MOS. The Monkey Operating System

Continued from A Lesson in Strategy

He dove for cover and ran for his life, tracing the path left by potaotoes rolling down to the beach. This was taboo country. The noise from the crowd was faint; no monkey in his ‘right’ senses would go up the taboo mountain. His second ‘first act’ of the day will not go into the story books of the old world. It was hot. He walked leisurely exploring the virgin territory on a path not traveled by any monkey. There were bananas aplenty in all stages of growth and the new nut, the game changer. There were many others, big and small of all sizes, shapes and colours. Perhaps it might become a little too lonely once he was through with this explorations. Will think of that when it comes to that. Towards the middle of the mountain he saw a ledge of a rock, jutting out. Would be a nice place for a nap. He walked up to it seeking shelter from the hot sun and found himself staring at the entrance of a cave, big enough for him to walk through. He was blinded for some time but as his eyes adjusted to the darkness inside he realised that the cave was much bigger than he thought. He looked up to the ceiling. It appeared as if the roof rose to the top of the mountain. There was a lot more to explore on both inside and outside the cave.

He found a place to lie down and he fell into a deep sleep. In the dream he was floating in the gentle breeze that came in through the entrance and the cave was illumined in a bright golden yellow. He passed through a series of high arches and on the wall facing him he saw a gallery of maps painted in bright shades. He made a note to himself. I would remember them when I wake up. He found himself sailing down to the spot where he had left his body and took possession of it . No sooner had he done it he woke up to find that the cave indeed was as he had seen in the dream with the setting sun making the place a lot more brighter than when he went in.He remembered his Mom’s lesson, make a note to yourself the first thing in the morning of your dreams of the previous lest they fade out with the flow of the day. He looked for some shrapnel to etch the image in his mind. He didn’t have to search much as .there were plenty all around. It seemed as if some mysterious creatures had occupied the cave and they had vanished from sight ages back. He knew what he had to do and went ahead in wild abandon. When he was done, he moved away to admire his own monkey art of the day.

Pic2

With nobody to talk to, he broke into a monologue

“Good enough. As a kick off, this will do. I will improve it as I explore further, in and out”

“What do I call it, MyOS or MOS, the Monkey Operating System?”

“MOS will do, it could stand for both, shorter too”

He could feel his tummy crying for food. He walked out into the bright sun.

A Lesson in Strategy

Contd from: Of Peanuts and Monkeys

The algorithm on strategy flashed through his mind

  • fight
  • flee
  • play
  • context
  • select
  • flip….

“You will win as long as you have ‘n+1’ alternatives and your opponant/s has/ve only ‘n’alternatives.”

He knew he had infinite alternatives in comparison to the crowd, for them the only solution was the Hammer.

“ I may be an elder and vote to the Council of Elders. That is no proof that I am adult. The only legacy that I want to leave behind is you, an adult in the true sense of the term. It is time for me to go but I will always be with you”

The little one listened in rapt attention. The mention of her leaving him kept his monkey mind in check.

“You are young but you are more adult than most of our elders. The adult knows what is information/misinformation. With your natural curiosity which no other species has in such abundant measure, you will almost be invincible”
“Almost, that ‘almost’ can cost me my life ? “

“This one is more important than all the previous ones. The highest intelligence is your ability to mask it. If you are certain of your intelligence, make yourself appear to be a fool, allow them to take you for ganted. My certificate of your intellgence should not fool you. As a Mom, I can be very biased ”

“Is that all? “

“There is one more and I am done”

“Why are you here ? “

“ We are here to live, isn’t that pretty obvious?”

“ In that case why do all the elders pass on ?”

“I dont know”

Good, admit it when you dont know. If the elders used this three words more often instead of using their different hammers, this would have been a more livable place”

“ Tell me then, what is the purpose of life?’

“ The only purpose of life is to defeat death and that is the ulitmate game”

“How do you make sure that one is living and not dying?”

“Ask yourself

  • Where am I now ?

  • Where do I want to go ?

  • Am I getting closer to or moving away from where I want to go.

This is the last lesson. We wont be meeting again.“

The noise from the crowd arrested his reflections. The noise level was approaching the maximum permissible limits of the Republic. He decided to live.

Next : Who owns your body ? What is your O/S ?

The Community College: Ride IT

“What are you building capacity for, the Taj, the Temple or Community?  Gurcharan Das’s ‘Cathedral building’ talks of building the Taj. ‘Ride IT’ fits the bill for real community building, building for the next generation, creating a footprint of their own by scavenging waste. “

“But carpooling has always been there, not been very successful.”

