribution, is a continuous probability distribution that is often used as a first approximation to describe real-valued random variables that tend to cluster around a single mean value. The graph of the associated probability density function is “bell”-shaped, and is known as the Gaussian function or . . . → Read More: The Bell Curve Theory of Life

Does This Mirror Make Me Look Fat?

Perception is a strange thing. We can’t always see what is “right before our eyes,” and because perception is fraught with deletion, distortion, and unwarranted generalization, what we “see” may not be what is actually “there.” Self-perception may be among the most distorted of our perceptions. The classic question, “Does this dress make me look fat,” is a variation of the question asked by the Queen in Snow White: “Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?” The Queen doesn’t like it when the mirror proclaims Snow White the fairest in the land. The . . . → Read More: Does This Mirror Make Me Look Fat?