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July 2018

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Government will be the death of us all

Just had this one published at World Net Daily which you can find here or you can just keep reading ;-)...

In the flow of this 3.8 billion year-old river of life it is death, not life which drives evolution.  Death is that which sculpts the flow of life.  In the marketplace of business it is failure, not success which too shapes, sculpts, and hones that which survives. 

Whether it is an inability to survive in ever changing physical conditions or an inability to convince enough people to purchase your goods or services at the price you require, demise of the entity controls and shapes what remains.

Death and failure are the invisible hands which ensure these systems remain somewhat in balance.  They put a brake on a natural tendency for expansion since growth is only allowed via success.  There is simply no other way.  They also put a brake on poor management by sooner or later severely punishing unproductive behavior.

Death and failure also create a dynamism which infuses the entire system and thus guarantees a flow of experimentation, change, improvement, adaptation.  This occurs regardless of any individual entity’s desires.  As the great business guru W. Edwards Deming noted, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”  This is true whether life or business.

There is one exception to this and they put the entire planet at risk.  These entities are the non-profit organizations we call government.  Unlike the for-profit world, these entities seldom have the mighty chisel of market failure to shape and sculpt them. 

In addition, governments do not have to create at least one dollar of value for every dollar consumed, a feat they seldom if ever achieve.  Thus the more government takes, the poorer the rest becomes.  And unlike the living world, demise of the entity only rarely occurs. 

Thus the naturally controlling forces which bring both dynamism and environment-driven adaptation are absent in these entities we call government.  If they are not contained by some outside force they will have the strong tendency to accept and even propagate poor management and decision-making while also being guaranteed to grow until catastrophic failure. 

This is not driven by the people employed.  It is not driven by those in control.  It is simply the nature of these organizations.   They are artificial in a way of no other organization.  There is no moral aspect to this; it is not good or bad it simply is.

A 2000 report from The Tax Foundation notes, “Government expenditures as a percentage of GDP have growth exponentially since the beginning of the century. In 1900 total government expenditures equaled 5.5 percent of GDP. By 1992 this figure had increased more than six fold to 33.1 percent. This year government expenditures will have dipped to 28.9 percent of GDP.”  In 2018 it is estimated to be up to 35.6%.

Although government does not have death or the marketplace to confine it and drive it to improvement, it does learn and expand.  For the first 141 years of this country’s existence, until 1917, the federal government raised most of its money from customs duties and excise taxes.  With the creation of the federal income tax this all changed.

“Adjusting for inflation, in the 81 years between the enactment of the income tax in 1913 to 1994, government spending increased 13,592%!”  And that march hasn’t slowed, regardless of which political party is power. 

Also from this same 2000 report “The composition of government expenditures has also changed dramatically over time. At the turn of the century most government spending was used to pay for education and training, national defense, and interest payments. Today much government activity involves transferring income from one group to another. This year transfer programs are expected to account for 41.6 percent of government expenditures, a figure that was just 3 percent in 1900.”  In 2014 transfer payments made up 70% of all government spending! 

This too shows the entity of government learning for ways to survive and prosper.  Placing the entity as both the enforcer and middleman of these transfers guarantees itself even more permanence and power; as does effectively capturing a major political party.

So we are left with a reality of these entities constantly striving to expand, and showing significant success over the past hundred years; while at the same time lacking an effective outside source that will contain and carve them towards constant improvement and excellence.

This isn’t a moral or even political issue; it is a physical reality and one which we ignore at our own peril.   

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He also holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.  E.I.C. Enterprise’s GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/so-you-believe-in-science-eh

If you believe in science you must be for small, limited government and individual freedom.

So you believe in science, eh?  Excellent!  So do I.  One aspect of this scientific thinking is a laissez-faire attitude towards results.  A person who truly follows science shouldn’t care one way or the other about a certain experiment; they simply attempt to map reality and by definition must follow the facts wherever they lead.  True followers of science should be impervious to allowing personal biases from infecting their professional thinking. 

With that said, I have a scientific challenge.  My hypothesis is if you accept the fact that we, humans, evolved on this planet then you must also accept as FACT the superior design and performance of limited, small government and individual freedom.  There is no other choice.