“Do you really want it to be successful? The government, employers and employees can come together, exempt road tax for corporate fleets and make such investments eligible for CSR benefits. It is more than free like all good things in life when four in five cars go off the roads, cars idling in parking lots carry employees from the graveyard shift, leverage shared journeys to promote internal and external community, reduce the carbon footprint, eliminate the need for a few flyovers……….. Don’t you see what they are trying to do?  If you can see it you can certainly do it. Gone are the days when your car created your identity. It is your sense of community that creates your identity”

“Should we build capacity or create an environment for expression of capacity?”

“We can build to break; we can also break and build. It depends”

“Check with the visual whether Ride IT fits the bill on all dimensions for   bringing community centre-stage through convergence “. Less is certainly more.

The Community Learning Engine

community college

“What do you mean, the learning engine? “

“The learning engine continually improves on its previous best performance. It feeds on waste like all good consultants do.”

“Let us look at our municipal corporation as a learning engine. It would look something like the next visual”

cc2

“GIGO, Garbage in garbage out?”

“Solid waste is very visible and tangible, the more vicious waste goes unseen, intangible. If you can see the waste behind an IMR of 40+, visualize all the wasted years, it might make one shirk off a little bit of complacency. If you want to solve the problem at source, see the garbage inside and treat it there. Intellectual poverty is more vicious than the other poverty”

“Why do you stress the visual so much?”

“Search for Sabrina Bresciani on Knowledge Visualisation. If you can see it you can do it. Text is no substitute for the visual in certain contexts- think of a map or the design of a machine. We are building a vision to be shared, the first step to building community.The issue is ‘New Literacy’ “

“New Literacy? What is that? “

Who am I ?

Who am I ?
” I am Christ, the Son of the living God”
It was time to return to Taxila. The two of them shared the same vision  on what would happen once they left. Both were builders par excellence of structures, physical and virtual. They conspired to test them on how they would respond to the one question that held the key to all questions,”Who Am I? “.
A building built to last needs a foundation. As  rock is for physical structures, understanding of the self is the foundation to all buildings that last, the one key to all the other keys.
“But who do you say that I am?”
“You are Christ, the Son of the living God.”
 “Blessed are you, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. ”  it is not something that  is taught, but a realisation that you come into, it is revealed to you.
Thomas, as usual, doubted.
” Peter, Who do you think you are?”
” I too am the son of the living God”.
Thomas was surprised, but he was not. The fisherman needs no lessons in anchoring though this  test was on anchoring one-self.
” And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly charged them to tell no one (!!!) that he was the Christ.
He knew that the promise would be broken, Procrustus would take over and it would sabotage the work of transforming self to Christ / the world transformed to living God. The  caterpillar is to butterfly and water is to wine as the average human is to the true human.
The true human leaves no footprints.
Others left. He could  read Thomas. “It is the experience, not the story that matters. The parable is the container. One has to break the container and get to the content to be transformed to Christ. This is the work that kills work and lightens the burden on our shoulders.
A spark inside and the  lightning outside were synchronous. Thomas remembered the day when he had said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Writing about “the stages of life” Jung argued that we need schools to prepare people in their middle years for something approximating true maturity (adulthood). He concluded,  “we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning: for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”
There were two adults in the hangout of thirteen. We are lucky if we meet  one in our times.
” The unprohibition in God’s own Kerala marks the complete conversion of the state to the colonial version of Christianity.  The salvation of the state requires the revival of the Thomas version of Christianity which successfully retained its identity against successive waves of Jain , Buddhist and Hindu revivalist influences. The doubter that he was, respected reason over sentiments, adult to the infant, dialogue to sermons. Horses would fly if such wishful thinking were to work. What would be more realistic to expect will be more sheep leave the flock and the shepherds herd together to restrain the birth of The ADULT. Diplomats that we are, this will be more of a silent revolt than an open rebellion.”
What is it to be human, adult, the son / daughter of the LIVING God?
“To be an  adult is to believe in dialogue, leave space for the adult in the other to manifest, to be human is to continually improve, killing death itself from one’s self.  Nature is the living god and the son / daughter of the living god is free from all fears including the fear of death.  There is no death in life and such a one does not live in death.  Perfection is and death too is perfect.
Nobody prohibits anybody from anything. We know and trust. I am that. Thou art that.
One has to find one’s own rock, harder than diamond, invariant and changeless as no building lasts on fissures and fault-lines.

