Just the FAQ

SECTION II appendix B:
The dire consequences of
faulty collective decision making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

there can be no other values without honesty
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell
“That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.” Patricia Christine Hodgell
h no bullshitnesty is the best p no bullshitlicy 
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”  — Winston Churchill
Ultimately, growth ensues only by remaining true to oneself, best abetted by others receptive thereto.

Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals.”   Abba Eban

“There's hostility to lying, and there should be.”  — Bob Woodward

a half truth is a whole lie 
and lies are malicious
 
Defining Fictional Entrepreneurship, or: Design Fiction, the ability to make the impractical practical:
Passive denial sinks even the most modest, banal and straightforward proposition into sheer empty pipedream,
whereas honest due diligence ekes barest feasibility study at all even out from the most fantastic overreach.
Because objectivity is never a secure foundation, but merely an honest intention
of error detection and course correction along the way.
-Rigorous business planning towards new venture creation as an exercise in extreme Science Fiction futurological scenario planning and detailed World Building
even in predicting and rising to meet new needs themselves yet to arise.  

Science Fiction isn’t dying; it’s metastasizing!

 

FoolQuest.com strives at recruitment of prospective collaboration partners with integrity to accept responsibility for ones actions, enjoying pride in accomplishment, intrinsically self-motivated, risk tolerant, concerned, curious, creative, problem solving, honest and capable of controversy which is the exchange of the most frank and brutal criticism while maintaining undiminished respect for one another, seeking the challenge and stimulation of worthwhile and demanding goals put forth and yearning to take command and control of our lives.

 

According to Freud, the reality principle in the mind, playing out likely scenarios, weighs the costs and benefits of any effort before deciding either to act upon and gratify or else to restrain and abandon an impulse arising in accordance with the pleasure principle. And this interplay of the pleasure principle checked by the reality principle is obviously fundamental to all motivation and values, being crucial because Eudemonia, authentic well being, arises from human interchange suitable to fulfill intrinsic stimulus needs in harmony with personal values. -not merely character, even howsoever sterling, in the abstract, but real opportunity for life lead in integrity. Thus, happiness comes in meeting ones needs for capable interaction with responsible others, partaking together in that very interplay of the pleasure and reality principles that imbues living with meaningful relevant value and autonomy.  

 

 

Fearless stimulation seeking: Opportunities such as they are, that typical consumers readily respond to, consist in any part of the self achievable and in any other part of supposedly guaranteed provisions. By contrast, the vast uncertainly of real cooperative investigation is always daunting.

But in the end, nothing less will ever really do. A common twice exceptionality, lifelong deadly social and career learning disability among gifted underachievers, ongoing products of lifelong asynchronous development, in even somewhat rebelliously stunned apathetic bored and lonely deficiency of all such executive function including poor memory and low organizational skills, in actuality may be entirely due to severe underarousal to such fully active responsiveness as arising only to howsoever valued high standards of social support towards the grievously undersupplied stimulus of true pleasurable, engaging and meaningful opportunity.

TABOO!The fake it until you make it crowd are those desperately calculating would be popular pricks and cynical seekers of social and material success who openly dismiss any genuine interest in others as superfluous. They even explicitly exhort the obliteration by directed mental effort, of all that is human and genuine, denounced as merely an obstacle to cynical social and material success achieved by robotically faking it until you make it. All around the world and across the Internet, thus do those desperately calculating cynical seekers of social and material success, just suck up all the air in the room with all their endless shucking and jiving! But it's really all just a hollow and desperately protracted ritual of defeated ultra conformism and Narcissistic heteronomy.

So, gentle reader, do not struggle to change your thoughts.
How repugnant! At any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm. And yet, why should you change your thoughts and emotions? Do your thoughts even require correction? Why? Are your thoughts insane? Are you a frivolous person? Or just like anybody else, and just as good and important, don't you have whatever your own perfectly good reason to be upset? Why live in secret terror or bullying and ostracism simply should the cheerful facade ever slip? Don't you want sympathy and understanding when you are feeling blue? And isn't so cheerfully lying to oneself, as well as irresponsibly ignoring all manner of crucial information, serve as nothing so much more or less than an introverited barrier preventing and obstructing the sympathy and understanding of others? And is not true hope to be found in drawing plans and taking action to improve one's circumstances? And to that end, don't you want to reach out for new ideas toward real substantive help and cooperation? Best of all, don't you want to have fun together in the process?

The various promoters of and adherents to happy thoughts and sublime apathy are always such a miserable downer! Why? Because that's all they ever want to do, or even to permit others to talk about! It is impossible to do anything or make any other plans, with those damn promoters of happy thoughts and sublime apathy on just about every forum online. I ask: How can we interact and what can we do together, to ameliorate
lonely boredom and suffering and reach out for happiness? To begin with, what experiences and stimuli, what social interaction exactly, are we each secretly pining for in such painful loneliness and boredom? How can we make plans to have fun while solving those problems about which we are each so unhappy? But the those damn promoters of happy thoughts and sublime apathy on every forum online say no! We must only talk about turning inward in order to manufacture happiness or quell thought and suffering of the ego and generally just decide to be content. We must never be disagreeable or argumentative or ever dare strive and come to grips and seek to improve our lot, or even actually try to have any fun activity! We must never even discuss such things. That is how the various promoters of and adherents to happy thoughts and sublime apathy are always such a miserable downer! They are actually all just anti-intellectual Reductionist touchy-feely crypto-Nihilists only bent upon oppressive wholesale value destruction. And then inflated confidence and denial from lying to oneself inevitably called into question, elicits dystress as the bubble bursts.

Fruitful dialogue requires not shared assumptions let alone flagrant bad faith, but any honest desire to progress any nearer to truth and sympathy or interest in sharing or at all comprehending one another's aims and problems, let alone POV or situation. Anything less is fruitless non engagement, even if short of the actual hostility of flaming.

Listen up everyone: Self-manipulation is for losers!
We are drowning in relentlessly passive-aggressive bad faith and snake oil, like stunned dull witted sheeple ever in need of controlling "motivators!" 

That is why FoolQuest.com remains dedicated, first and foremost, instead, to systematic and concerted cultivation of exactly such optimally pleasurable, engaging and meaningful interaction so essential to human flourishing. And what could be better?

Ultimately, growth ensues only by remaining true to oneself, best abetted by others receptive thereto. The kneejerk blithe dismissal of all criticism and dissatisfaction as negativity and low self esteem can only serve only to repress all complaint and hope of innovation for the better, thereby merely preserving oppressive status quo, both collectively and individually. 

Rational doubt, after all, is not despair in perverse certainty of whatever the contrary. Only rational skepticism allows every possibility and free speculation to consider the incredible and even take it seriously, exploration even without dogmatic certainty, conviction or effort of faith, all of which are superfluous at very best, and so often by far so much worse.

Even the stifling wretched ethos of touchy-feely unwanted "sharing" that has propagated from the plethora of bogus support groups, has so heteronymously glorified even the most mediocre banal small talk into an invasive but privileged and tolerated ritual proselytizing, exactly as with as with attitudinal Zen motivational positivity and Behavioral conditioning in the service of manipulative would-be Machiavellian social success pep rallies, together all completely sucking the air out of the room, nowadays especially online.

 

 

 
 Rigorous business planning towards new venture creation may even be embraced as
an exercise in extreme Science Fiction futurological scenario planning and detailed World Building.  
For such is the positive power of negative thinking and rigorous due diligence!
Passive denial sinks even the most modest, banal and straightforward proposition into sheer empty pipedream,
whereas honest due diligence ekes barest feasibility study at all even out from the most fantastic overreach.
 

Indeed, far short of paralytic anxiety, simple avoidance and cognitive narrowing or tunnel vision as to constrain ones repertoire of alternative solutions, introverited defensive pessimism only seeks never to raise expectations unduly, in order thereby to consistently reduce disappointment and anticipatory dystress thereof. Whereas the Contrarian realistically prudent cautious optimism of extroverited defensive pessimism is the active caution channeling even the most perpetual anxiety constructively into advance troubleshooting by detecting even catastrophic snares and anticipating even the worst-case scenario of any situation in order thereby to carry out planning so as to minimize losses and damage.

For example, any serious and successful investor, however necessarily risk tolerant, never simply relies upon luck, but adamantly demands the most rigorously prudent and critical extroverited defensive pessimism in formal business plans, therefore crucial to aspiring Entrepreneurship and civics. Even growth in the arts, with nothing else at stake, nevertheless depends entirely upon valuing frank critique.

Experimentally, in good or bad circumstances alike, depressive pessimists demonstrate more realistic judgment and more accurate prediction than optimists, both perform equally well and better the median norm, but neither tend to perform well in attempting to exchange respective coping strategies. Just as the saying goes, it's how you play the game: To the rational disposition, even the good faith attempt at gathering supporting evidence for arguing rationally, and the greater the challenge, nevertheless piques sympathetic curiosity, whereas howsoever even seeming evasion only raises the specter of malignant extrinsic and ulterior motive to dishonesty.

 

A Quick Guide toipedreaming
“Neurotics build castles in the sky, Psychotics live in them, and Psychotherapists collect the rent!”

   
   
ipedreaming  are delusionally embraced and/or fraudulently proffered. -the wish without the will...  

 

 

Pipedreams , no less than crank conspiracy theories, may even venture into the absurdist surreal, depending upon the degree of self contradiction and plot holes. Pipedreams are half-baked schemes, cognitively disintegrated, insufficiently thought out, ill-conceived, lacking sound judgment, proportion and good sense, putting the cart before the horse and going about whatever project in a haphazard fashion, setting up steps out of order and working in a confused manner. Hence, while traditionally pipedreaming is focused upon any wild, lofty or ambitious objective, but just as even the wildest and loftiest of ambition can be approached seriously and productively, contrawise, with determined irresponsibility, even the most unambitious, straightforward and mundane propositions may be readily reduced to utter half-baked pipedream. And of course there are always scams and rackets outright.

ipedreaming  is not overreach, but the utter surrender of hope and diligence before even any mere specter of overreach.

Pipedreams always run into knots. Pipedreamimg is always a roadblock to success. And any open good faith effort at all to unsnarl pipdrerams, is already the awakening from mere pipedream. The problem is not any lack of prior justification. There is no such thing as prior justification, or need thereof. All hypothesis begins in uncertainty and from unfounded conjecture, subjected only thereafter to critical thinking and follow up investigation. Therefore, in order to assure utter pipedreaming, always think happy thoughts and scorn all criticism, never trifle with details and always put the cart before the horse. There are three levels of half-baked pipedreamimg: First degree pipedreaming of bad ideas is the most straightforward: Never set an agenda, clarify the question, doubt or check whatever premise. Continually stall by falling back upon hand waving: gloss over all real issues and problems with vague explanation and impressive but insubstantial words or actions. Indignantly ignore all objection. Second degree pipdreaming is malagenda, the dishonest skilled incompetence of poorly defined irrelevant obsession with unquestioned arbitrary procedure. But instead, to reduce really good well reasoned proposals to half-baked pipedream nevertheless and nonetheless, third degree pipedreaming requires adamantine irresponsible crimestop in all questions of implementation with fear and loathing towards any pertinent implementation specialists; all much in accord with the disastrous pervasively ingrained taboo upon true and effective values-driven enterprise that so effectively and reciprocally segregates the grasping of relevant principles from the exigency of practical endeavor. Thus, at any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm.

