Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey

5 Flares 5 Flares ×

I used to have a very black and white view of the world. I used to think things were right or wrong, and answers were either yes or no. Thankfully – and sometimes harshly – life has taught me that things are not always as simple as that.

The more I learn, the less I come to know.  For me, there is a lot of complexity where there should be simplicity. And at times, a lot of simplicity where there needs to be complexity.

The problem I see is this: a cognitive bias towards energy conservation lies at the very heart of our decision-making systems and way of life.  High speed journalism. Soundbite politics. One size fits all.  A constant demand for oversimplification. You can see this problem manifesting all over the world.

When thinking, our brains consume a lot of energy – so, for energy conservation, they like to take shortcuts and make things much simpler and easier. We are hard-wired to do this, but often, it really doesn’t help us.

The very way our individual brains are wired prevents us from delivering the best solutions on the ground. This has implications for all of our systems – which are led, managed and operated by people who subconsciously short-cut. Hierarchical systems just can’t deliver for diverse individuals, because there is a tendency for us to think about complex problems in very simple terms.

Our countries and their processes are being run by people with a cognitive bias towards simplification – which means generalised solutions. The desire to simplify and create order means that it is impossible to serve the rich nuances of human needs. As we become more aware of all our possible options and our infinite choices, however, we are less satisfied with simplified solutions to problems and generic services to address them.

Fortunately, the emerging megatrend is towards the empowerment of individuals to solve their own problems, and technology is playing a part in this. For society to thrive, we have to deal with things without polarisation, and to account for each and every individual, with a spectrum of needs and desires. This allows for more freedom, and greater diversity.

I see this starting to happen everywhere, now. In Healthcare, there is an emerging megatrend of the patient becoming the CEO of their own health. Patients are becoming increasingly aware of their health situations, and are taking greater control of their health  management and decisions. This will accelerate as more and more healthcare technologies come on line in the years ahead.

I look at the emerging paradigm in education, whereby kids are starting to take control of their own learning journeys. They, along with enlightened parents and educationalists, are beginning to realise that you don’t need to wait to start careers or businesses; you can learn by actually doing things that you are passionate about, rather than simply theorising in the classroom. This, again, will accelerate as virtual reality and artificial intelligence take off.

For me, solutions need to focus on empowering the individual to make their own choices and solve their own problems. The further away the decision maker is from that source, the harder it is to deliver effectively, because of their own cognitive bias towards simplicity and generalisation.

If you find yourself thinking in terms of right, wrong, black, white, yes, no, as I do – from my own experience, I know that you are missing out on the real richness of life. When scaled up, that fixed and narrow pattern of limiting thought can really impact on the way we are collectively living, instead of providing for a variety of needs and diverse choices.

We have to understand that by seeking to control from above, we are exposing ourselves to one of our greatest flaws. The key to the next stage of human evolution is to empower a new world from the bottom up, to allow for all shades and colours.

I, for one, can’t wait to see more of this happening.
Marc

5 Flares Google+ 0 Twitter 0 Facebook 0 LinkedIn 5 5 Flares ×

Please, let me know what you think of this post:

Love It 167Hate It 147

Comments

add a comment
  1. Great article. Very poignant for many people, especially so for me on a personal level. With my father in hospital and the school I work in going through huge upheavals the wisdom in what your saying here seems particularly relevant.

    Here’s to a future where we are all encouraged and enabled to use more of our grey matter more humanely!

  2. “Black, white, yes, no, as I” DID 😉 ….

    Thank you for the great article Marc.

  3. You can ‘live’ this more enlightened life by getting rid of most if not all your bills. I call it ‘Smart Life’.

    1. own your home
    2. get solar/wind
    3. get a tesla power wall and or batteries (now no power bill)
    4. get an electric car you power from your home (now no gas bill)
    5. capture the rain water and store it
    6. use proper water management(now no water bill)
    7. get GrowBots or get really good at gardening (now very small or no food bill)
    8. work with your community and setup your own wifi/cell systems where everyone is relaying connectivity and consuming (now very small Internet/cell service)
    9. 2 technologies still in the works … multi-material 3d printing / ‘de-compiling’ garbage cans that provide material to your 3d printer

    At this point most of your bills are just gone so you can spend most if not all your time doing whatever it is you really want to do – artists/parent/doctor/save the ‘thing’/etc whatever your passion is at the moment. When you do work it’s just for pocket money/travel money/maintenance money/doctor visits/other things like laundry detergent, clothes, shoes you might want to purchase.

  4. In reading your article, this is what stood out to me the most..

    “For me, solutions need to focus on empowering the individual to make their own choices and solve their own problems. The further away the decision maker is from that source, the harder it is to deliver effectively, because of their own cognitive bias towards simplicity and generalization.”

    My attention goes to the education facet of this the most… to that which is lost with outdated testing methods for assessing the competency of students. Being with this, I sense a need for updated testing structures, and one thing that gives me hope about this is the work of Zak Stein at Lectica. ( https://lectica.org ) .

    This phrase stands out to me also:

    “If you find yourself thinking in terms of right, wrong, black, white, yes, no, as I do – from my own experience, I know that you are missing out on the real richness of life.”

    This resonates with me to a degree. To the degree to which I am holding a black and white view with certainty, it seems like I am closing off to discovering that which might be revealed through a competing view… If I affirm to myself ‘I am brilliant’ every day, then the ways and spaces wherein my brilliance might be lacking could be obscured from view… thus the tragedy of the new age movement… it its well intentioned affirmations.

    Probably most alive for me in this reading is this part:

    “empowering the individual to make their own choices and solve their own problems.”

    It brings to mind the desire I have to understand what is empowering for individuals to make their own choices and solve their own problems…

    Being with this, it is actually the potential contained within how we relate that is of most interest to me as means and pathway for empowerment as a whole.

    When I take this in personally, I can feel the way in which I want to hold both individual empowerment potentials and the potentials contained within selective participation in the larger systems that hold me… Such as the governmental systems for example, both.

    And its compelling to me, to consider how the ways in which I relate can foster the evolution of the structures which govern me, the systems which are designed to play such a role… Although the creating of a microcosm of what is possible as a model for the rest of the world feels more accessible then taking on the challenge of changing the world as a whole.

    So, all that said… What are the ways in which how we relate could serve as a microcosm, as an example, for what is possible in community?

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    What are the ways in which what we inhabit and model as a community could serve as a microcosm, as an example, for what is possible globally?

    These seem to be some of the threads you might be tugging on in your work, in the limited understanding that I have of it as of the present, so I would love to hear your views and ideas, if you feel called.

    For me, the most tangible facets of this is the potential for how we relate to self regulate, to adapt, to evolve and to trigger its own self-organizing intelligence through the restoration of some basic feedback loops.

    If communication is brought to the level of simply noticing and describing, independent of our interpretations, this seems to be happening… When communities gather and reveal or disclose their moods, emotions, and somatic in-the-moment realities with each other as they arise moment to moment, as we see in the Quaker Clearness Committee and the Intersubjective Relating Movements, this seems to be happening.

    Those are the facets within this that most bring me to life, and it seems could potentially play a role in serving as microcosm for what would happen if the people, for example, in their sentiment for what is happening in the moment, had more sway in how their respective governments represented and enacted their will.

    How many times have we gone to war while the public opinion was to avoid war?

    While the government was designed to represent the will of the people, it has swayed from this, taking in income, funding and influence from a very few people at expense of the interest of the whole.

    These are my thoughts, and I would very much love to hear yours if you would like to share.

Speak Your Mind

*

5 Flares Google+ 0 Twitter 0 Facebook 0 LinkedIn 5 5 Flares ×