Re-emergence of Asian Management

First Discipline

Discipline of disciplines

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The Re-emergence of Asian Management 

Ancient Roots, Global Reach 

Analytics, integration, the three imperatives and six perfections 

Category: Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Business, Development, Governance and Management 

Contents:  Foreword, Dialogue Development and CommunityNew LiteracyFirst Discipline FrameworkProcessMetaphoriaReflectionsFutureFAQs

Foreword

First Discipline (FD) is the discipline of disciplines, the base from which other disciplines are derived. Disciplines, art, science or religion, are but collections of maps of physical or virtual spaces. Literate or illiterate, we cannot survive without maps. We start with models and when results meet our expectations consistently, we elevate them to the level of maps. An example is the periodic table. At the highest level maps  connect meta-disciplines unifying them into knowledge and wisdom. The silos get connected. The self is the agent of learning and transformation of data to information creating sense, meaning and structure. It follows that FD is also the study of the self in relation to the whole, from the level of the personal to family, groups, organizations, and society.

Technological bandwidth increases at a frenetic pace. We also find instances of human bandwidth shrinking even faster. The paradox necessitates that we develop a framework, lens, that facilitates analytics and integration,  seeing and showing the deep structures to achieve much higher levels of integration

Growth is a process of resolving issues of identity, moving from dependence to independence and to interdependence. Individuals, teams, organisations and communities need to go through the process. Copying from less complex contexts will not suffice to stay ahead. It is essential to go far beyond imitation to create competitive advantages. FD offers an analytic and integration tool and methodology to address these challenges and disconnects. Through visual semiotics, it incorporates eco-literacy, the new spirituality of work, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery and other unifiers to work together like an operating system of the self at different levels.  Transfer of learning and mastery of  competences are acquired at a faster pace in comparison to any other approach. If the world has turned out to be imperfect, it has more to do with these models of the world than the world outside. The visual semiotic tool, the new eyes,  show us a coherent whole giving us the new vision an essential prerequisite to creating a more desirable future. As in the case of a terrestrial journey, the approach incorporates positioning, measurement, feedback and reflection, functions that are carried out by the compass, clock and the feedback system that enables the traveler to be on course.

How and what we learn as individuals, communities and community will decide our common future. Targeted learning is context and problem specific and seeks to connect, reflect and catalyze- better, faster and deeper. The pace of learning is the differentiator in the race for market share. Technology and the internet have changed the paradigms of learning. The full impact is not felt since habits linger on. It is feasible now to leave rote learning to the memory devices freeing time and effort to more productive. Learning on a need to learn basis at the time it is required is feasible. Self mediates in the process of transformation of data to information and knowledge creating sense, meaning and structure in turn leading to learning and improvement. Mastery of this process, at the level of individuals, organisations, community and society at large is critical the developmental process.

Icons and symbols, like road signs and traffic signals, can function like a compass. The Graphic User interface accelerated the emergence of a connected world. Within the networks is silicon which has the innate quality of connecting and forming very long chains. Digital and other deeper disconnects of multiple dimensions slow down the journey toward the higher evolutionary potential in us, individual or collective, creating serious threats to the very survival of the species. Marshall Goldsmith tells us ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There‘. If we go by history and precedence we wouldn’t have made the moon shots. History is created when we make it history.

The nature of the common journey is that we move towards our completeness and to greater completeness. A parallel can be drawn for this journey too, similar to out other journeys. Let us say that the journey begins now. I am in Bangalore and the time is 10 AM, 31 May 2008. We need a compass/map and the clock to do this. I would like to go to Mumbai. The direction too is fixed. As I take every step on my journey to Mumbai, I need to make sure that I am moving in the right direction and not away from it. This is reflecting looking back and forth to make sure that the process is in control. The three keywords are Position, Direction and Reflection the basic essentials to take on the physical world. Given the other requisites one is certain to reach Mumbai. Without the first three all the rest will not take us to Mumbai.