Many people seem to whatever degree actually somewhat reluctant to regulate their own lives at all. You can't make plans with them. And this is annoying enough even in ordinary social life, let alone any more serious business. They might have big dreams, utterly unrealistic fantasies or even actually entirely feasible good ideas, so long as they are deluded enough to think that it will all come easy, but lose all interest at the first sign of difficulty, no matter how solvable. Such is the wish without the will. Some are ambivalent, dazed and confused with all of life's pressures and conflicting responsibilities even howsoever foisted upon them manipulatively. Many are hopelessly conflict averse. The worst are just frighteningly helpless and a danger to themselves. Such is the decline in autonomy and the heteronymous reliance upon externally imposed behavioral structure. But there may be worse, even for being only at all any better, the ones one might not see coming, and just give them any chance:

For all their expressed dedication and enthusiasm, prospective collaborators, so far and few between, are all too often so entirely dishonest with themselves, exploiting new contacts, keeping their distance and losing interest once they've picked their brains even in order howsoever to plagiarize, or gotten the mark to do their short term leg work on spec for free. Wrestling with whatever secret social anxieties and misanthropy, they won't help organize or network with the mark, neither following up on leads provided them, nor sharing their contacts in return. This amounts to a passive form of covert relational hostility instead of social inclusion, likewise in order to exploit an isolated target with impunity. Otherwise, other stakeholders might attempt to make the offender answerable. After all, antisocial paranoia or pretexts of confidentiality, are time tested ploys for isolating the mark, and shielding abuse or exploitation, let alone sheer wasteful business mismanagement, all from public scrutiny.

Some pipedreamers might be driven by fantasies of simply dumping their own grandiose schemes and dreams entirely onto anyone else's' shoulders. They might be jealous malignant Narcissistic ungrateful cranks, even undermining and squandering the very work invested by their unwary partners, even on their behalf, even snatching defeat from the very jaws of victory, simply in order to keep all of nothing rather than share part of something. That's what a pipdreaming crank does, no matter how talented or intelligent, when they've latched onto anything promising. Whatever the details, and for all of the melodrama, once they exhaust the supply of marks after still getting nowhere, then after wasting and exhausting everyone's time and good will, they simply vanish, leaving all in shambles.

When a pipedreaming crank becomes enamored of whateer deluded fantasy or half baked notion, they yearn to share and to propagate whatever that silly idea and set the world ablaze in like passion! Alas that so many have even been charismatic enough to pull it off. But worse and just the opposite, when a crank actually latches onto any good idea, they smother and asphyxiate it, even effectively becoming hunter-killers on the Web, annihilating every chance for the realization of whatever their own precious vision. Malignantly Narcissistic and ever yearning for validation by the support of others that only then steadily rises into inner conflict with mounting jealousy against all invited efforts at collaboration, such would be men of destiny effectively become, indeed, hunter-killers on the Web, destroying all they touch and nipping every hope of realization in the very bud. So beware and prepare

Perhaps worst among pipedreaming malagenas are Moralism and Utopism, being the doctrine that responsibility is impossible save in the lights of perfect (or justified) knowledge of whatever ultimate truth and/or towards whatever ultimate good (to which of course, the ends ever justify the means), responsibility is impossible. Thus by promising the impossible and the unnecessary, do high-minded scoundrels ever evade even the most minimum and ordinary of obligations and pedestrian expectations of minimal responsibility to which private citizens, service providers and public officials are held accountable under democratic civility and the rule of law. -By entirely removing responsibility from foreseeable consequence, into a realm of perfect and pure abstraction. Such mad and dangerous Utopist thinking remains entirely distinct from what is simply Utopian merely in terms of even laudably embracing high ideals or altruistic ambitions entirely without the madness of Utopist ideology.  

For happiness, Epicurus espoused freedom, friendship and thought. Indeed: Happy people talk more seriously together, freely, and with less small talk. Because otherwise, to quote Olmstead: “After all is said and done, much is said and little is done.” And to quote Benjamin Disraeli: "Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”  Indeed, one feature of serious conversation is agenda. Moving from the abstract and general, to the concrete and particular, characteristics of agenda are questioning open endedness, the practice of criticism and controversy, strategic planning into expanding collaborative action. Agenda is therefore taboo. In any bureaucracy, especially as in any way influenced by or affiliated to what passes for education, if calls to agenda cannot simply be ignored or condemned, they will typically be countered with call for compromise in the name of convention and sensitivity, all amounting to the heteronymous annihilation of all the aforementioned responsible and liberating characteristics of agenda.

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." — Abba Eban

Fake fun is such inane mimesis as wherein two or more individuals strive mightily in somewhat desperate pretence and exhibition of having great fun, often according to social expectations of good cheer, positive attitude and group validation, and quintessentially as in any group of losers, utter tools, messing around, jumping on each other's backs and forced laughing uproariously all the while painfully yearning and casting about for approval in order thereby to realize all such mimesis of happiness in social success. More often than not, anyone conspicuously and ostentatiously whooping it up, just overselling it, is deep down alienated bored silly and working overtime psyching themselves up into having a good time and a positive attitude in order thus to demonstrate peer group validation and thereby gain social approval, and especially, y'know, so's that chicks won't smell the needy desperation! Arguably, we are all typically somewhat guilty of fake fun in making silly expressions and goofy poses for group photos in Existentially Absurd, Ecclesiastically futile recreational social gatherings and outings. /

“False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared.”

 

— Charles de Montesquieu

 

The fairytale Power of Positive Thinking typically platitudinous exhortation to delusional optimism in yearning for the confidence of lost innocence, sheer bloody-minded GREENLANTERNism, the barking mad antirational lunatic ideological prescription to rose colored glasses, fanaticism, heteronymously compliant infantilization, systematic pipedreaming and the sheer mimesis of complete certitude in absence of any such impossibility, confidence and self esteem as panacea, indeed, sheer determination and persistence as the infallible solution to all problems and remedy to all failures, constant and incessant struggle to psych ourselves up and stay the course, even abandoned entirely to ones own devices, no matter what, paranormalist desperate hope from a false god of forced enthusiasm, all only really amounts to lying to oneself and living that lie. Anyone may exhort others to be happy, extolling all the good thereof, assuring all and sundry how achievable at least in theory. Those damn motivational speakers can and do cause harm. Indeed, pandering to overconfident optimism only risks the inculcation of dangerous illusion with concomitant painfully debilitating pressures of suppression and denial. In the immortal words of Sigmund Freud: "That which is not expressed, is actedout." often via insinuation and suggestion, the very stock and trade of all Behavioral Modification. Hence the Freudian injunction against suggestion, violated a'priori by Behaviorism. Denial in avoidance of truth only represses inner conflict, distressfully, and impairs rational decision making.

Role models are personal influences, figures of success that others identify with and warmly turn to in admiration and for an example in order to emulate, for confidence, validation, socialization, cherished values and strategy in hopes of overcoming obstacles. For a rôle may also indicate an emotional state expressed, a motivated goal as ever put forth or function as represented by another, but even as all such may Existentially or manipulatively serve and conceal an ulterior agenda, however downright pathological. And within limits, thinking and frame of mind, psychology and role-modeling for good or ill and easier said than done, ever finds external efficacy only insofar as thinking and frame of mind are actually reflected externally, as perceptible by others and/or in action taken. -as even perhaps by the mediation of transformative character growth, but only one way or another into mechanistic causality (and never sheer magical denial). Exactly such reasonable observation and value of role-modeling into demeanor, character growth and action, is coherently elaborated upon in The As-If Principle. -Alas all but an overture, bait-and-switch lure, only into more of the same old willful positively snake oil crap, the same inane blatant "Fake It Till You Make it"  bad policy of alienated mimesis, dangerous blithe dissemination of pipedreaming bad advice and lies to the unsuspecting, unrealistic unteachable isolating pretense and fool's paradise doomed to failure, all fallaciously assuming to begin with, that we are at all quite simply endowed with conscious command over inner life. We aren't. And role-models must be selected with care.

Beware Skilled Incompetence, the consequent dishonestly heteronymous adaptation by gutless executives marshalling information Inductively, and thereby manipulatively avoiding any relevant productive outcome of conflict on any level from controversy and never changing the course of action, fixed malagenda under predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink teamtraps of Stockholm Syndrome (to whatever degree)!  Indeed, pipedreaming willful positivity is so often a prevalent force for inaction, even actually hostile towards clearly effective and practical initiative, let alone risk, courage and uncertainty. Alas, heteronymous religion, in every time and whatever form, ever spewing forth the same promises and exhortations, in the demands of faith, has always rejected reality principle, while moralistically struggling also with pleasure principle. Nowadays, medicated Behaviorist consensus manipulation Nihilistically infiltrates every sphere of life, motivational positivity scorning reality principle while latter day Zen likewise scorns pleasure principle. Indeed, far from any sort of basic survival struggle in active life affirmation, and even without overt religion as such, terror management strategies of Deathism, the pacifying glorification of death, persists in making taboo of Cryonics and even of Radical Life Extension research.

NEW YORK GUIDES   Kera Bolonik   interveiw DAILYSHOW   Jon Stewart  full episode featuring... Barbara Ehrenreich TV interviews ELLE   Ben Dickinson   interview JEZEBEL   discussion of:: Barbara Ehrenreich    Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
 
Barbara Ehrenreich,

For to the typical motivational speaker and their ilk, every meaningful value is readily sublimated into quick manipulation via empty marketing association and mystique. Any motivation, no matter how genuinely intrinsic, goes unrecognized as end in and of themselves, instead to be be exploited manipulatively, Behaviorally, persuasively sublimated into an extrinsic motivator, twisted, convoluted, sublimated and vastly redirected to any other ends conceivable. As ever, here once again, marketing often strives to confuse and inveigle the consumer in to compensation for genuine underserved needs, via the elicitation of positive associations and mystique, seldom actually substantiated in whatever goods or services. When a motivational practitioner of whatever stripe claims expertise in human motivation, they neither extend nor proffer any iota of genuine respectful autonomy support to aid and abet individual motive, but rather only connive and contrive by manipulative Behavior Modification, Sophistry, cajolery and blandishment, beyond any reasonable differed gratification, to subvert and obsessively sublimate activity away from the direction of whatever motivation they strive to harness and exploit. -how to transform motivation intrinsic to any one desire, in order to motivate activity entirely extrinsic thereto.

For example: Any soul crushing drudgery as the optimistic first stage tradeoff towards one fine day ever, anything else entirely more pleasurable, meaningful or engaging, any mindless conformity as the vital groundwork for revolution, even dishonesty and talk that is never to the point, indeed, whatever the most oblique path conceivable to close a sale or even to win the heart of one's intended, a standard Romantic trope. -manipulators teaching manipulation, manipulatively

Dissent is readily quelled by browbeating people in whatever distressful circumstances that it's all because of their negative attitude and to stop complaining and get with the program. But ideological history and current events both teach us that the program of determined positivity in oppressive social control, repeatedly turns out to be a protracted exercise of willful ignorance blindly bound for calamity and inflated collapse. A standard feature in the typical experience of the ever hopeful disciple's cult recruitment, religious or secular, is in the restraint of genially going along with whatever procedure in hopes that things will begin to unfold and make more sense later on. It never does, but, much as with many unsuccessful relationships, soon too much is invested easily to let go and walk away. Instead, one simply slips into the inertia of exhausted despair for which one may even blame oneself. For the ideology can never be flawed, oh, no, no! It's all only a test of our faith to redouble effort in building ever further and grander layers of denial and reaction formation! Snake oil, bah humbug! What can be more shameful and brutally insensitive than to dismiss all human frustration and suffering with ever the same cheery: buck-up and stay positive!  Just such fake fun is much the same pitilessly tyrannical advice so blithely proffered to prostitutes: How to be charming and feign pleasure, even amid the most soul crushing degradation.

