There are a great many people working on great causes I share who would rather take action quickly and lose than have to wait. Or rather, feel that way, but haven’t really thought through the consequences of defeat. I am not very encouraged by having them on my side, because they are not assets to a cause. I’m always amazed when it doesn’t seem to have crossed someone’s mind that patience and postponing any reckoning until it is already in your favor is a very large part of successful strategic thinking. Either they are ignorant of strategy (seemingly a lost art), or their temperament is averse to what needs to be done. I suspect both. Unfortunately, steps that must be taken to increase chances of success are not always exciting or attention-getting or glamorous or entertaining or—most relevantly—immediate in their results. In my experience it is incredibly hard to get people interested in figuring out those steps, and actually doing them.

Sure, heedless optimists have the first point of ALL strategy down: assume success in your goal is possible. (Presupposed: you can define what “success in your goal” would mean. That can be surprisingly tricky. Some don’t even see the need for clarity in advance.) But you also have to chart steps to take you from here to there. Without understanding, knowledge, resources, support, a framework, a plan, organization, collaboration, education, or whatever might be necessary, grand ambitions will never be realized, no matter the desire or passion or bravery you have. Emotions don’t obtain results and neither does misspent effort.


6 responses to “Heedless

  1. I completely agree with you.. I’ve gotten to see this firsthand. I’m one of the few people in the world who has done background research into the side effects of ultrasound — and those of us that have are faced with a curious conundrum.

    Scientific literature has been, for years, loudly concerned about the potential that ultrasound could cause problems for fetal development. Brain damage, hormone changes, etc… now, much more research has surfaced that is even pointing at excessive ultrasound exposure to be likely linked to the rise in autism.

    But, none of us can outright go screaming in the streets about this. People just don’t get it and it ends up being negative attention. Even more confounding is how defensive people get when you bring up the word ‘autism’ at all in relation to environmental factors. People don’t respond to pure logic and science fact – they are human, and are as humans do.

    It is definitely a poker game. Unfortunately it is not easy to see which way to go for positive change because there are so many obstacles in the way. I’m hoping that things change for the better.

    If you’re interested in this topic my blog has more information on it (www.fetalsonosafety.com).

  2. In some sense I agree. The first thing is proper Education of the masses. As the from the Brutes of the stone age to the Oligarchy of the present. Keeping the masses from true knowledge is one of there prime tactics. One man a thousand men cannot do it alone. It would literally take an uprising of
    the world to achieve. Education with FACTS that cannot be disputed and that once revealed can be understood by the average human is paramount. My blog spot I have just begun. However I hope you will revisit.

  3. While I would hate to disparage the virtue of strategic action, the history of social causes has never been so pretty as precise incision of well-executed strokes. There is a value to the impulse of acting before thinking; while ceasing to effectively remedy the issue, it communicates the problem to other nodes in the network, much like autoimmune reactions to impregnable diseases. It alerts the whole, it clamors for attention, it signals to avert disaster. More importantly, it spreads the idea that something is wrong. Without other individuals in the network receiving that same perception, the system as a whole is doomed.

    Eventually the collective’s agency acts to aid the situation, the individual goes to a doctor for external remedy. But the lesson remains. No grand change has come in tranquility, as incoherent and misguided as the turbulence may be, it sets the precedent, it swells the desire for change. Forethinkers must develop the panacea, but it is unwise to forget that supply is predicated on demand.

    • The way I see it there are the following problems with this analogy of the whole of society being like a body (a form of what is sometimes called ‘the organic fallacy’ in sociology) applied to this specific case: one, “something is wrong”—but what is that something? That is not communicated, and entirely open to interpretation. For example, many will conclude people have too much freedom. That “same perception” might be shared with precision if we shared the same mind, but we do not, and the organic model’s collectivism does not account for this. Second, “it signals to avert disaster” unless it beckons disaster by acting in error and heedlessly. My reference was to “losing” by which I mean precisely that. Suppose that broaching an issue publicly in quite the wrong way brings about a reaction that ends all possibility of a desirable resolution of the problem.

      Without me going into accusations toward various individuals today that inspired this post, this has happened before. Look at what happened with the issues that preceded the Civil War—slavery, centralization/corporatism versus individualism and small-r republicanism, and thirdly rising fundamentalism, for just three of several contextual dynamics/causes. Take examples like John Brown, the mad abolitionist hothead. The outcome of precipitative acts was the worst possible combination on several levels, and not better for everyone feeling “something is wrong.”

      “No grand change has come in tranquility”

      This I dispute, at a personal level, and an educational one. Some grand changes happen without being announced as revolutions.

      I have no problem with bold and revolutionary change, but it must be well done and founded on correct understanding.

      • I’m using this analogy flexibly of course, but at least prior to the introduction of the scientific method to illness, a sick individual could have any number of perceptions about his/her ailments, many of which could be dead wrong. If I recall correctly, several generations of China’s dynastic ruling family were killed off by mercury poisoning, willingly consumed in order to gain immunity to disease and aging. Granted, the organic model assumes a centralized agency that is not true of social networks. There are always a number of interpretive frames at work, so I would suppose that the one that prevails is a “function of power and not truth,” to use that forethinker’s words. It’s somewhat inevitable that flawed perceptions will be acted upon until someone can “win them over.”

        “This I dispute, at a personal level, and an educational one.”

        Ah, then I’ll be more precise: would you dispute that at the social level?

    • I don’t know exactly how relevant my cause is to this discussion. However on my blog my contention is that of prime importance is humankind
      overthrowing the planetary oligarchy. And that we cannot consider ourselves free until this is achieved, for in some sense we no not who we are due to influence in everything we do every day, politics especially, although maybe not the most significant. Is what the great majority of what we buy what we really need, or have we been so deluded over time as to what our wants and desires, my contention is the latter and it is being done by the Oligarchy. As we live in no other moment but the Now I believe the time is NOW. I often quote the founding fathers of the USA. Here’s one:
      I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British (You could perhaps replace British with The oligarchy-Evan-) ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. •

      And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years (re: the Oligarchy I would contend forever –Evan–) Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on.

      What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

      These are chosen snippets from Patrick Henry’s famous give me liberty or give me death. I have intentionally left out his call for violence however as Thomas Jefferson said,

      • “But of course we should let our current protests continue without violence, but when you see that the Rulers of this country will not budge and that good feeling you had when you protested goes away cause nothing has been done to right the wrongs. Whats next?

      I believe a perhaps more aggressive use of Ahisma is required. While I realize the found fathers were in many ways hypocritical the very fact that
      Jefferson wrote We the people later gave The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the right to ask in his famous I have a dream speech that he demand that America live up to the words We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. Dr. King was a practitioner of Ahisma.

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