Mapping the physical world has become very precise in our times. Between Galileo’s telescope   the Hubble and the Femtoscope, are the very large and the very small – farther and deeper. The observer connects the two attempting to comprehend the whole. Yet we will never comprehend the whole in its totality. At best it will always remain an approximation and there will always be unknowables. What we can comprehend of the physical world is so vast that a system is required to navigate. The journey of life is much more than a journey through external space since we are much more than our physical selves. How does one position oneself for this journey? It is the self which fixes the position, direction and reflect on itself as to the progress of the process. The observer and the observed are parts of the same system. Mapping the whole system, physical, nonphysical, external and internal and evolving a navigational tool is one of the basic requisites for the journey on that less travelled road. From 1981 to 1990, we worked towards evolving the FDF, the road map. Eco-literacy, the new spirituality, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery, and many more unifiers are embedded in the tool.  Since then we have been using tool for dialogue in diverse contexts though dialogue is not in our habit. Politicians and priests preach, professionals prescribe, teachers lecture, parents advise. Dialogue needs adults, not leaders and followers or shepherds and sheep. The approach is process and dialogue based, in real time, stretching without burnout and improves alignment at deeper levels of the self for sustained high performance.  Dream work, re-framing of mental maps through storytelling/writing, envisioning, action learning in a simulated work environment are some aspects of the methodology. The context and details vary but the principles remain the same. Since going online from May 2008, the dialogue continues globally and in real- time.

This living document is the outcome of this continual dialogue. It gets written on its own. In the past, several thousands, bulk of them from the edges, have participated in the process.  I/we in the document represent any one or the community which includes me. Among others, I remain one of the facilitators to the process and I alone am responsible for the biases, errors, omissions and jargon that would have crept in, un-noticed.

Many dots remain to be connected.  Welcome to the dialogue and to connect more of them.

Joseph Manuel

Long term capitalism. Seeing and showing the challenge, solution space and metrics

Some communication is feasible only in the visual mode.  Imagine navigating with text on the road or what the GUI did to computers ! Visual literacy wins where conventional literacy fails.
To lead is to SEE and SHOW
The tool is a visual interface to managing which facilitates, seeing and showing, to create, enhance and continually renew community – local and global.
It shows
  • Positioning, The invariant position and variant positions in the journey
  • Where are we headed?  See the red arrow
  • Where we should be headed, the green arrow. The shift is an imperative.
  • Between the red and green arrows is the blue ocean space/waste in the system, the unrealised potential
  • The process, how to align the four wheels,catalyze the process and ensure that the learning engine continually improves on its previous best performance. Who drives the learning engine?
  • Metrics, measuring real / sustainable improvements.

The framework holds good at all levels from the personal to the community and global.

We have built beautiful castles in the air and it is time now to build the foundations. The apporach integrates and consolidates the essence of all great contribuions of the past and anticipates those in the making. The integral view facilitates and accelerates the journey towards true north transcending semantic barriers.
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. – Lao-tzu.   Seeing is the first step to showing it.From the design follows the prototype, testing, metrics and continuous improvement in specific contexts.
Do you SEE the transformation of classical capital to knowledge and community captial?
Moonshots
  • Develop holistic performance measures
  • Retool management for an open world
  • Rebuild management’s philosophical foundations

Reflections: Joan meets Devassia

“In my father’s house, there are many rooms.” John 14:2

“Stories are not about words. Stories are about pictures.”

Joan Erikson and PC Devassia, in a tete a tete

“Congrats Joan, both of you were born in 1902 but you outlived him by three years and added one more stage to his eight though I would not fully agree with you there. I lived to be a 100 and six months more and gave up my life because I had completed my work here. The last six months were my preparation to quit. I would not call it old age. What strikes me most about the two of you was Erik was very open in acknowledging your contributions to his work and admitting that it is impossible to separate who did what. You certainly will continue to be exceptional examples of family dynamics and professional growth “

“You don’t agree with our nine stages of man”

“I decided what to do with my life when I was nine and continued doing it for 91 years. So it is not the chronological age that matters but whether you take position in life as to the meaning and purpose of one’s life. Some might do this in their midlife and many will never even pass through the first of the ten transformative gates from the human animal to the human. The ten transformative gatesMost people are dead in their thirties and forties though they manifest some symptoms of life, going by the laws of motion. Another problem is time in the west is perceived as linear.  For us a 6000 year old story is as much in the present as it is 6000 years in the future. We have a different way of perceiving time.”

“What would you propose in place of our nine stages of life?”

“We resorted to an ingenious way of crafting stories to carry content. Our philosophy is packaged into stories and transmitted through generations and they are perennial.  We have two of the all-time best story tellers, Valmiki and Vyasa.  Valmiki gave us the Ramayana and Vyasa, the Mahabharata. Between the two stories, the stages of man are elaborated.  The two stories are complementary to each other, the first one is more about family dynamics and the second one has a global canvass. “

“Can you explain the stages of man using these stories?”