The age old question persists: Is Zen a religion? Well, certainly along with motivational Behavior Modification, Zen qualifies no less as yet another rancid flavor to Marx's famously proverbial opiate of the sheeple, a force for inaction likewise so often faddishly prescribed to dull Proletarian discontent. Surely all such exhortation to sublime apathy or willful positivity even by means of Behavioral Modification is actually initiated from the controlling parental ego state of Transactional Analysis. Indeed, how callow and self serving to castigate, ostracize and even terminate from gainful employment, those deemed excessively critical or negative. How judgmental they all are against judgmental people! And what poor judgment thereby. Indeed, how cruel and lonely, how bereft of all animal compassion, to deny those who suffer, even dying cancer patients, their fear and anguish, and all in such pigheaded heteronomy to relentlessly willful positivity! Why, in any public discourse as on every online forum, any salient agenda such as any quest whatsoever for happiness by actually seeking to improve one's actual circumstances in order better to fulfill Intrinsic values, or any call to stand to against the debilitating oppression of continual and destructive serial bullying, is regularly quashed and tabooed by immediate puerile  soft-flame outcries of Zen Nihilistic value-destruction in blanket invalidaton, admonition instead only to search within for sublime apathy. Bah, humbug!

Behold the cruelty and depraved indifference of all such exhortation to willful positivity, often demanding the embrace of misfortune, illness, injury, loss of gainful employment, often demanding the embrace of misfortune, illness, injury, loss of gainful employment, yes even dying and death, all extolled as a journey and a blessing! Terror management strategies of Deathism, the sentimental morbid glorification of death. For whatever desperate solace of fantasy in Deathism and terror management strategies explicitly religious or otherwise, are no longer even arguably harmless. For terror management strategies of Deathism are to the ultimate heroic measures of Cryonics and to vital ongoing research into Radical Life Extension, what Christian Science is to life saving Medicine! But then, if death isn't so bad, what can be wring about murder, especially by persuasion alone and without violence? As Mark Twain: observed, funerals are for the living. Only the bereaved may seek for whatever solace. The only possibility at all of ever actually helping the dead, the only stopgap pending  future treatment, remains with Cryonics.  

The old joke goes, how after a particularly lengthy, long winded and boring sermon, the benumbed parishioners filed out from the church departing with not so much as a word to the poor lonely preacher. But towards the end of the line the ever hopeful preacher spied one thoughtful churchgoer who always went to the thought and effort to offer some comment at all upon each and every sermon. "Pastor, today your sermon put me in mind of the peace and love of God." The pastor was thrilled! "Nobody has ever said anything like that about my preaching before. Pray tell me why." "Because it hath endured forever."  

Motivational speaking is consistently more portentously trivial, empty, dull and predictable than the most excruciatingly wearisome and  boring of sermons!  Whereas, however, even barring the amusement even of sheer theatrics from the pulpit, an interested study of whatever scripture may still always discover new riches to share. But motivational exhortation remains empty, intrinsically shallow, insulting to the intelligence and ultimately dispiriting. -All Hallelujah for Hallelujah's sake, with no other even purported good news!  Indeed, everywhere dominating and subsuming all other conversation whatsoever, relentless Zen conditioned exhortation to Positive Thinking consistently sucks all the air out of the room!

One typically contemptible motivational charlatan actually begins interminably "tickling the ears" by defining what is a placebo, and not concisely either, but so earnestly extolling all its magic at length, and even sinking to all the tricks of a Fakir, and with every pretense of great profundity despite all seemingly genial light hearted conventional presentation in a tone of prestidigitation as if for purposes of harmless entertainment! Motivational speakers simply are not there to impart information, clearly and efficiently, but in the most flagrant violation of the injunction against suggestion and whatever trust placed in deathly patronizing motivational speakers or materials, to drag things out in order to promote stressfully under stimulated desperation from which persuade by tantalizing manipulative appeals to wishful thinking. For exactly such is the charlatanry of motivational speaking. And how loathsome to be so toyed with! Every time I am exposed to motivational non-content, I only want to climb on stage to beat and throttle the motivational speaker to death with my own bare hands, screaming: "Just come to your fucking point, you pompous braying jackass!" But of course, there is none.

As the saying goes, don't burry your lead! And especially, not on purpose! Any offer of real value should begin with real selling points of whatever is offered and terms thereof, even from line one! -All in order of diminishing importance, without beating about the bush. And all failure to do so, all such empty build up and puffery, is the sure sign of bunkum and mediocrity. Of course, someone merely struggling to express themselves, especially with real new ideas, may readily be forgiven, but never such shark-like caginess over clichéd placebo! No one with any ounce of lucid self respect ever wants to be jacked up and "motivated" by anything beyond good information, real opportunity, favorable circumstances and that pearl of our troubled existence, true honest friendship, and certainly never by any such inane and incessant bogus motivational cheerleading idiocy.

Any distress in life is no mere trivial itch, some nuisance to be suppressed or excised, but an alarm to be heeded! Indeed, in the cutting prose of Kathleen Norris: "When you are unhappy, is there anything more maddening than to be told that you should be contented with your lot?" Any variation upon Motivational Power of Positive Thinking is just more of the same exuberantly insulting bait and switch for anything that really matters. Instead, FoolQuest.con seeks to recognize and address unhappiness, demanding hope only as from hardnosed discourse among equals in genuine pursuit of viable strategy. Otherwise, what hope can there truly be?

On the other hand, among any other by far more appealing and far more interesting contributions, and just to be fair, theoretical Positive Psychology has achieved some improvement upon traditional cultish Power of Positive Thinking self manipulation by avoiding straining credulity unto the sheer inner conflict of dishonest hypocrisy and taboo that is cognitive dissonance willfully obtuse even unto crimestop.

For among the repertoire of theoretical Positive Psychology feel good exercises, gratitudes, counting one's blessings, implicitly focuses upon selective howsoever at all truthful statements rather than actually lying to oneself outright as exhorted by those damn motivational speakers who do cause harm. So, indeed, it could be worse! (The irony keeps us honest!) Likewise, the feel good repertoire of Positive Psychology also includes "best possible future self" exercises,  implicitly constrained from sheer fantasy and delusion by practicality and plausibility. Such much. Because gratitude, like joy and happiness at all, is still reactive to howsoever favorable circumstances and therefore impermanent but renewable experience that can never be possessed. Practice, or ritualistic self inducing of gratitude is still the same old Power of Positive Thinking self manipulative behavioral conditioning and sheer utter denial, all still in violation of the injunction against suggestion.

The feel-good collection of insulting self manipulations called: happiness interventions, are activities of autosuggestion and affirmation, at all any more benign than standard behavioral conditioning and willful positive thinking, in that happiness interventions contain any grain of truth in order forestall the outright inner conflict of sheer denial. Hence the so called: happiness interventions fall short of earnest pursuit of deeper meaning and value. That is why Positive Psychology has so often and so readily been so perverited into the most oppressive willful positive Behavior Modification.

The difference is too much of a fine point, and not enough of the values that Positive Psychology fails to adequately and consistently cleave to. The happiness interventions are still too much of a pep rally for self honesty and attention to others, let alone compassion for the appropriateness of grief, as applicable. And to make matters worse, Positive Psychology borrows liberally from the Zen, a notorious doctrine of self abnegation. Happiness interventions are "reasonable" and adaptive to circumstance, instead of authentic will to power and freedom even howsoever "unreasonably" demanding substantive change. That is why ultimately, happiness interventions are only dubious sublimation and softcore denial, just more of the same silly autosuggestion.

Alas however, there is precious little to salvage from Positive Thinking, even in whatever moderation. For precisely what sort of Positive Thinking is NOT one way or another denial based? Positive Psychology interventions only improve upon the self deceiving delusional behavioral suggestion of willful positive thinking, in that the suggestions, counting ones blessings, are better and more reasonably selected so as not to so blatantly affront sheer credulity and thereby only giving rise to cognitive dissonance. But even such more moderate approach, still violates the Psychotherapeutic injunction against suggestion. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is receptive to the patient's own unvarnished feelings, happy or unhappy. Critiquing depressive thought patterns or: "mental behaviors" is still just Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. After all, it takes such little effort of faith to believe that London is located in England or that two and three equal five. Indeed, even without smuggling in via whatever proverbial back door, any from the entire dishonest gamut of pacifying propaganda indoctrination, religion and crank ideology, conditioned forced cheer, sublime apathy and resolution of contentment in make do, nevertheless the very pertinence of any and all manner of self improvement as often extolled as the path to every success, still obviously depends upon whatever specific circumstances as they relate to whatever particular unmet needs and genuinely motivating values.

Positive Psychology at least differs from Behaviorism, in that Applied Positive Psychology even in quest of improved performance, aims at even at all meaningful elicitation of peak experiences of enjoyment rather than in rejection of the psyche, mere subject compliance often by suppression of inner conflict. And yet in application of metrics and whatever hedonic calculus to any observable fluctuations in transitory pleasure in order thereby to gain an average over time thus to assay happiness longitudinally, something is still lost in translation thereby still quite missing the point, because often Zen influenced researches in theoretical Positive Psychology, hence not entirely unlike Behaviorism, may arrive at implicit invalidaton even of intrinsic motivation, desires, values and ambitions indeed as no more than mistaken hypotheses of resultant happiness, in other words: snares of illusion, the maya. -and all from the cutting edge observation that life is often different from expectations!

Again, returning to sheer unadulterated  motivational malarkey, a standard feature of the experience of the ever hopeful disciple's cult recruitment, is in the restraint of genially going along with whatever procedure in hopes that things will begin to unfold and make more sense later on. It never does, but, much as with many unsuccessful relationships, soon too much is invested easily to let go and walk away. Instead, one simply slips into the inertia of exhausted despair for which one may even blame oneself.

Don't do commissioned sales work or recruitment unless you are already good at it, and think twice before actually paying for the privilege!

A racket is any dishonest scheme or ongoing transaction, all not as it contrives to present itself and as tacitly accepted or endured by the majority, but deception, coercion and manipulation conducted for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. A racket, after all, is any dishonest scheme or ongoing transaction, all not as it contrives to present itself and as is tacitly accepted or endured by the majority of those involved, but in actuality a scam or fraud, a deceptive practice of coercion and manipulation conducted for the benefit of a few cronies at the expense of the many. Get with the program: The program never fails. You fail the program!  The masses will always comply in ever greater effort and diligence jumping through hoops and fighting amongst ourselves for scraps, believing and rationalizing just about anything, all in order to obtain whatever artificial scarcity and bait-and-switch, no matter how plainly contrived. Indeed, there are many such rackets, in every social context from religion, Zen, what passes for education, whatever is fashionable in diagnosis and treatment, particularly Behaviorism in whatever Sophomorically trendy new guise, and, of course, there are always those seedy network marketing pyramid scams and the like, ever vying for respectability. But one might as well trust in a compass with no needle, as buy into all manner of online courses, books and dubious business opportunities accumulating in our SPAM folders, always promising that much touted roadmap [sic] to success. Of course, any "roadmap" [sic] here is metaphorical, but for what? I can only warn you, gentle reader, what such a roadmap [sic] is definitely not: The promised "roadmap" [sic] is never any serious or serviceable mentorship support from inception to accomplishment of everything as promised, nor even so much as any real usable business plan explicitly laying bare, first of all, whatever quantifiable pertinent assumptions in detail as howsoever supported by the data and research, along with any sort of cost and revenue projection and scalable spreadsheets, both monetarily and in man-hours, let alone any inventory of whatever required or expected background knowledge and skills sets presumed or else fairly steep and more often than not unsupported learning curves, often sales related though not necessarily (of course they swear that anyone can do it! and even with the greatest of ease!), let alone requisite aptitude and temperament to whatever the nature, sensation and savor of primary activities en tailed, the pros and cons of whatever to expect, whatever doomed and awful drudgery experienced that was supposed to be so easy and reliable! Thus all being advertised as veritably turnkey cut and dry and reliable, becomes a complexly open ended test of faith!

