13 You create your own world

Would you like today’s title to be literally true?  In every way?  Would you launch into unbounded fantasy—able to be anything you imagine? Of course you are not THE creator of THE world.  But what if you could start a new one right now?  How much of your present word does result from your choices?  Your answer depends on your point of view, how you define the issue. Monday’s post taught that (a) there is light inside you (b) with which you perceive your counterpart in your environment.  That is, the world is colored by the way you perceive it.  …

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11 How To Evade Discouragement

The Lorado Taft sculpture (Fountain of Time) at the end of the Midway Plaisance in Chicago depicts the human family endlessly springing up ignorant, occupying the world stage for a period, and retreating into oblivion.  It inspires introspection— “what am I doing with my turn on stage?”  Once I have become aware of my existence, surviving requires a threshold work ethic and realizing meaning requires a higher perspective.  An even greater achievement is initiating improvement that endures beyond my physical presence.  Hope is to seek a world renewed. How well do I play on the world stage? Quantitative analysis (measuring) …

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10 How To Buy Successfully

Pressure advertising pushes people into making purchases. Price deadlines accelerate deciding and acting. To boost sales, merchants encourage impulse buying. In contrast, I meet customer needs when the timing is best for them.  When they are ready, I will be there. My goal is to benefit my customers, not my income. If my philosophy reduces my sales by half, I am pleased that I have not given half of my customers buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, customers do not spontaneously imagine everything that can help them.  Better advertising improves living by stimulating creative vision.  There is a difference between …

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9 Counting Votes – RCV

This is the promised discussion of counting ballots in a system of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) discussed in the prior post. First story:–Consider a sports club that is voting on a location for its annual picnic.  Among four alternative locations, the meadow wins the balloting.  After the vote, someone suggests yet another location.  When the vote is repeated with five locations, two votes shift away from the meadow; the baseball field emerges as the winner.  Why should a seemingly irrelevant, unpopular alternative change the location of the picnic?  In RCV, the two unsuccessfully shifted ballots revert to their second choices, …

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8 Ranked Choice Voting (Instant Runoff)

Multi-Party civility:–A one-party state tends toward oppression and a two-party state tends toward gridlock.  These weaknesses detailed in the prior post can be addressed by adding parties so that achieving majority requires forming coalitions based on civility.  People behave better when they hope that the opponent on the current issue will be an ally on the next issue. Multi-Party balancing:–Furthermore, multi-party democracy allows even a small party to influence larger parties away from excesses.  Gridlock between nearly equal political forces can be tipped one way or another by a less powerful party that shifts the balance.  Finesse and agility lead …

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7 Single-Party State?

Like this blog, society is about positive relationships among empathetic people.  Today’s post is another encouragement to diversity and pluralism. Lack of empathy leads to adversarial polarization, which is a primary threat to domestic tranquility in the family or in the state.  Polarization is a path to gridlock, which is a barrier to progress.  A two-party political system is inherently an invitation to polarization.  Shame on the two-party system! Should the two-party system be replaced?  The one-party alternative typically poses even worse prospects.  A very limited reference to the Soviet Union might illustrate a shortcoming of having the Communist Party …

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6 Let’s Be (Positively) Real

Eagerness can tempt us to take shortcuts to wrong goals.  An example is the mythical deity (“jealous god of wrath”) who establishes calm by destroying perpetrators (“the wicked”), a classical quick fix that does not solve problems.  In contrast, patience is a long path to the right goal.  An example is Christian longsuffering that sees the Paul inside every Saul, offering a solution of construction instead of destruction–improving, not removing. We do not expect that every perpetrator will be immediately transformed.  However, the patient offer of redemption strengthens both the mover and the one moved upon and the situation is …

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5 Wishy-Washy

Imagine the pain of loudly supporting one side of an issue only to learn later that the opposite side had the better argument.  A legal advocate or a debate team must know the alternatives and be able to present either side at its best, and universities teach us how to refute any proposition.  Comprehending all viewpoints elevates discussion from assertion to evaluation. Navigating arguments is like driving a vehicle that must be able to turn to the right or to the left in order to stay on the road ahead. When readers expect me invariably to take positions on the …

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4 Cacophony

When I was in middle school, several of us argued religion on the playground.  The object of our contentious discussions was  a) be right (superior subjectively and objectively)b) be distinguished (different from and opposed to someone)c) win (prevail at the expense of the other denominational viewpoint). Sixty years later I regard that display of combative ignorance as childish and unproductive.  It was shared entertainment, but other games and sports would have had more positive personal and social impact. Is adult discourse any different from that childhood activity?  Do contentious political discussions shed any light on our adult topics?  Do political …

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