“Let us take the character of Ravana. Valmiki draws upon his own life prior to his transformation to create this character. Ravana has ten heads, is very accomplished and he is an immortal, a boon he received for his austerities for 10,000 years. The ten heads symbolises ten stages, avatars, of evolutionary growth. Yet he is considered a primitive, prakrit.  He is juxtaposed against the protagonist Rama, the icon of the transformed man. He has the qualities of a catalyst. In his presence Ahalya, a petrified woman is transformed into her completeness. Though he has passed through many of the gates of transformation he fails to do justice to his wife.

“Ravana despite all his powers falls to win over Sita.  Rama recovers Sita from captivity and Ravana is killed. Ravana is our man of the day.”

“I am more curious about what happened to Sita.”

“That part of the story needs a re-telling in our context.  We had female philosophers, like Gargi and Maitreyi,  but no female versions of Valmiki or Vyasa. In ‘The Palace of Illusions’, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, re-tells the story of Panchali, the central female character of Mahabharata, from a feminine perspective”

“Despite all this noise, silence and the feminine will prevail. Men are such empty drums devoid of their feminine. May be I will work on gender intelligence in my next lifetime.”

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. “

“The camel is in a better position.“

Aligning with the Unknown

Reflections: Deciphering the literacy code, the life hackers

 Infographic Thinking

Continued from, The new literacy

Lifehacking was not coined in those days. The process and the outcomes are summed up in the visual

Nazki the poet, Rob the painter and Professor PC Devassia, Indian Sanskrit scholar and poet were our touch stones for deciphering the literacy code. I met PCD in 1981, 75 at the time. He passed away in 2006 at over 100 years fulfilling all his goals that he had declared himself when he was 60.

He could see for forty years.

Passing the lie detector is no proof of truth and truth detectors are not yet in the market.  Time will prove whether all the noise has any substance.

Has literacy, the real stuff, got anything to do with longevity or sustained high performance? Wiki has a list of lists of centenarians which comes close to our population of literate people. There are 19 categories in this list of lists. Here is the one that relates to literacy.

There is no exclusive list for economists, physicists or physicians. Their theories do not help themselves. Poets, painters, musicians, mathematicians and business men appear to be more literate.   

The man, and his work: 

The literacy matrix

Smoking causes cancer? Most of the cases around me are people who have never smoked from families with no history of smoking. Smoking can at best be just one of the many factors that would have gone into the making of cancer. But this one statement turns us myopic to more obvious reasons other than smoking and the cocktail effect of all those unrecognised factors. For the same reasons, we need to approach literacy from multiple perspectives and with the outcomes  in mind rather than the input or intervening variables. The one outcome that we desired was literacy should take us to adulthood, enable us to self-manage and enhance community which involves

Reading and viewing to seeing

Positioning oneself

Directioning, where am I / are we going?

Reflecting, to be human is to self-reflect ?

Seek, asking questions, digital literacy, going beyond the tools

Bridging the conscious unconscious divide, aligning with the unconscious and the unknowable

Sustainability Less is more. Living without stealing from the future and not leaving any  footprints. Poorrich. Community, Commons

Shifting from sprint to marathon, from shooting stars to light houses

Learning from doing

Time literacy

Science literacy

One thing we learnt in B-School from all those case studies was not to look at anything with a single lens. Use as many as possible and if there is agreement between most of them we are more likely to fare better than most.

If the lens itself is broken, we see everything as fragmented.

” How much time does it take to repair the lens?”

“24 working hours or even less”

” IF so why do we have schools?”

” Your parents have to go to work, come home from work and in between they have to pretend that they work . They also do not know what to do with you if you are not sent to school.”

“True”

Positioning: Where are we?

Visualizing Knowledge

What the dog sees and we don’t. Who has gone aSTRAY?

From the lowly perspective of a dog’s eyes, everyone looks short – Chinese proverb

IF  

Just as we forget phone numbers and multiplication tables with cell phone memories and calculators we have forgotten to check our positions and some whiz-kid has hacked into all the GPSs to show the wrong position

THEN  

We will all be rushing madly to where no one really wants to go

WHAT IF

This is the truth with or without GPS?  

The corruption in our thinking is at the very source itself!

So how do we debug the source code? 