Alas, there are always gaping holes behind all the vague evasive flimflam, leading only to frustration, defeat and betrayal. And at any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm. They'll pea on your leg and tell you it's raining. At best any of these overhyped books, courses and other so called opportunities, if not actually deceptive, might offer any very general information of any use to someone already with extensive background, experience or personal research or extensive sales record and client base, as however applicable. Which still makes the broad based marketing of such blithely over-valuated information, with no other caveat or qualification save for the standard admonition to unflagging hope and persistence, indeed vaguely dishonest. As ever, marketing often strives to confuse and inveigle the consumer into compensation for genuine underserved needs, via the elicitation of positive associations and mystique, seldom actually all that well substantiated in whatever goods or services. And even here, these charlatans find the temerity to fault their pupils. For such exactly is the shameless peddling of false hope, taking advantage of epidemic alienation! Naturally, the unhappy are more easily manipulated because, readily, the unhappy individual is well motivated to seek consolation and relief from the pain thereof. -to feel better, to be consoled, to be reaffirmed, to feel whole and complete. It remains, however, that masses of people are simply left to our own devices and can't find whatever it is we really need in so many arenas of life.

Whereas real serious business plans, by all due diligence and healthy skepticism, help more cost effectively to eliminate the unfeasible and unsuitable, prompting thereby metaphorical return to the proverbial drawing board instead of exhortation to the unwary to jump right in unprepared and wear themselves out to no avail. Beware, those SPAMMERS only sell vague and dubious hope whilst swearing, always, by the same old motivational dogged determination, in order to blame the mark as some sort of a quitter, undermining self-worth. Indeed, whosoever takes heart and gives whatever much touted roadmap [sic] to success any honest effort to fathom key details so craftily omitted, has only fallen for an extensive diversionary tactic until the refund period will have elapsed. So if you must find out for yourself, then be sure to mind your calendar!

the bogus support group

In Transactional Analysis, strokes are the units of interpersonal recognition that everyone hungers for. But there are healthy positive and unhealthy negative strokes, conditionally or unconditionally. Transactional Analysis strives at correcting unhealthy patterns. However, whereas Transactional Analysis at all like Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, strives for insight, Existential honesty and growth, the ever devious "we’re only trying to help you" headgame of bogus support groups, all for our own good of course, is simply mindless Behavior Modification offering conditional acceptance in exchange for positive strokes however kneejerk and insincere, to the disapproving exclusion of all else.

A racket is any dishonest scheme or ongoing transaction, all not as it contrives to present itself and as is tacitly accepted or endured by the majority of those involved, but in actuality a scam or fraud, a deceptive practice of coercion and manipulation conducted for the benefit of a few cronies at the expense of the many. One old racket is artificial scarcity: The masses will always comply in ever greater effort and diligence jumping through hoops and fighting amongst ourselves for scraps, believing and rationalizing just about anything, all in order to obtain whatever artificial scarcity and bait-and-switch, no matter how plainly contrived.

There can be no economy without scarcity, incidental and unavoidable or artificial and very much avoidable. Again, artificial scarcity is a racket. And two such related rackets are dubbed: The sex economy and the stroke economy:

In Transactional Analysis, strokes are defined as transactional units of recognition, needed for physical as well as psychological survival. Positive strokes cost nothing, and can be freely given.  Alas, positive strokes are inhibited both psychologically and socially by the inner Critical Parent ego state (superego), ever remaining in pervasive scarcity because of the stroke economy, a set of rules that seeks to interfere with the free exchange of positive strokes; the asking, giving, and accepting of strokes that are wanted and rejecting those that are not wanted. Strokes can be positive or negative. Stroke scarcity heightens stroke hunger, in turn stimulating stroke-seeking behavior. Even negative strokes are preferred to stroke starvation. People naturally prefer positive strokes but will consistently seek and accept negative strokes when they are stroke hungry and positive strokes are not available. Ulterior Transactions or: headgames are social behaviors that generate mostly negative strokes becoming the principal source of strokes for many people. The most effective intervention for people who play such headgames may be to nurture and help them regain their healthy capacity to love, by teaching them how to give, ask for and accept strokes.

But instead, in the travesty which is the ethos of the bogus support group, Behavior Modification is covertly deployed simply to superficially reprogram the directives of the inner Critical Parent ego state (superego), both socially and psychologically. Thus scarcity is only heightened all the more.

Like all such willful positivity, the bogus support group serves up a depressingly profound invalidation and deprivation of anything even remotely genuine. It's alright to be needy, but best to be so vulnerable only in safety. Therefore us ever remains crucial to identify who is trustworthy. There's no way around it: All swords are double edged. Virtually any gift of personality, intellect and character that anyone has to offer for the benefit others, is also likewise an advantage that can be taken unduly of others. Therefore, in order to make the world safe, there are those who seek power out of fanatical determination to throw out the proverbial baby with the bath metaphorical water by coercively reducing all communication and relationship to the blandly safe and idiotic Bubba-Gump level of sheer ersatz Harrison Bergeron mediocrity, a world where feelings and ideas alike, much less intimacy, disclosure, controversy, criticism and strategic planning, are all anathema. A soothing and sedate world without challenge, heated debate, gadflies and odd couples: A monologic world wherein no one can even hear themselves think, no one really listens to themselves, much less anyone else speaking, and in which only similar people associate strictly for taking turns blurting out empty and superficially chatty updates in order then to exchange marshmallow insincere sympathy and encouragement, a morass of soothing helplessness even unto death! -An endless group validation exercise, a perpetual pep rally, the network marketing fools paradise. But fulfilling interpersonal connection is a factor of engagement in substantive conversation and/or meaningful endeavor.

In short, an heteronymous second degree pipedreaming blanket taboo upon all discussion of ever setting any agenda.
For such is the ideological propagation of the bogus support group malagenda of oppressive behavioral structure and ultimately of blinding willful positivity.
 
STOP AIMLESSLY "SHARING"
AND START SETTING Purposeful AGENDA

Online or onsite, support groups and the like exist for the exchange of consensual validation and the exploitation thereof for pacifying behavioral conditioning. This was not always so, nor is it always so even today: Passing beyond the shopworn rituals of addiction recovery groups and the like, specialized support groups first made their notable debut onto the social landscape offering each their own body of specialized understanding, arising, initially at least, to meet an all too keen need for consensual validation among those whatever unique circumstances, situations and tribulations, finding themselves so very lonely, isolated and misunderstood. How poignant, for example, that a woman having suffered miscarriage, bottled up with grief and despair, finds a circle of other women in similar circumstances actually displaying keenly intense interest in every detail of her tragedy so awkward a subject anywhere else. But now even howsoever unique perspective and POV or point of view, has all seemingly gone by the wayside, co-opted to darker purpose, and those nauseating generic support groups and their insidiously deplorable ethos have proliferated even deeper into the mainstream, ubiquitous, generic, destructively dishonest and heteronymous. And therein the point comes where action or in this case: sheer inaction, speaks louder than any empty and sterile blandishment. The very concept of the support group as we now know it, despite all forced buoyancy, in truth is profoundly defeatist, a ritual of stifling and asphyxiating minimal life support of the emotions, cruel enforcement of active and systematic neglect, a Reductionist and Nihilistic value destruction lowering the bar as far as it will go in desperate conditioned alienation, a cynically zombified robotic and insincere minimally demanding attempt at the radical simplification of social interaction, oppression propagating amongst the oppressed.

The periodic scheduled reciprocal exchange of empty bogus motivational speaking is what has manifest in the ritualistic degeneration of the support group, perhaps predicated, also, upon any conceivable exchange of Constructivist Listening, thereby quite ruling out any salient techniques of Active Reading or Effective Active Listening, Constructivist listening being a process of passively allowing a person to talk without being interrupted, with nary ever a care regarding Miscommunication Competence or Conversational Adequacy, indeed wherein listeners neither overtly respond nor interpret at all, neither to paraphrase, analyze, proffer advice nor seek to relate via personal stories, all because people are simply held to be capable of solving their own problems by thinking aloud. -All very much in accord with Nihilistic value-destruction as implicit to the Solipsistic Zen position upon dialogue, namely Wittgensteinean paralysis.

Except that it is not entirely clear that the support group succeeds to provide even the introverted exchange of Constructivist Listening! Among the aphorisms of the  noted and most esteemed stuffy prig Dr. Samuel Johnson is numbered the following dreary advice: "That is the happiest conversation where there is no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet interchange of sentiments."  But even the most stringent oppressively polite dinner table conversation walking on eggshells and scrupulously avoiding taboo topics and controversy, is indeed at least any sort of interchange, however perfunctory. Whereas, in the support group, each takes the floor in turn to inflict themselves upon the others who must then together resound with sympathy and approval. Thus is any genuine prospect of spontaneity and psychological visibility suffocated and replaced by the monstrous changing of mindless adherence to heteronymously manufactured impersonal social roles. Heteronomy and the impersonal behavioral structured social roles of bogus support groups have rigidly institutionalized and also popularized their sad, sad travesty of autonomy, friendship and psychological visibility. Indeed, such support groups are just depressing and truly heart breaking to watch, generally a waste of time. The support group is where people go in order top learn how to patronize one another, thereby accruing tremendous savings in manhours of paid professional patronization. Such support groups are non-encounter groups, a robotic ritualistic mockery in travesty of of any true and vital human interaction, group therapy without the therapy: Bubba/Gump bland and safe dullardly unthreatening incessant and monotonously desultory prattle, the patronizing grade school special needs metered and tine carded so named structured program or lesson here applied to social dexterity such as entirely to rule out all possible need or sheer possibility of social dexterity never mind genuine interpersonal sensitivity or tact, indeed "providing structure," utterly predictable positive and negative reinforcement, so as completely to  rule out and utterly invalidate everything except small talk with even robotically bogus sympathy and encouragement on cue instead of real human involvement or even sheer ordinary interest and curiosity, in  brief, bogus support group marshmallow throwing (blithe dispensation and exchange of patronizingly and actually invalidatingly insincere positive strokes or sweet nothings in order reciprocally to pacify hesitation and discontent, a sickly sweet brush off), as positive Behavioral conditioning towards the institutionalization of docile heteronymous denial, ideological promulgation and lip service to false emotion pandering to Narcissistic hypersensitive anti-critical bias, anomie and consequent addiction to authoritative routine, semi-skilled incompetence: committee politics for the rest of us, reciprocal fair-weather friends on demand and well-wishers nowhere to be seen in a clinch. But certainly no support or even genuine interest, only the most utter distillation of empty conditionality:

For such infantilizing bogus support groups certainly including also the willful positivity cheerleading of those networking groups for the freshly unemployed, pretend all rainbows, sunshine and wellsprings of human compassion, but they are corrupt, opiate, futile, poisonous and conditional upon the learned helplessness and estranged emotional distance of their stunned and alienated participants barred from any true sharing of passions, honest criticism and substantive exchange or attachment, and most anathema at all, strategy and real assistance to one another or for themselves, or even so much as actual encounter or real group therapy. Friendship with another withdrawing into the embrace of willful positivity typically becomes ever more painful with excruciating platitude and often mounting hostility towards all suffering and "negativity." And reciprocally, even the offer of sympathy, even condolences in bereavement, all go wasted and unheeded from behind the adamantine barrier of forced good cheer. And an hour in room full of such futility is sheer soul crushing Existential Hell!

No, I simply do not crave consensual validation. Funny how they don't rush to validate my choice! -let alone to respect my wishes. What, are they withdrawing their approval? Talk about conditionality! But I am within my rights. Or perhaps the truth is just the opposite, that my standard of consensual validation is higher. It has been observed hoe some people demand for validation, not only agreement, but amplification. You have to agree even more strongly and emphatically, you actually have to top them! Well, perhaps I am even worse: I will only feel validated and respected by actual cooperation and assistance that I cannot get and so keenly need to make anything of my life. But even strategic conversation of any kind, is actually topic out of bounds, harshly enforced, in typical support groups, online or onsite, that exist only to protect the status quo, to stubbornly condition and pacify participants with crocodile tears and empty marshmallow expressions of sympathy. And the ethos is pervasive. But action speaks more loudly than hypocrisy.

