Want to put the eclipse in the shade? Shine with your own light instead.

And do you know what it means when the white ball rolls in front of the yellow ball? That’s right. Nothing.Photo by: Paulo Guedes

Not to alienate myself – even further – from the rest of humanity, but I think this eclipse mania is absurd.

Crouching down to bespy the transit of billiard balls from eye-level would be an equivalent thrill – but you can talk yourself out of that just by imagining how boring it would be.

I admire physics just as much as the next guy, but the best thing about physics – compared with every other origin story – is that physics is a god who manages to get along without constant palliation.

A decent reason to be aware of the eclipse is that it puts the lie to every other origin story – but so does all the rest of reality. Meanwhile, if you have to tell yourself the same story over and over again – including physics – my guess is you don’t believe it.

Your business. If you are a kid or you have kids, it’s a rare teachable moment, and I totally get that. And I have no doubt that everyone would welcome having something else to talk about right now – especially something that unites us all, even if only as passive spectators. I get that, too.

But if you have made any preparations beyond planning to take a look out the window Monday – we’re going at this being-a-grown-up business differently. And if you have spent money on the eclipse…

Good grief. We traipse through life like mourners except when we’re skipping around like drunks. We eat nothing but gruel – or cotton candy. We are gorged by our own starvation. Fascinated by our incessant, repetitive boredom. Credulously jaded, cynically incorrigible, smug as only the perfectly-ignorant can be smug…

Hey, wait! We are kids!

I knew that, of course. It’s what we’ve been talking about: You became you when you graduated from Toddler to Child, and you haven’t changed much since then. Me, neither: I had zero patience for standing around doing nothing back then, too. So, yes, (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 1 Comment

The way to beat Ci compliance displays is to rob them of their oxygen: Your compliance.

Thanks to Google, now even girls know how to shop for just what they want, ignoring everything else.

I’ve vituperated a lot, lately, about Ci and its inverse, obverse photo-copy Ic. There’s a reason for that:

We live in a Ci culture – and it is collapsing.

We need to supplant Ci with Ds or live with the grave consequences of letting Dc take over instead.

That’s Chess, huh? It’s practically a Marvel Comics plot summary.

And none of this is meant to malign Ci’s or Ic’s as people. The everyday world needs actuaries and undertakers – just not very many.

By making a fetish of Ci displays, we have encysted the world with insistence, but that’s easily dealt with. You do it all the time already.

Do you see? You are met with Ci/Ic displays – with compliance displays – all the time, and you successfully manage to resist those demands almost all the time.

What am I talking about?

Advertising.

Image advertising is all Ic: “He can’t be a man if he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me.” Persuasive marketing is typically FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. Every bit of it is devised to induce in you a compliant itch that can only be scratched by compliance – by buying the product being promoted.

Does it work? Hugely well on I’s, less so on S’s, only with DISC-focused value propositions – money or time – on C’s and D’s.

Does it work better, in return on investment, than doing nothing – or doing something else? Asking that question will get you fired up and down Madison Avenue.

Does it work on you? Almost never. How do I know that? Because however many purchases you have made today, you’ve been hit by a thousand times that many marketing messages. More than likely, you responded to none of them, or none more elaborate than mere signage.

Big hero you: You were met with thousands upon thousands of compliance displays and you defied them all with a skilled, studied and well-practiced indifference. Well done!

Your indifference warrants scrutiny, of course. How can we study nothing? Because it’s not nothing, it’s two (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | Leave a comment

How do you live happily among people at war with all joy? Cultivate indifference and press on regardless.

If you can learn to think of your ego as something you must always love and honor and revere and burnish until it seems to glow of its own light, you can make yourself immune from other people’s ugly behavior.Photo by: Kevin Dooley

I wrote this in a comment on one of my videos:

Inlookers: If you’ve written something I’ve ignored, with an effort you might-could guess why. If you have a serious issue to raise, raise it. If you want to try to silence me or cow me with your disapproval, stop it. It has zero impact on me, but it soils your own character enduringly.

That’s the precise self-adorationist position on ad hominem attacks and other weaponized fallacies: Cultivate indifference and press on regardless. Other people’s bad behavior only becomes a matter of my morality when I choose to behave badly in response. Your choosing to soil your self dirties mine not at all. I grow by pursuing my values, not by wrestling in the mud with your vices.

It is also the best way I’ve found of implementing the second rule of The Church of Splendor: I am not arguing with you. If all you want to do is pick a fight, pick you nose instead. I am not arguing with you.

But that sort of thing is easy to say, and you may think it’s some sort of posturing on my part. It’s not. I live this as a daily reality, waxing and waning with the distractions of mobbed-up minds, and I’ve lived it for my entire life. This is a question that came to me a few years ago, and it seems worthwhile just now to revisit the topic of cultivating indifference.

I guess my question is simply this… How do you do it? You lay your heart, soul and ideas on the line and so often have them thrown right back in your face. And yet everyday, I wake up and see that you have written again, unscathed and unabashed.

Without intending to be flippant, I don’t notice things like that. In any sort of reaction to anything (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | 10 Comments

No Nork nukes yet: Is James “Kill ’em all” Mattis an amiable spy in the house of malice?