As for evolution, there has possibly never been a theory so supported by the facts.  It is overwhelming.  Plus of course there is that pesky fact that we had to come from somewhere.  Let’s call this the Prime Fact.  And all thinking about humans and our societies must mesh with this reality.  If an idea or some supposed human ability can’t be explained in an evolutionarily-constrained world, then it most likely isn’t true.

So why does the reality of life evolution force one to accept small, limited government and individual freedom?  Primarily the realities of swarm intelligence and the laws of statistics.  We can consider these Foundational Facts.  They too, like The Prime Fact are absolute; much like gravity they are everywhere, impact everything, and cannot be discarded based on anyone’s whim.

Swarm intelligence has driven human achievement since long before we were human.  It is the collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems.  Most of the time people think of swarm intelligence when referring to hives of bees, schools of fish, or herds of animals but human “schools” have existed since we have.  In fact all of humanity across all time could and should be considered a school.

A key ingredient in swarm intelligence is that no one is in charge. There is no “management” at all; just countless interactions between individual members with each following simple rules of thumb, each on acting on local information.

No member sees the big picture. No member tells any other what to do.  No fearless leader is required or desired.  In fact if a boss were to attempt to take charge of this process, the entire system would cease to function to the detriment of all members.

These types of systems are self-organizing.  Life itself is self-organizing.  Top-down, hierarchical systems are the antithesis of this Foundational Fact and they exist nowhere in the natural world.  

The beauty of swarm intelligence and self-organizing systems is that even for complex systems like human life and survival, behavior may be coordinated by relatively simple interactions.  And here’s the key; in a self-organizing system there literally is no cause and effect, it just is.  That might be tough to wrap your mind around but that’s the way it is.

Which leads to the second Foundational Fact, good ol’ statistics.  To emphasize the power of statistics think of a trivia contest where a single player takes on a team of 10 and that all players are correct 50% of the time.  The team will win 99.9% of the time.  Take that to a team of 50 and the team wins 99.99999999999% of the time; in effect the team will never lose.  Thus it is a scientific fact; the many will always outperform the few.

The non-profit corporations we call government violate both Foundational Facts.  Those things that make for smart group behavior like decentralized control, response to local feedback, and simple rules of thumb are the exact opposite of what governmental organizations attempt to do. 

Self-organizing systems are an incredible strategy to deal with complexity, government is not.  Worse yet, top-down, command-and-control systems will sooner or later create catastrophic failures, not so with self-organizing systems.

Swarm intelligence has the effect of being a tremendous intelligence multiplier; top-down, command-and-control systems have just the opposite effect.  These things are not true because anyone desires it; they are true because they are provable, scientific facts.

Combine the scientific facts of swarm intelligence and statistics with easily observed real-world results and the conclusion is clear; small, limited government and individual freedom is the only viable long-term design for human societies. 

And even when it is collectively determined government action is required, its actions should be shaped and directed by the Foundational Facts.  Government will provide far superior results if they throw away their top-down, “we know best” designs and build their programs around the realities of swarm intelligence and statistics.

So you believe in science, eh?  So do I and the science is clear.  Large governmental organizations are a provable threat to us all.  This isn’t based on political philosophy or some ephemeral idea.  It is based on hard science.  If we hope to be a long-lived species we must pull back from the brink and once again allow self-organizing systems to do their magic.  The science is clear.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is also founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.  E.I.C. Enterprise’s GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/so-you-believe-in-science-eh

Enlightenment or Dark Ages?

Hey all,

Just had this one published in The Daily Caller which you can find here... http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/19/scientific-revolution-or-dark-ages/



We have become stewards of the planet - whether we want it or not

Just had this one published at The Daily Caller, http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/07/curve-of-earth-is-epiphany-of-stewardship/

Worth the click to read ;-)


Transgendered People? They don't exist

Just had this one published in The Daily Caller which you can find here or you can just keep reading…

My dad’s left hand is messed up.  It didn’t develop properly in the womb.  It’s an oval-shaped thing with small, dangly, non-working nubs.  This hand is both natural - it occurred, didn’t it? - and unnatural - that’s not how a hand is supposed to be - at the same time.