Now forming new support group for emotional scars dealt by the disorienting and traumatic support group experience: Slake your thirst for the positive reinforcement that results from consensual validation! Login online to join with others with a real understanding and familiarity with the traumatic support group experience. And in case of backsliding into any vestige of autonomy, you can always count on confront mounting peer pressure into ostracism if ever you dare go into salient detail, attempt exchange of strategic advice, or seek real help! Attend in person in order to exchange vapid small talk, insincere sympathy and encouragement on cue, "providing structure" for robotic and patronizing affect flattened recipients of Behavior Modification.

At any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm. Therefore,  anyone appreciates knowing where one stands. But such contrived arbitrary robotic ritualistic meaningless stance as in the stultifying support group etiquette providing structure, is nowhere, taking no real stance at all. Indeed, in the words of Gian Vincenzo Gravina, speaking of true loneliness and boredom: "A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company."  And the support group etiquette of aimless useless desultory sharing increasingly dominates informal discourse. It is destroying America!

Small talk is safe because there is no risk, no real self disclosure. There is also often little risk involved in reporting the circumstances, actions and even the ideas of others. All of which accounts for approximately 90% of conversation amongst the lonely. But the Nihilistically attachment disordered amoral a'priori dismissal in very principle, of consciousness and meaning whatsoever, all in favor, instead, of mindless mimesis and travesty that is behavioral structure, intentionally arrested development stifling of all genuine spontaneity, all quasi-legislated under tabooistic bullying mass exhortation to phony support group etiquette, permanently arrested in small talk and idle chit chat, plus "sharing" as a craven Orwellian euphemism for reciprocal constructivist listening in uncritical bland agreeability, is no remedy for loneliness, but guaranteed perpetuation thereof.

Aside, for good or ill, from networking within whatever fateful social embedment, there remain whatever readily available alienating and lonely avenues of futile outreach that truly only exist for all such socially institutionalized ulterior agendas and rackets. In particular, heteronomy and the impersonal behavioral structured social roles of bogus support groups have rigidly institutionalized and also popularized their sad, sad travesty of autonomy, friendship and psychological visibility. In the alternative, for autonomy, transparent and open ended deliberation upon agenda explores direction in defining voluntary collaboration and participation in whatever discourse or relationship, thereby filling the gap left in the rejection of heteronymous leadership or convention. 

At least the affection when I pet a dog must be at all genuine, because dogs can tell! It's really not that heteronymous persons, deep down, really can't detect flagrant insincerity, but rather that as social approval seekers, they often actually prefer blatant insincerity. Insecure people with extreme interpersonal trust issues are often well known instead often, via retreat into utter fantasy, to seek perceived security in sheer conditionality. Only genuine personal contact actually needs to be at all sincere. Indeed the last thing precisely such bogus and damnable simplistic know-it-all sanctimony could ever motivate pursuit whereof, would be actually to cultivate improved and more perceptive Emotional Intelligence and thereby to risk transparency, criticism and the disillusioning exposure of sheer human fallibility that might even engender any iota of actual humane sympathy.

Perish forbid, by no means, however, ever to disparage all praise, encouragement or kindness on very principle. As above, these are specific and particular toxic social circumstances: Support groups are where patronizing Behaviorist care givers dump their charges to learn how to be patronizing towards one another and help perpetuate systematized heteronomy. -A deplorable ethos that has propagated even into the main stream of other dealings to infect all manner of common private and public discourse, ruling out all other value, even that of therapy. Alas, nothing useful or stimulating ever comes from people once they start "sharing."  Any real issues, much less so much as any attempt at actual problem solving towards viable and empowering strategic solutions, are all strictly topic out of bounds and even grounds for summary ostracism, according the bogus, helpless, heartless, ever cloying and treacly support group etiquette! Support Groups are just more conditionality, another place not to fit in, for anyone with even so much as an iota of individual personal autonomy.

Indeed, I for one, harbor no desire whatsoever for the uncomfortably forced and impropriate familiarity of any anonymous exchange of icky "positive strokes" or creepy co-validation. I much prefer any substantive communication at all whatsoever. That is why I always ask even of strangers making contact online, please just to state their purpose directly without beating about the bush, indeed, in the name of mercy, please! just to come right to the point. This is because I reject any implication that simply because relationship is of essence and fundamental human needs are in principle fairly simple and universal, therefore the sharing of ideas which make us uniquely individual and interesting with actually anything genuinely to relate to, let alone of sensitive personal exposure, is simply unimportant because such will only reveal disagreement and thereby promote disharmonious acrimony. Thus, all interest, excitement and tension (eustress and distress alike) at all between human beings is diffused and eliminated, permanently. Indeed, precisely such limitation is deliberately and systematically cultivated as a desirable relationship value Unbelievable.

In truth, however, even as much as we may all be alike as human beings, different people can and do differently perceive their needs as fulfillable by human interaction, very differently. So, why can't I myself, for example, simply make plain that I, for one, actively so dislike such destructively and artificially constrained and painfully banal small talk, let alone all that fulsome marshmallow throwing? And why is anything like that so often so difficult for some people, not only laypeople but even clinicians or social workers, to respect?

Much as the following may come as a surprise, considering how freely, for examples, medical and computing advice are shared and exchanged on all manner of forums and user groups, online support groups in particular, especially those for the abused and exploited often actually enforce rules against sharing details of circumstances, analyzing problems and attempting to help or advise one another, even if explicitly and urgently so requested! All such outreach is anathema and quashed systematically. The rationale given may be that local real world assistance cannot be replaced online, therefore really getting down to cases is actually considered dangerous! Attempting to solve problems amounts to offering advice, and offering advice may even be equated with claiming the false authority of some sort of fake guru! This suggests an inspiration by heteronymous extreme liability phobia. For exactly thus do such patronizing and pacifying online support groups actually serve to stifle substantive alliance, strategy and uprising. Further abuse and re-traumatization are not uncommon. More over, if strategy let alone action are so taboo, little surprise then, should mere pathological co-validation instead ensue under the guise of recovery!

Variants of what are for all intents and purposes support groups for would-be writers likewise ruling out any substantive feedback of genuine critique, are a weighty vexation to any serious aspiring writer. Such is prevailing malagenda of joint authorship in fiction writing online.

 

FoolQuest.com strives at seeking anything truer and better... !

 

 

The misguided struggle with doubt and controversy

This above all: to thine ownself be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
  Thou canst not then be false to any man.

 

Cognitive dissonance even unto crimestop, is the emotionally suppressed inner conflict of hypocrisy, Existential bad faith, irresponsible and often resentful decidophobia, all as manifest in dialogue as: Antiprocess. At any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm. Anyone manipulated into cognitive dissonance has immediately deep down already sensed bullying the dishonest malice in that somehow one knew not to dare question to closely. In the process of cognitive dissonance intimidation is instantly covered up by buying into the rationalization. In the evocation of cognitive dissonance, sudden humiliating and threatening element of intimidating surprise is accompanied by convenient rationalization so as to instantly tempt the sheer reflex face saving denial.

“The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.”  — Germaine De Stael

Even however seemingly stubborn or stupid in persistently missing the point, Antiprocess is a cycle of the psychological defense mechanism or filter for avoidance of cognitive dissonance in preprocessing threatening or unsettling information subconsciously but not consciously, indeed, actively evading conscious processing, lying to oneself in order to evade responsibility. Antiprocess commonly manifests in selective self reinforcement, illogic, vigilantly dense half aware lame rebuttals and evasive non sequitur stock responses including poorly analyzed counter examples in flawed support all thereof. Indeed, such complete surrender of honest integrity and the good faith mechanism of ordinary sensemaking, observably undermines narrative reconstruction of events towards plausibility.

And despite all mechanisms and stratagems of denial whereby inner conflicted troubling issues in reality are ever suppressed from aware consciousness, distress with attendant symptoms and dysfunction progressively emerges, even crisis of powerful disorganizing and disruptive emotional experiences, arising situations and reactions thereto, for which there are no obvious or ordinary explanations. One way or another, to quote Freud: "That which not expressed is actedout." And resolution of inner conflict in order to relieve distress and even to improve conduct and performance, morally, socially or just practical and pragmatically, howsoever impaired or obstructed despite despite all consciously stated intention and desire to the contrary, largely depends upon dramatic conscious emergence, acceptance, confrontation and resolution at all, of inner conflict. Cherished freedom, responsibility and freely given obligation, is the font of drama in real life, or otherwise when absent, farce, worse, tragedy. Even in unhappiness, in growth born of regret, life and compassion can be redeemed in sheer Existential disgust, giving rise to open and honest integrity and good faith. Sartre deemed the Freudian unconscious paradoxical, but in truth we are always only partially aware of ourselves and our actions. Psychodynamically and Phenomenologically, reflection is distinct from consciousness at all. Character growth in authentic responsibility, autonomy, integrity and good faith, blossom dramatically as inner conflicted ambivalence finally emerges into confrontation with consciousness, no matter how distressfully.

Whereas, hypocrisy is the dishonest if ever self deluded mere pretence, expression and display of beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards, an essential feature thereof, bad faith (mauvaise conscience) is escapist pretence in denial of the fundamental truth that we are all ever changing, free and responsible for what we are, what we become, and what we do. In the words of Andre Gide: The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.  One of the tenets of  Eudemonism is that one may rationally choose to live by one's ideals or principles. Hypocrisy, the disparity between ones principles and actual motivated conduct, stands as a challenge to Eudemonism and Enlightenment Rationalism. Hypocrisy, like it's opposite integrity, is generally considered an aspect of character. Ultimately, growth ensues only by remaining true to oneself, best abetted by others receptive thereto. And the artifice of conduct in bad faith, inflexible disavowal evading even the heaviest and most impossible responsibility let alone sweating the small stuff, by simply ignoring whatever freedom even amongst only costly bad choices to take action, means the troublingly coping mechanism of inauthentic self-objectification by hiding behind and finally sinking into the inner conflicted ambivalent open ended delaying tactics of suppressing from consciousness other than only certain aspects of identity and circumstances, thereby playing a role of reactive passivity to situation, as in Sartre's examples of the coquette who plays stupid before her companion's sexual advances by continuing obliviously to engage only in and even enjoy, say, abstract Philosophical conversation, while neither accepting nor rebuffing her suitor, and the resentfully supercilious headwaiter who neither rebels against nor wholeheartedly submits to his servitude to condescending patrons. -Not to mention the Nazi war criminal protesting: "I was only following orders!" thereby embracing only his obedient role as a soldier in abnegation of the rest of his human and humane conscious identity, no matter how costly and/or ultimately ineffectual disobedience might have been. When stuck with untenable alternatives, one can nevertheless own ones own free choices, such as they may be. Blaming others for circumstances is different for blaming others for your own behavior or even blaming yourself. In the words of William Hazlitt: He is a hypocrite who professes what he does not believe; not he who does not practice all he wishes or approves. If you can't save holocaust victims on the spot, or failed in the crunch, a least you can still plot to assassinate and overthrow Hitler later on, as indeed was attempted and failed. But not when you as well are wretchedly implicated and making excuses. Indeed, precisely such impotent bad faith of guilt and denial was inculcated on a mass scale by Nazi oppression, propaganda and deeply heteronymous wholesale systematic manipulation. After all, bad faith selective self abnegation and reaction formation are also malignant key elements of Zen, Behavioral Conditioning, willful positivity and perhaps even sublimation, along with the Ulterior Transactions or: headgames as are the study of Existentialist inspired Transactional Analysis

But is the above entirely fair? Is it fair on the one hand to take the worst case, Nazis! and at the same time disparage such of the most picayune examples as the silly coquette on loftiest principle? A rebuttal of sorts from Chivalry:

“When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.” (Sartre 45:1989).  “There is no reality except in action…man is nothing else than his plan; he exists only to the extent that he fulfills himself; he is therefore nothing else then the ensemble of his acts, nothing else than his life.” (Sartre 37-38:1947). Sartre's perhaps moralistic hard line on responsibility, his concept of radical freedom is Sartre's best rejoinder to Postmodern Nihilistic value destruction. But is Sartre's radical freedom really any more authentic than Stoical inner happiness? After all, even Sartre found himself depressed or: forlorn, in facing life with no excuse or anyone or anything else to blame. Indeed then again, in actually, perhaps he was simply frustrated by real obstacles and situational constraints that render freedom abstract, impractical, moot and thereby illusory. And after all, not only are excessively burdensome responsibilities naturally resented, but an excessive sense of responsibility likewise expresses hubris and leads to resentment of ones own relative impotence. Radical self-honest in confrontation with relative impotence is all fine and good, but as according to the capability approach, for real freedom beyond the merely theoretical and frankly academic and moot, what we all really need is still power and the opportunity such that dissatisfaction can ever motivate change for the better. And the will to power beginning from imagination and conjecture flourishes best neither in impotent grand isolation nor in conditionality and bad faith, but finding outlet in uplifting expression and exchange towards strategy and action. Let the single most frustrated human yearning in the face of tragedy and literally the most difficult challenge conceivable, namely: the prospect of retrograde time travel, serve as illustration of one salient truth: Not merely Philosophical or tactical but actual strategic discourse in unfettered and focused exploration of situational opportunity and constraint, is the one clearest true meaningful freedom, alas all to often disavowed and abrogated in the bad faith denial and quiet despair of timid heteronomy.