Donald Trump is an Id pretending to be a Di. Because he is pretending, he is beyond easy to manipulate, and he insulates himself from that risk by being capricious: You can have Trump’s ear until you either bore or upstage him. Mattis and his Dc generals are perfect fits as courtiers: Walking cornucopias of fearful drama with very little Incandescent need to rob the president of his precious limelight.

James Mattis is Dc, and so are all the generals he has surrounded our Prom King president with. That has scared me since his appointment, since Dc is the most-efficient killer in the DISC deck.

Killing is not what Dc’s should be doing, mind you. Their role in the world of commerce is precise productivity, from back-end accounting to tool-and-die making. But put one in charge of an artillery unit and sparks will fly.

The best generals are Ds, but in a Ds world military leadership is an as-needed job – and Dc’s are master millwrights.

Mattis worried me simply because of the heightened homicidal need that Dc’s bring to the world. We talked about amiability with respect to marriage and other relationships. The opposite of amiability is irascibility: How much does our interaction anger me? How much does our ping-ponging anger make things worse? And how badly do I want to kill you when you block my access to my values?

I don’t know that any but the truly outraged actually wants to kill anyone, but I know we all feel that way when we’re not getting what we want. That’s actually predictable from your full DISC profile – where in a frustration loop the homicidal need will come out. Meanwhile, as you might guess, the more amiable you are, the less irascible:

But, of course, wanting to kill someone is different from getting the job done. Ci yearns to kill almost everyone all the time. That’s what all the simmering rage displays are about, summoning lightning bolts and conjuring up detailed smitations of the wicked. But to do real work, not just abstraction-juggling, you need real D, and, accordingly, the best killers among (more…)

Posted in Splendor! | Leave a comment

Do you believe in magic? Love is made from its own shared and mutual propitiation!

Love is shaling.
You don’t get it, you earn it.
You don’t give it, you produce it.
You don’t share it, you make it – but only together.
The product IS the process, so without that, there is nothing.

Photo by: Hamza Butt

What are you missing? Everything.

Posted in Splendor! | Leave a comment

The origin of character: You chose to be who you are before you knew you had the power of choice.

“Why, yes, I am working you. How’d you guess?”Photo by: Mysudbury.ca Ouisudbury.ca

My taxonomy of kids is Infants, Babies, Toddlers, Children. Infants snooze, Babies observe, Toddlers participate and Children converse.

Children are awake – persistently volitionally self-conscious of abstract conceptual self-consciousness – and hence are adults in every way but accrued experience and sexual maturation.

Younger kids are not awake, and the bright-line division between Toddler and Child is the blinding epiphany that is the birth of consciousness of the self as an abstract idea – as a distinguishable self-referencing concept whose processes and progress can be thought about, remembered, anticipated, planned, dreamed about or dreaded.

So far, I have not seen anything that I would swear is evidence of DISC in Infants. But it shows up bright and clear in Babies, both the cultivation of DISC behaviors by the kid’s grown-ups and the kid’s own steadily-more-practiced propitiation – shaling – of the rewards consequent upon exhibiting that behavior.

Empathy is predictive behavioral modeling: I’m trying to figure out what the other guy is going to do next, so I can figure out what I might do in response. The habituated behaviors you exhibit to your kid are the gradually-more-reliable proxy signals he uses to identify and deliver back to you the behavior he thinks you’re eliciting.

When a Baby works out just this much – how to respond to you appropriately – the smile and giggle loops amplify charmingly. Toddlers toddle, but the birth of participation is here, when Babies start giving back in reliable ping-ponging interactions.

What we have at this point is proto-DISC: The Baby has worked out a reliable empathy strategy for getting positive attention from his grown-ups. (Everything we’re talking about works in the inverse, too, in abusive situations, but I want to talk about normal upbringing here.) More than one grown-up – or older kid? More than one strategy. More than one response-seeking game from one or more up-bringers? You do the math.

Babies learn very quickly how to get their emotional needs met by exhibiting reward-propitiating behavior – by campaigning for affection.

That’s DISC, aboriginally, a reward-seeking strategy the (more…)

Posted in Love and marriage, Splendor!, The DISC of family, ThriversEd | Leave a comment

The persistence of grinding: ‘The Founder’ on Netflix is a fun business movie about family.

I wouldn’t call ‘The Founder’ a benedy. More like a docu-drama – with Dogberry.

The business model stuff is excellent, Shark Tank with a plot.

The family dynamics is right up my street: Ray Kroc builds an empire while breaking up two marriages: His own (Di divorces Ic) and the de facto marriage of the McDonald brothers (Cd and Sd).

If the screenplay was not written from DISC, it might as well have been. I didn’t care for Kroc’s adultery, but I always find Di’s easy to root for.

Michael Keaton played Kroc as Dics, which I would expect is correspondent: More C than S on the bubble between the two. That’s the Ironman profile, the turnaround manager.

He also played Kroc as being more and more drunk, so Keaton’s vestigial inner-Dogberry came shining through.

I’m a hard sell for anything but true benedy right now, but I watched ‘The Founder’ twice. I liked Keaton’s Kroc enough that I stopped at the earliest imputation of adultery the first time, then found myself drawn back to it despite that.

That’s rave-worthy from my point of view: Art is the stuff that won’t turn you loose.

Here comes the weekend. ‘The Founder’ is no date-night movie, but it’s an interesting yarn with a lot to teach about marriage.

Posted in Splendor! | Leave a comment