For us the dog’s is a lowly perspective. But we can prove that the dog’s position is above us and ours is the lowly perspective. All dogs do not see the same. Stray dogs see even better than their domesticated fellows. The latter become less intelligent in the process of socialization with the humans who cut them to size to suit their unfulfilled needs and wants of relationships and community. We are far inferior to them on Community Intelligence and I have reasons to conclude that the stray dogs see that we have gone astray! This is what the visual above shows. The top left quadrant shows the increasing potential of simple to complex systems. The bottom right quadrant shows the corresponding performance at each level of systems. We don’t see a gap between potential and performance till the level of animals, the level which also includes the dogs. From the level of animals we see a fall, which we take it as great progress. What we see depends on where we stand.  In the case of the human and still higher systems, performance is below that of animals. The fall is so steep that it is just on par with simple systems similar to a clock. What we see as great progress is a myth and we are firing on all cylinders heading towards disaster without even realising it.

Where are we ? The Chandrasekhar Limit

This has nothing to do with the famous scientist and the phenomenon that goes by his name. This is about another limit more closer home and this Chandrasekhar is a friend of mine. One morning too early in the day for most of us, I found him in front of his regular bar frantic and searching for a familiar face. He wanted to go home but he didn’t know where he was. Imagine his relief to meet me. He could not hold on and it just popped out of him “Where am I?”  He was greatly relieved. I was not. It continues to haunt me that we know far better about the unreachable stretches of space than what is closest to us and we go around creating a world outside to fit the garbage inside us. That also includes the cosmologist who attributes his fear of death to the universe seeing it breaking down like a clock.

The Position and Positions

Without answering where we are as a species, we cannot have an answer to where I am as an individual.

The first step to a common journey, to go home or elsewhere, virtual or otherwise, is to know where we are now .The GPS or the compass eases the complexity of the task in our regular journeys. Progress is a different kind of a journey and we are yet to agree on this first step. Each of us has a different position on this and the proverbial babble of Babel is the corollary. When we have different positions it is imperative that our perspectives do not converge. Unless we agree on a non-controversial reference to the starting point there will be no common journey

When our basic assumptions about the home position, the reference point,  are wrong it is certain that we will reach some place where we never wanted to go. Any process of improvement calls for fixing a starting position, deciding on the direction and reflecting/review with reference to the starting position.

For over two decades we have been asking people what our basic needs are. The first response is invariably the text book answer, “food, shelter, clothing”. For someone who has decided that life itself is meaningless and suicide is a better option, none of these matter. When we ask “How many sides the coin has?” the answer is always the same,two.  With a little bit of prodding around they will shift their positions and see better.

  1. For a moment let us take position where the four lines meet and take in the common perspective that collectively we are no better than a clock in terms of our performance against our collective potential to perform.
  2. Now it becomes possible to fix a direction for improvement and on this journey of improvement there will be variant positions as we move forward
  3. Now it is also possible to position myself (example: a professional or a facilitator to the journey) and see the variant positions, milestones in that long journey

The Burden of Normality

The Burden of Normality

What is the First Discipline?

The first discipline is about map making. Disciplines are but collections of maps of physical or virtual spaces. Art, Science or Religion cannot do without maps. Child or grown up, literate or illiterate, we cannot survive without maps.

What is the process of making maps?

The self mediates in the process. We start with models and when the results meet our expectations we elevate them to the level of maps.

What are Meta Maps?

Meta maps connect disciplines. The FDF is an attempt in this direction.

Is there a hierarchy for Meta Maps?

Yes, at the highest level, they connect meta-disciplines, science, religion and art, unifying them into knowledge. The silos get connected.

Explain. .

On 12 October 1492 Columbus arrived in America. The day is celebrated as Discovery Day in the Bahamas. Vasco da Gama reached Calicut, Kerala, in South India on 20 May 1498. It was a happy coincidence that Columbus reached America. It took six more years of effort for the map to be completed and the mission accomplished.

Ancient Chinese sea farers probably had better maps but history was shaped elsewhere. Galileo was struck by the bolt from the blue but complete acceptance came centuries later.

We need a new set of maps for the next phase of the journey. Most maps waste our time and effort. If we have a unified map, it would point us to the solution space. The ship is ready but the captain is waiting for the map.

Maps are many and they multiply exponentially. Aggregation and synthesis within domains and disciplines do happen but less so between disciplines.

Meta maps reduce the search effort to choose the appropriate map/s for one’s journey as individuals, as members of particular communities and for the collective journey of human progress

Environment, development and sustainability are critical and complex concerns that call for concerted community action across the planet. Simple solutions and quick fixes aggravate the problems.