Existentially, what then is freedom, indeed for whom is freedom? The dramatic scene breaks down into Motivation-Reaction Units: Immediate reactions are often reflexive, but then conscious deliberation ensues upon what action to take next. Or does it? Life can only be lived forwards, but only understood or recognized in hindsight. Indeed, do we consider our options and consciously take action, or do our actions simply come upon us as we react to situation, and only then rationalize afterward? People often make their most important decisions with their heart but only then rationalize intellectually. Motivations and goals as ever set forth thereby, meaning as only created in the mind, interpretation, values, moral sympathies and empathies included, so often ambivalent, are not willfully intended in free agency but received and imprinted in receptivity as we discover ourselves subject all thereto. Most dramatically, relationship, the impression made by characters upon one another, often dawns upon the individual in emotional response to events unfolding. Only then is action undertaken, consistently with characterization, often giving rise to conflict and Setting The scene.

Problem Solving and Justification are reciprocal functions, and one must be shaped to rationalize the other, with integrity or else into hypocrisy. When there arises a discrepancy between the feelings and activity of a character, tension mounts all the more, the greater the obstacles to resolution of whatever ambivalence and conflict.  

Happiness comes in meeting ones needs for capable interaction with responsible others
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”   — Benjamin Disraeli

No question is too stupid to be asked and no answer is too wise to be given. True brainstorming depends upon the cultivation of responsibility by encouraging openness without picayune anxiety over conflict or controversy. Because:

IN THE END, technique can't substitute for courage, assertiveness even to simply refuse to take a silent hint instead of just reflexive knee-jerk backing down to even the very slightest and most subtle subtext of  taboo and intimidation of cowardly bullying and Anti-Critical Bias.

15 Common Defense Mechanisms
Why Sensitivity Training Is Insensitive and Patronizing
                  and such refreshing candor instead, as accrues actually from the sheer exhaustion of pointless determination and self control!  
                  Indeed, Australian psychotherapist Neville Symington observed that to be true to one's own self actually liberates others, accepting all of them likewise to be true to themselves, to be one's own person.
The major themes or problems of Existentialism are: death, freedom and responsibility, isolation and loneliness, boredom and absurd and even surreal  meaningless and pointless futility. Indeed, perhaps the most profoundly natural denial at all, even in protection of very personal sanity at all, is of powerlessness especially in the face of the terrifying eventuality of death and the very annihilation of consciousness itself.
 
But exactly such denial in terror management continually threatens very survival. For even though it only stands to reason that if religion and the cultivation of pleasant beliefs, especially lying to oneself in resignation and surrender to glowing fantasies of an afterlife is at all comforting, then any honest hope at all of survival placed in at least the sheer engineering feasibility of future reanimation following cryonic suspension until such time as the requisite technology becomes available, ought to be even by far the more comforting,. Nevertheless, alas, instead the very notion remains taboo and repugnant to many, and therefore the very idea and progress at all faces such Luddite resistance of death.
 
But why so? And what can be done? To know more, browse: The Kriosgrad Project. And join in formation of a working group towards feasibility study towards a novel business and Public Relations model in new venture creation.
 

Especially under relative conditions of captivity, the phenomenon of manipulation is best defined as undue advantage from trickery via the exploitation of affective innate and conditioned triggers or "push buttons" to undermine and overwhelm, even barrage, resistance, better judgment, authentic good faith and autonomy of the target, via subtext of emotional incentive and disincentive. –As distinct from open coercion alone or substantive disinformation, lies. Typically, the manipulator obfuscates the nature of their coercion exercised, along with whatever self-serving advantage thereof, and seeks to disarm legitimate resistance or doubt.

For example, such insult as condescension that after all comes of love can be less painful than insult that comes without it, or more so, or equally so, as the case may be: but be that as it may, it is, in any case significantly more harmful. This is because insult provokes anger and hostility, but hostility towards people who even sincerely profess to love you and act on your own best interest is curbed and turned inwards, internalized, and experienced as self-hostility, namely guilt. Such deceptive appeals undermining the target’s credulity and defenses even whilst actually exercising coercion constitute often likewise internalized flagrantly manipulative behavior, conscious or unconscious.

Self censorship may occur because of intimidation, deference to authority or experience, sheer insecurity, or simply in the face of more vocal and confident participants. And just such group domination can contribute to the problem of social loafing and even dangerous bystander apathy when participants disengage from the process, transferring responsibility and counting upon others to pick up the slack.

Social loafing is less likely the better motivated, especially given any stimulation, interest or meaning to the task either intrinsically, value for it's own sake, or socially, or given whatever stake in the outcome. Individual accountability, particularly by exposure to ongoing evaluation by teammates, is most often cited as the antidote to social loafing. Or, just the opposite, encouragement and the elimination or reduction of pressure and intimidation may be key.

Alas, all the more corrosive, the disingenuous, hypocritical and manipulative strategy ostensibly against intimidation and oversensitivity is often the codling of insecurity by actively punishing assertiveness and excellence and demanding bland agreeability, typical exhortations to heteronomy for the sake of social success.

Among the many dimensions of alienation including powerlessness, meaningless Nihilism, normlessness (anomie), social isolation, cultural estrangement and self-estrangement amid an increasingly surreal incomprehensibly hostile environment or situation, the twisted ostensible motivation of Masochistically feigned mercy is no honest excuse for the adaptively sycophantic appeasement of faceless abusers of power, that in no way resembles genuine sympathetic compassion for individuals one can actually relate to, a legitimate and redeeming purpose, nor likewise even sound rationality. In the aftermath of Zen futile Nihilistic value destruction, skills of amoral social intelligence quickly become little more than the foulest mockery and perversion of meaningful and genuine humane sensitivity and wisdom.

Indeed, Beware Skilled Incompetence, the consequent dishonestly heteronymous adaptation by gutless executives marshalling information Inductively, and thereby manipulatively avoiding any relevant productive outcome of conflict on any level from controversy and never changing the course of action, fixed malagenda under predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink teamtraps of Stockholm Syndrome (to whatever degree)!

Exactly thus,  whether directly by overbearing  power and authority or more deviously by consensus manipulation, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong."
 
flow charttableQuick Quiz
 Transactional Analysis andHeadgames

[PowerPoints] Reference the Abilene Paradox among other witness-inhibiting factors of bystander apathy also Revisiting the Abilene Paradox, dealing with how people can together agree to go along on any ill advised course of action that few of them actually prefer, out of miscommunication and indecisive behavior, when the need to act together, to perceive themselves and to be seen as cohesive, and the deadly common misconceptions regarding criticism override rather than encourage the need for investigation and expression to explicitly question and clarify group assumptions, desires, opinions, sympathies and even obvious knowledge, and what it takes to begin to break such a dysfunctional cycle.

That may be why mediocre minds all too often prefer to avoid tension, actual or even in creative writing, at all costs, and never grow. Such prefer everything settled, everything neat, everything as it should be. They don't like any questions, uncertainty or ambiguity. All is at peace. All is quiet. All are obviously bored unless quite obsessive. Of course, in the alternative, anyone must be free to express whatever persistent interest. And, contra wise, even boredom ought to be genuine and vocal. Non response as passive aggression or denial or as a deliberate and underhanded ploy to steer the agenda, is not very sporting, and certainly no less dangerous than complicity from sheer lack of initiative.

Free markets, the very bulwark of democracy, are driven by individual vested interest and frequently undermined by more powerful howsoever monopolistic or protectionist vested interest. Despite or because of this, in all things, the dynamic and flexible social engineering principles, personal autonomy, good sportsmanship and responsible values of rational democratic progress are systematic doubt, hope in the honest embrace of fallibility and tolerance for uncertainty, substantive discourse, debate of disputes, criticism without punishment and no insult taken, free inquiry into problems openly and publicly without fear of punishment, indeed, imagination, open unfounded speculation about different case scenarios pursuant to any number of varied and different proposed measures, without need of conforming or in any way limiting said speculations to any accepted quasi-official position.

The very values and aptitudes ever fostered in brainstorming and also fiction writing!

And all pursuant to experiment, trial and error, the vital opportunity for all manner of ongoing reevaluation and revision, open ended correction of mistakes and improvement at all levels, piecemeal, without bloodshed, violence or even strife as such.

In Reactionary societies and groups, especially the more Progressive the guise, and actually the less so at least where whatever the Reactionary agenda may at least be out in the open, good sportsmanship, controversy without acrimony, is all dismissed as impossible, Utopian, too perfect for real people. And yet, controversy even however heated and close to the bone and yet without acrimony, does occur, as may be confirmed Empirically, by observation.

But is just such success ever entirely consistent, even among people of the utmost good faith? Probably not. After all, no one is perfect. And yet there will be greater ratio of success in striving openly than by actually enforcing the lowest standard, an accommodation made to seem realistic under the pretext of touchy-feely sensitivity to vulnerable emotion, which then becomes dishonest repressive extortion by a bunch of conniving whiners and bullies for all others to conform.

Indeed, beyond simple Empathic Failure, underestimation of situational factors often engenders Fundamental Attribution Error (also known as correspondence bias or overattribution effect), motivating, in turn, such blanket rationalizations as the Hostile Attribution Bias typical of the reactive victim type bully, and, in specific, Anti-Critical Bias, Ad Hominem Abusive and dishonest peer pressuring emotional extortion against controversy expressed in the perceived right never to be challenged in any views or statements whatsoever, as a quite frankly loony hyper-fragile imperative of personal comfort.

In the case of the inverited narcissist, who was suppressed and abused by overbearing caregivers, there is the strong urge not to offend. Intimacy and inter-dependence are great. Parental or peer pressures are irresistible and result in conformity and self-deprecation. Aggressive tendencies, strongly repressed in the social pressure cooker, teem under the veneer of forced civility and violent politeness. Constructive ambiguity, a non-committal "everyone is good and right", an atavistic variant of moral relativism and tolerance bred of fear and of contempt - are all at the service of this eternal vigilance against aggressive drives, at the disposal of a never ending peacekeeping mission.
 