But in no way is he morally inferior because of this reality. He is not defined by his left hand.  It is an aspect of him, but only one of hundreds, and not a very important one to boot.  I suppose people could use his left hand as the sole means to define him but that would be rather silly.

It is not that rare to have a major physical malformation at birth.  We don’t celebrate these issues; we don’t cheer and hope for more babies with birth defects, we just deal with it.  Natural and unnatural at the same time.

Mental issues are no different.  Sadly, schizophrenia is not that rare.  A good friend’s son came down with it while a freshman in college.  He fights the demons it unleashes on a constant basis – there is no escape.  It is heartbreaking to witness.  Yet he too is not morally inferior, not somehow “less” simply because he has this terrible disease. 

Or there is bi-polar disorder.  A friend too fights this on a daily basis.  Educated as an attorney, he is quite intelligent and out-going yet due to his disorder he has never held a job for more than 2.5 years over the course of decades.

And these mental issues cover the gamut.  1 out of 100 female adolescents are starving themselves due to anorexia!  Without treatment a surprising number of these young women will die.

Should we celebrate these poor young women and help further their mental issues by agreeing they are fat and need to lose weight?  Should we assist them in their various methods of self-destruction?  Should we have our public schools celebrate, embrace, and reinforce their mental disorder?  Perhaps install fun-house type mirrors which add weight to their reflections to help them connect with their perceived body condition?  I think most would agree these would be ghoulish to even consider.

Instead we offer them help.  We don’t see them as morally inferior – they aren’t – but rather as simply having a mental disorder that needs to be addressed for their own good.

Yet in what can only be called a period of country-wide insanity, we do just the opposite with those who have a transgendered disorder, i.e. they feel as though “they” are not in internal agreement with their birth gender.  The official name is gender dysphoria and somewhere around 0.3% of the US population have this disorder.   

Do we offer these people help with their disorder as we do with all those others or do we celebrate and encourage their disorder?  Sadly it seems fashionable to do the later.

Society would rightly be up in arms if more and more babies were being born with left hands like my dad’s yet somehow we are collectively expected to “encourage” this one disorder.

And the obvious reason why it is treated differently comes down to one sad fact; it’s only because it has to do in some way with sex. This is a sad reflection on our society. 

This collective insanity is ultimately based on an obvious misunderstanding of human life.  We are not some little gods whose very whim can alter realty… like the reality of gender… rather we are the magnificent product of 3.8 billion years of evolution and are thus not infinitely pliable to whatever temporary whim that might be taken as wisdom and truth.

I have no doubt these individuals, both male and female, profoundly “feel” something; that is a fact.  But it is not a fact these feelings mean they physically are this thing called transgendered.  As a factual, scientific matter there cannot be such a thing.  This is a creation solely of their minds, not the physical world.

As Bertrand Russel noted “… minds do not create truth or falsehood. They create beliefs, but when once the beliefs are created, the mind cannot make them true or false... What makes a belief true is a fact, and this fact does not… in any way involve the mind of the person who has the belief.”

But what of the poor souls with this disorder?  What of their lives?  I would no more feed these people’s mental disorder than I would agree to tell anorexic young women that they really are looking a little chubby.  Both are vile and disgusting acts and we should hold those who do so accountable. 

Having a brain which doesn’t work quite right is no different than having a pancreas which doesn’t work quite right… neither has ANY moral aspect.  But of course problems with one’s pancreas are generally not outwardly noticeable while problems with one’s brain are.  Just the way it is.

I hold no animus against folks with this disorder just like I hold no animus towards my bi-polar friend, my friend’s schizophrenic son, or people like my dad who were born not exactly “right”.  They don’t need our pity.

Each is only a single facet in a multiple-faceted life.  You can embrace them or shun them as you desire.  But please, let us end this insanity that calls for us to celebrate this one, and only this one mental disorder.  These individuals deserve far more from us.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is also President and founder of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.EICEnterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world primarily through K-12 education.