Every scientist faces the problem of communicating his work within the shortest span of time to the widest audience which points to the complexity of communicating science to the masses in contexts where there is no substitute for reason and collective action.

The GUI, essentially a map and a pointer to possible virtual journeys, took   computers to the living rooms across the planet. The web and the cloud open up vast libraries of information and knowledge. The visual framework discussed here was evolved in the process of addressing the environmental, developmental and sustainability challenges in the state of Kerala while working with livelihood and food security issues in primary production (livestock and fisheries) to evolve institutional systems to address them.

The framework was later put to use in addressing similar issues in one of the largest information technology infrastructure projects to connect local communities for development and governance and   in schools, industry and academia as a tool for facilitation of accelerated organizational / community learning. 

Beyond the Burden of ‘Normality’

December 26, 2004

We were rushing to Cape Comorin, the southern tip of peninsular India, two families on a holiday.

Fishermen on the high seas were casting their nets.

People in other parts of the world were asleep, dreaming good and bad dreams

The Tsunami was wreaking havoc on the Cape Comorin shore, on other shores

We knew when we were blocked on the road by the police.

Most fishermen on the high seas knew when they returned to the shore.

Many never knew

When we ride much bigger waves spanning centuries, we are most likely to take them for granted.  It is Procrustean to catch a giant wave into the bell curve in the time span of a snapshot sans the ripples that the wave creates. So is writing a book about it, the damage is permanent. The trees are already dead.

A blog post is better because I can come back and correct this when I know better and if I am alive. Time is a better judge of our power trips.

Copy CATs do not catch mice

Black or white, intelligent or idiots, they should catch mice. They do, in China, it seems.

This happened here in India, the Biggest Bazaar, apologies to KB

Why do we have to clone cats when we make the best mousetraps?

Let us clone the very best cats, go for a bio-tech solution rather than a manufacturing one. It was decided that we will have the Indian solution and the CAT came to be. The first centre was so successful that beating the CAT became the ultimate dream of the slum dog billions. Every panchayat wanted to have one such center. A task force was constituted to decide the exact number of centers to be set up.

There was this farmer from pre territorial independent days who had four sons and 4 + daughters. The female numbers do not really count. One from the + side had only daughters and Nuthan was the youngest of them.  Of the four idiots, three went to the IITs and one took a short cut to one of the CAT centers. He wanted to prove that he was a better idiot than the rest.

One cool January morning Nuthan calls.

Hi, I cleared the CAT and am called to all the centers

Congratulations, you will soon be the newsmaker 2011

Why ?

You are one among 206,000, almost a Black Swan.  We need to wait before concluding that we are getting mature going by the 15% drop in numbers from the previous year.

You deserve the Miss India talent crown. To the best of my knowledge you never went to school or college but spent most of those years in indoor stadia all over the country, having a ball. You never picked up any quant other than balancing the financial statements in your B. Com finals. Yet you did better than the best in School and College.

What was your percentile?

99.2

Nuthan, you are the cutest of all the cats. All the top cats with a perfect 100 belong to the male of the species, went to IITs, went to school every single day, did their coaching circus and most of them took more than one shot to make it. You don’t figure anywhere here and you have a work ex of three years playing for the oil company which you claim to have been working for and getting paid for it.

Thank you.  I am scared whether I will convert the calls or not.  Will you give me some tips to make it to the finals, clearing the GDPI (for the uninitiated this expands to, Group Discussion and Personal Interview)

If you can bell the CAT without going to the circus you can as well do this without me. You should be scared that they will make you conform.

I know you have helped some to beat the CAT

Ok. Let me run a small test for you

What is the scope for more CAT cloning centers in the country?

13 more

Why?

We already have 13, and there are only 26 letters in the ‘Inglish’ alphabet. Taking the UID route will kill the unique value proposition of the brand. One should not kill the golden goose.

Good, you are already half way there to half the centers

What is Indian about the Indian Institute of CATs

I don’t know

Very good, that is why you are going there. You are almost there for 75 % of the centers

Next one, if they ask what if you don’t make it this year?

I will show them my GRE score which is even better than my CATS and tell them that you will have to face me next year with a still better CATS

Congratulations Nuthan, you will convert all the calls

Here is the last one. Suggest a few titles to the passage above

  • Normalization and the True Normal
  • Copy cats Do not Catch Mice
  • The Bell Curve in Indian Life
  • The Fourth Idiot
  • Talent Mania and The War For Talent
  • What is Indian about the Indian Institutes of Management?
  • MCPs and the Revenge of the Underdogs.