-  The Weapon of Language by Dr. Sam Vaknin
 
 
Indeed, such seems precisely the slippery antidemocratic approach outlined in 'A Handbook on Formal Consensus Decisionmaking:' 'A Guide to Formal Consensus' by C. T. Butler and Amy Rothstein, striving for inclusive process of painstaking conflict resolution, cooperation, consideration and non coercion such that all so often ends, all lip service in vain, only by actually worsening the inevitable tyranny of the collective over the individual resultant from simply getting out voted.

Alarmingly, rather than open conflict or controversy, dissidence is to be simply ruled out of order! Recent past decision are not to be revisited, because
consensus takes priority over selfishness irrelevant to the established consensus. No one is supposed too step out of line by ever changing their minds. Thus is controversy concealed and repressed by a reciprocally brainwashed majority. Exactly the sort of dominance and manipulation sought to avoid. -Dare I say, insensitive? Not to mention, disturbingly Reactionary, signed in blood. Can it be?

Indeed, in the immortal words of Aba Eban, "Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals."

Plans will simply never be subject to reevaluation or revision, as call for reevaluation and revision is distinctly and deliberately ruled out under the ongoing verification process of the formal consensus decision procedure.

Indeed, let us all serenely cherish together, the following seemingly Orwellian nugget: 

Although every individual must consent to a decision before it is adopted, if there are any objections, it is not the choice of the individual alone to determine if an objection prevents the proposal from being adopted. Every objection or concern must first be presented before the group and either resolved or validated. A valid objection is one in keeping with all previous decisions of the group and based upon the commonly-held principles or foundation adopted by the group. The objection must not only address the concerns of the individual, but it must also be in the best interest of the group as a whole. If the objection is not based upon the foundation, or is in contradiction with a prior decision, it is not valid for the group, and therefore, out of order.

Oh, doubleplusgood!    War is peace   Freedom is slavery   Ignorance is strength

Indeed, similar slippery and reasonable sounding language, lip service for individuality and controversy as a celebrated democratic value, is all too often similarly qualified into the menacing oblivion of predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome (to whatever degree).

Exactly thus, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong." At any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm, particularly by means of any slippery expanded definition of violence into bullying whatsoever, but of such cunning manipulative ambiguity as to appeal to the love of freedom while actually guilt-tripping all and sundry into agreeable passive helpless bystander apathy.

But wait: Rather, as a better alternative instead, to preserve integrity, quite surprisingly and subversive after the initial tone of their rhetoric, Butler and Rothstein actually strive that inclusion and cooperation, along with creativity and efficiency techniques, psychological group dynamics and all manner of other fine ideas, most advantageously be integrated as adjunct to the hopefully meaningful, valuable and ultimately productive conflict and controversy of democratic adversarial systems rather whole sale replacement or needlessly repressive sublimation thereof, which is always only insipid and dangerous.

What is important and all to often illusive is simply fair play. After all, the guarantee of the legitimacy of any cooperation is still the freedom of the opposition to actively and vocally dissent.

Indeed, ever if consensus be truly so prized, Butler and Rothstein propose to force consensus via rigid committee procedures whereby any dissenter whosever, is actually empowered to quite completely obstruct progress and force declaration of a block, much like unto a filibuster but without all the hard work and test of endurance, until substantive resolution or compromise is finally negotiated!  Indeed, exactly such procedures may be crucial in any affiliation otherwise vulnerable to schism and disintegration from dissent, unless consensus is achieved and maintained.

-As it turns out, all actually polar opposite from Phil Bartle's highly disrespectful Inductivist hypocrisy of dropping ideas quietly ostensibly full of the very milk of human kindness and in order to spare people's feelings, but, truth to tell, allowing dissenters to save face and unpleasantness by being silenced of their voices, in exchange for the craven concealment of controversy.  

All such slippery stone walling non cooperation peer pressure as Phil Bartle's highly disrespectful Inductivist hypocrisy of dropping ideas quietly ostensibly in order to spare people's feelings is nothing but a sly manipulative exercise in bullying and a perversion of the intent of true brainstorming. The sly sanctimonious repressiveness folly of non confrontationalism sabotages the free clash of creativity and investigation, castigating dissidence even in principle, and crushing all democratic values.

Indeed, often not only interim criticism but cross-talk at all! 'Cross-talk,' of course, is a term derived from radio communications wherein simultaneous usage of the same frequency causes interference for others, slippery propagandistically redeployed here into likewise somewhat pejoratively usage denoting whatever ongoing private discussion and planning amongst the participants during whatever proceedings. And when so-called cross-talk, actually meaning possible dissidence, is thus actively discouraged as wasteful digression rather than a logistical imperative of real input and participation, then this policy probably will not apply to or likewise equally prohibit private consultation amongst the leaders and facilitators to keep things running smoothly and on target.

Dialectically, even leading questions ought to be honestly and rhetorically transparent. The ugly secret is that a "facilitator" may already have "the answer", and via however covertly leading questions, invites a roomful of people to express their ideas only then to try to manipulate the responses to fit an existing covert agenda. Indeed, agreement through facilitated group discussion, seeking mutual understanding on a given subject, is often actually achieved via arrival at a predetermined outcome through mediated or facilitated dialogue, often by ignoring, obstructing, ruling out, labeling, impugning, intimidating, ridiculing, or simply ignoring any form of dissent. In short, by sly bullying tactics.

 

Randall B. Dunham, Ph.D has even coined an appealing name that has come into use in denoting just such sinister engineering of social "proof" and thence consent via  Consensus and Facilitation chicanery, The Delphi Technique [diagram].

BAD FAITH WARNING: Questionable ulterior political agenda in evidence!
On her excellently informative WebPages in resistance to consensus manipulation, linked above, Lynn M. Stuter herself nevertheless remains seemingly oblivious to the irony of opposing consensus manipulation while proclaiming a Christian American nation and calling, on constitutional grounds, for the elimination of government run public schools, while explicitly denying to me ever harboring ulterior motive whatsoever, let alone that of restoring prayer into the context of what passes for education. Hardly!

However, we remain no less indebted to her for the opportunity learn how CliqueBusters TM  can best prepare to diffuse and disrupt devious consensus manipulation!  

 

“Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals.”  — Abba Eban

Delphi  
 Decision Making
 

In Delphi decision groups, a series of questionnaires may be sent to selected respondents (Delphi group) who might never meet face-to-face, inputting only by email or snail mail. Members of the groups may be selected because the are experts or possess relevant information.

Though in n the meantime, the technique has also been adapted to public meetings, according to Lynn M. Stuter.

Steps include:

The success of this process is thought to depend upon the member's expertise and communication skill. Also, each response may require adequate time for reflection and analysis, that asynchronous communication allows. The major merits touted for the Delphi process include:

The Delphi Technique is a prioritization process devised for obtaining the consensus opinion of a group of experts involving a series of surveys, typically conducted anonymously, providing repeated measurement and controlled feedback among participants. The Delphi Technique is intended for use should ever there be insufficient objective information for decision making. Indeed, some studies, however disputable, have claimed that Delphi, applicable in a relatively inexpensive and timely method, can be substantially more accurate than individual experts and meeting face to face in traditional groups, because of how the Delphi Technique takes advantage of multiple "expert" views and mitigates obstacles and pitfalls the likes of predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome (to whatever degree), undue influence and individual bias. Indeed, the Delphi Technique has even been described as cyclic process employing disagreement, yes the failure or refusal of consensus, as a trigger for deeper analysis.

But as with any other technique, some applications will be better than others and the Delphi Technique can be gravely misused, especially as manipulatively exploiting the very predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome, all such undue influence that the Delphi Technique was originally conceived to mitigate but now instead manipulatively redeployed in service of exactly whatever the very bias of unscrupulous facilitators.

Exactly thus, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong."

Typically, feedback from the Delphi Technique is presented as a simple statistical summary of the group response, usually comprising a mean or median value, such as the average ‘group’ estimate of the date by when an event is forecast to occur. But a more questionable utilization of the Delphi Technique is as to actually making not only recommendations instead of estimates or predictions, but the imposition of binding policy, application rather than evaluation.

Occasionally, additional information may also be provided, such as arguments from individuals whose judgments fall outside certain pre-specified limits or to explain extreme positions. And even the most extreme positions may begin to moderate with reciprocal feedback. Indeed, convergence, reduced variance is typical. The question remains, however, whether from actual consensus of from the very pressure to conformity the Delphi Technique strives to avoid? After all, enduring minority opinions and disagreement with group aggregates can even remain noted as part of the results, the opinions solicited, no harm and no foul. And true enduring consensus and reduction of disagreement are even measurable by polling post group responses and then compared to result with other procedures that may even turn out to achieve higher enduring consensus than the Delphi Technique, after all. The Delphi technique, then, gathers and cultivates longitudinal data on the distinction and transition between initial impressions and considered opinion.

But exactly what relation, if any, has the endurance or legitimacy of consensus with improved accuracy of judgments, the enhanced reliability, if any, of predictions or estimates obtained convergence or mean results ever obtained by the Delphi Technique? Indeed, any such success as might arise may be attributed even unexplained, to the phenomena of error covariance, the fabled wisdom of crowds.
Heteronymous Populism in distortion of all cherished values of genuine faliblist democracy that openly thrives upon doubt, dissent and criticism, often features instead the idea that we must abstain from making any decision except by unanimous consent and the idea that the consensus must not be challenged and the idea that the consensus is the body of beliefs shared by all. Indeed, the implicit problem is in the unspoken yearning for consensus, being the absence of disagreement and thereby freedom from nagging doubt, as certitude surrogate. And for pernicious misapplication of the Delphi Technique towards unperturbed consensus as a substitute for simple majority rule in decision making or policy, as pursuant to open controversy and subject to ongoing error correction, there can be no alternative but sly ostracism,

And exactly such covert relational hostility, no matter how the truth be denied, evaded or glossed over, manipulatively exploiting the very predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome, all undue influence that Delphi was originally conceived to mitigate, but now manipulatively redeployed in service of whatever the very bias of unscrupulous facilitators.

Exactly thus, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong." Thus at any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm.

Delphi Technique feedback as intended comprises the opinions and judgments of all group members and not just the most vocal. But the worst abuse is in consensus decision making at the expense of vocal dissidence, the suppression and concealment of controversy. At the end of the polling of participants (i.e., after several rounds of questionnaire iteration), a statistical average (mean/median) of the panelists’ estimates on the final round is generated and recorded as representational of group judgment. The evaluative or predictive conclusion may thus be seen as an equal weighting of the members of a staticized group, but not a recommendation much less application to collective action or policy, except as abused for oppressive and devious consensus manipulation.

The Delphi Technique was created as a tool of decision making in arriving at assessments and forecasts from among all conceivable possibilities, somewhat as if resolving the outcome of quantum indeterminacy, rather than truth seeking and coming to conclusions even remotely at all about reality. -Leaving wide open the sinister distortion from ordinary vernacular denotation of the very term 'decision making' as signifying the decision of subsequent course of action, indeed, as opposed to indecision, paralysis and inaction, returning yet again, to the question of whether doubt and dissent are worthy of embrace as beneficial not only to seeking truth just to satisfy curiosity, but also as crucial to sound and informed action, or merely to be scorned as an unfortunate inconvenience of imperfection to be transcended by the force of conviction and properly indoctrinated unity, in ever agreeing to decisions at all

 

Controversy
Logical Conflict (contradiction): The Logic of Disagreement
Controversy is exchange of criticism .

 

“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven's name, why is it so important to think the same things all together. ”

 

― Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Nausea ’

People are different. For which we should be thankful. When people agree, there is nothing to say or discuss. Controversy, which is the free exchange of criticism, is the only serious, open, honest but respectful and civil form of conversation possible between people who disagree. The avoidance thereof is perhaps the single central problem in society: heteronomy. As we have seen, only the egalitarianism of creative problem solving and free inquiry transcends the hierarchical unhappiness of the sheeple. Therefore, the Promethean crucial first step is to foster, maintain and preserve, gregarious open ended free exchange in creative problem solving, fee inquiry and of controversy which is the exchange of criticism. There is no substitute. Nothing less, nothing else, will ever do.