Great, don’t go back to school. They will make you conform to the other idiots, crucify = normalize you on the Procrustean bed. Gates and Zuckerman and the other natives of the connected world graduated from the market, nothing but a different version of the same. Copy cats do not catch mice.

Nuthan:  What is Indian about the IIMs?

I don’t know dear

Thanks. (Thank God, I didn’t go to school)

Similitude to living and dead CATs is intentional

Thou shall not Judge…but

The procrustean is the bedrock of modernity (mediocrity), the generator of pyramids and the hierarchical.   Procrustes is a monomaniac, a Narcissus who sees that he fits his frame perfectly and uses the same to sit in judgment. I am intelligent and the other is less intelligent. I am normal and the other is fit for the madhouse.  I am civilized and the other is primitive. I am a native and you are an immigrant. Mine is the only faith that guarantees salvation. He is the economist who says the American is 35 times more ‘developed’, since the Indian has an average income of 1000 dollars against 35000 for the American. Has anybody met the average Indian or the average American?    The happiness index is outside his frame of reference.

Our Mr Talent does not take to fools easily. He thinks the mainstream media is trash. To reply to the fools who read his books is not worth his time, the real resource, according to his own frame. He finds his dollar worth pocketing since that is the price he fixes himself for his intellectual accomplishments. He declares himself a flaneur, a Black Swan, Prophet in the making.

Prophets ‘normally’ come from the east.  Lao tsu, Buddha, Christ, Mohammad, Sankara (from Kerala) Our Mr. Talent could be a candidate for the elite corps of Black Swans. The rest of us are white swans. That sums up the HIStory of 2500 years.

Prophets can be understood only against their contexts. Christ and the society which created him are so interdependent, that to strip them and to judge them in isolation is procrustean. So is Lao Tzu, Buddha, Prophet Mohammad and Shankara. Black makes sense only against the white.

Mr Talent the immigrant rides the American wave better than the natives beating the natives in their own game and nearly transforms himself to a bridge figure.   Uprooted by the Procrustean and forced to flee, let us hope that he will not sacrifice himself on the bed of Procrustes. Gladwell starts on a very promising note highlighting how community contributes to the health of the Rosettto but very soon succumbs to the compulsions of conforming to the recipe to make it to the best-seller list and goes after what constitutes the success cocktail.

All of them are male?

This is part of the reason why we have the silent unseen wars between,  the female against the male,  the unconscious against the conscious, the revenge of the underdogs,  and why the Built to Last fall apart no sooner than they are built.

Black Swans to Black Sheep?

Throughout these posts we refer to people, not books. The books take us to the people since work defines the person. In the same spirit we look at the living rather than those long dead and still not buried.  What we see depends on where we stand, our positions. One could take the Wall Street perspective or the Bangalore Perspective. The Black swan from the New York perspective turns out to be a Black Sheep from the Bangalore position.

Some books, people and books yet to be written J

  • The Fifth Discipline, 1990, Peter M. Senge
  • If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him, 1974, Sheldon Kopp
  • The Bell Curve, Intelligence and Class structure in American Life,1994, Richard  Herrnstein, Charles Murray
  • Outliers, 2008, Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Black Swan, 2007, The Bed of Procrustes, 2010, Nicholas Nassim Taleb
  • Can Asians Think?,1999,Kishore Mahubani
  • Three Idiots,2009, Movie from India
  • Tunnel Vision, TV. Yet to be published
  • The WFT and the Future History of the Modern Pyramids, 2111. Yet to be published – it takes a gap of around 100 years to normalize our achievements and  to put them in perspective.

The above passage was circulated to the tribe. The comments:

  • Does normal exist?  Yes, when we are true to the design, we are truly normal. It has nothing to do with the fleeting ‘normality of the time’.  The compulsion  to conform to this stupid normality is the burden of normality
  • Based on the ‘normal’ perspective Nuthan would not have been able to get a CAT call since she did not tread the beaten path. She had meaningful answers for the sort of absurd questions that are asked at GDPI, questions tailored to fit the standard profile of those who clear CAT. Despite not being on the conventional bell curve Nuthan was able to crack everything designed to fit the standard CAT profile.
  • Exceptions point to the truly normal and only the truly normal can aspire to be super normal.

Thou shall judge… but keeping in mind the other 51 posts in the series.

P.S. 19 April 2011. Nuthan calls again. She did make it to the one she wanted.