Just as argumentative controversy remains the analytic mode of exchange in case of disagreement, likewise, Miscommunication Competence is the analytic Meta-Conversational framework of exchange in case of incomprehension, often reciprocal. Disagreement and incomprehension being the normal circumstance, even relationship howsoever, trust and tolerance at all, all as opposed to heteronymous expectations of identity or oneness, are entirely contingent upon just such difference or perspective.

Often in polemics (which may be perceived as the more rational, open and honest component of counterpropaganda), which is to say, with the aim of influence or persuasion, argument is any course of reasoning in statement or assertion put forth aimed at demonstrating truth (correspondence to reality in assertions), or falsehood, particularly as engaged in controversy, dispute, especially a public one, a disagreement in logically or Ontologically conflicting or contradictory opinions over which parties are actively arguing against each other.

 
FoolQuest.com
                      ever strives at the vital application of criticality to collaboration in new venture creation and in fiction brainstorming:
                                                                                                                                                                           You are invited!

And argumentative controversy is the open and rigorous exchange of criticism integral all thereto

The hypothesis of Evolutionary Epistemology is the ready observation how, just as scientific breakthrough actually consists in the pointed refutation of previously accepted hypotheses, democratic open societies, by nurturing doubt as crucial to the value of controversy, and thereby engaging investigative and experimental scrutiny to challenge assumptions, the adversarial process of healthy cognitive conflict and meaningful controversy, from substantive, important, meaningful issue-related difference of opinion, may lead to the fruitful resolution thereof, by corroboration, refutation, and synthesis, achieving and improving learning, discovery, creativity, problem solving, strategic decision making and hence, genuine productivity and real progress, even growth with less needless drama. Losing an argument profits in learning, much the same as does refutation of an hypothesis. Alas, just as observably, especially among those burdened with difficulty distinguishing cognitive disagreements from personal assaults, particularly the reactive victim type bully, cognitive conflict, even the most purely issue-related differences of opinion or controversy, often spark the real life drama of affective conflict focused and directed personally, fostering suspicion and hostility, hence cynicism, distrust, and avoidance or obstruction, thereby preventing open communication and cognitive reintegration.

One simple solution to the disruption of affective conflict, a reliable cure borne of ordinary maturity, is procedural agreement to focus upon cognitive conflict actually to the exclusion of whatever affective conflict otherwise thereby engendered. Such maturity is achieved, likewise, by the benefit of the doubt, by reasonable uncertain hesitation to lash out, instead seeking to take even disagreement in whatever spirit intended, so long as trust is vindicated and there turns out not to be any intentional hostility or threat, after all, only disagreement and controversy to the point. Alas, affective conflict unresolved may melodramatically motivate rejection of the very value of doubt or even of the very desirability of maturity and tolerance at all, thus Nihilistically disrupting and obstructing cognitive conflict resolution, learning and growth. And so, maturity, tolerance and even Evolutionary Epistemology and progress at all, may be effectively rejected in anger and suspicion.

Alas, the alternative is typically the obfuscation and rationalization of cliquish bullying and Stockholm Syndrome that is consensus manipulation via synthesis achieved through intimidation and agreeability.

Indeed, Beware of Skilled Incompetence, the consequent adaptation by gutless executives marshalling information Inductively, and thus avoiding any relevant productive outcome of conflict and never changing the course of action, fixed malagenda under predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome!

Exactly thus, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong."

 

Controversy is no less than the crux of scientific quest for truth and the very soul of democracy, and I, for one, dread life without it!

The visibility and transparency of controversy is always extremely important because controversies often express the richness and depth of a topic, drawing out insight and ingenuity beyond the deadly bland and superficial and forestalling premature consensus, the superficial convergence of beliefs and values before the underlying differences can emerge. For such is the blind straightjacket of homogeneity, the loss of perspective under which superior alternatives become inconceivable and hence are to be ignored. Indeed, that is exactly why an able chairperson or facilitator, or in fiction some manner of appropriate supporting character, actually works to help keep minority views alive. -Exactly in order to forestall premature consensus. Controversies dramatize change meaningfully, often making a critical difference even in life–altering decisions, in reality no less than in drama

     In short, what may be most fastidiously omitted, first and foremost,
                                                                                                 is Visioning to sharpen the focus

Thus, by dwelling upon the small mindedly trivial and picayune rather than drama or controversy, only petty bickering  arises because the crucial impetus to however grow and progress has effectively been hobbled. And so, in real life, the tension  rises all the more, but in fiction only if the reader or audience can be brought to care

In dramatizing controversy, POV facilitating inner motivated conflict and dramatic dialogue makes it hard to tell who is right and who is wrong. "In a good play, everyone is right."  But how far would they go? Or will they change and grow?

Indeed, scientists, journalists, detectives, intelligence analysts and even dramatists or novelists, are all professionally required to address a range of information, multiple perspectives, authorities, and opinions on any number of topics or subject matter.

“People's level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.”  - Albert Bandura

And however inadveritently, even search engines may significantly decrease their productivity or even conceal incompetence if controversies are overly difficult to investigate or dig deeper, as will be crucial for insight into difficult struggle, because aggregation algorithms tend to emphasize popularity of opinion, effective consensus, and hence, simple mediocrity rather than genuine objectivity.

Hence, the more damnable, as, for example, with Inductivism blandly and copiously marshalling so called "facts" in the pretense of objectivity, for human agents to promote the suppression or concealment of controversy, quite deliberately! And, as will be seen, how vulgar and malignantly
manipulative to do so in the name of love!

Exactly thus, often with the aid of negative stereotypes of outsiders, are dissenters and opposing views never properly argued with, but merely ignored under tacit rationalization of group invulnerability, evidence to the contrary minimized and trivialized, that decisions made by the group cannot be "made-wrong."

The naming of questions (of this or that noun) without actually framing any salient question thereby evades, smoothes, sooths, and charms away, any troubling suggestion of the very possibility of ignorance and uncertainty. And, likewise, the mere enumeration and exposition of different POV ("competing approaches", "conflicting, [e.g., contradictory] narratives," "diversity of discourses," "different emphasis's") but never as simple points of departure in any  fruitful process of elimination, is a common and dishonest tactic in the bland evasion and obfuscation of the very existence of controversy and of real life drama, the inherency of conflict on many level to situation. -Indeed ever such hurly-burly and vital Evolutionary Epistemology scorned as far too dull and cruel. And all without truth of any singular physical reality, but all merely as a matter of relative perspective, even damnable moral neutrality, so that simple error, let alone any deeper wrong, need never be detected. All devious diversion by the sowing of authoritative confusion!

And all such comes part and parcel of the bogus false promise of surreptitious decision making. Indeed, the concealment of controversy is to rob the dissident of their voice, a devious means of oppression.

The prevention outright rather than any rational and productive intermediation of all struggle and contest of will, even on such benign grounds of equality and kindness, nevertheless remains a principle actually hostile to life and free thought by the glorification of mediocrity, ultimately only strengthening the herd as a tool of tyranny.

All such chicanery remains the manipulative abuse of our precious creativity undermining the rational quest for truth, rather than in service thereof, that may pass as a subtle slight of hand unless, instead of being caught by surprise and then intimidated, anyone will ever risk being so rude and abrasive as to call the marshmallow throwing sickly sweet brush off touchy-feely cheat for what it truly is: Hostility towards the very vulnerable and fallible Epistemological human condition inspiring, in turn, manipulation under the guise of love with the false promise and bribe of acceptance universally yearned for and by the pretense of tender and lofty selfless motivation so as to conceal the truth of lust for power and dominance over others by professing love, thereby wielding temptation to overwhelm better judgment while also raising self-loathing and guilt in order to confuse the target's warning instincts.

At least Wonder Woman (the fanciful authorial spokesperson for Charles Moulton, nom de plum of Dr. William Moulton Marston) is refreshingly candid, in her benevolent authoritarianism and exhortations to loving submission! But then, sex sells just about anything, and even heightens drama.

By far the more dreary, metaphorical haberdashery and general balderdash not withstanding, the eminent Dr. Edward de Bono goes so far as to actually assert the contention, to argue, the inadequacy of argument, to whit, that argument simply lacks constructive creativity! Thus does Dr. Edward de Bono camouflage a dismissal of all learning and progress via controversy that is cornerstone open rational democracy, by which errors are ever detected and corrected. But Dr. Edward de Bono is in not actually in such sheer historical denial, or, so it might seem, forgotten his vauntedYellow Hat of optimism in the search for value, benefit and opportunity, nor entirely discarded his trustyWhite Hat of pertinent information research, as to ever genuinely be so blithely unaware of the long record of creative effort and constructive output from the practice of argumentative controversy. Of course skilled argumentative attack certainly challenges creativity, while supporting arguments are by definition constructed. Indeed, only crippling inhibition and crushing social pressure prevent what otherwise flows easily enough with but a modicum of autonomy. Indeed, On page 7 of 'I Am Right - You Are Wrong,' Dr. Edward de Bono writes: "The most powerful case for the value of argument as a thinking method is that it encourages the motivated exploration of a subject. Without the personal gratification or argument (win/lose, aggression, cleverness, point-scoring) there might be little motivation to explore the subject." But if not for it's own joy at all, not to shake things up, and certainly never as crucible of truth, because that entire adversarial Epistemological Methodology, according to the cult-like and faddish sheer militant hypersensitive heteronomy of Dr. Edward de Bono, is nothing more an ancient racket! Then to what end does Dr. Edward de Bono make even as small a concession as he offers? Only so that the rams amid the sheeple may likewise be shepherded to the bliss of consensus via predisposition to heteronymous Cohesion-Norms of Groupthink team traps of Stockholm Syndrome! For only such can be  the sole redeeming virtue of argument and discourse, according to Dr. Edward de Bono.

All such is classic manipulation by the pretense of tender and lofty selfless motivation so as to conceal the truth of lust for power and dominance over others by professing love and raising guilt in order to confuse the target's warning instincts.

Indeed, to subvert the practice of Brainstorming into similar consensus manipulation as with the abuse of the Delphi Technique, Alex F. Osborn's Non Justificationist recommendation of a'posteriori deferred  judgment/evaluation is often distorted, effectively extended indefinitely, in order to serve touchy-feely Anti-Critical Bias.

Indeed, the famous Six Thinking Hats Technique of Parallel Thinking in which the participants examine issues and problems together from different standpoints rather than contesting them one against the other, was invented by Dr. Edward de Bono in service of his own flagrant and virulent Anti-Critical Bias, actually deploring adversarial argument/debate/polemic as Status Quo intellectual thuggery! 

The first thing Prof. de Bono challenges is what he calls "the gang of three," comprised of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates mocked the world by making it believe that arguments were the best way of thinking; Plato mocked it further by making it believe there was a truth to be discovered; and Aristotle entrapped us in the cage of categorical logic.
 
 -Karl Schembri for The Malta Independent 
 
 
All hinging upon the evasion of Ontology, the domain of objective reality to which truth (correspondence to reality in assertions), by definition, must correspond. Otherwise, we'd have little to argue, and nothing categorical or logically bounded at all. 

In a nut shell, Dr. Edward de Bono is just Postmodern, Nihilistic and heteronymous, for all the touchy-feely hearts and flowers. And, despite his innovations in massaging the exchange of perspective, Dr. Edward de Bono has still got the proverbial baby out with the metaphorical bath water! Indeed, donning ourBlack Hat of fault finding and problem definition, ever alert to danger, the bottom line remains that to completely rule out the practice of argument is also to effectively rule out dissidence, which is never at all the kindly gentle tolerant geniality that Dr. Edward de Bono pretends, but inevitably the most antirational intolerance and and crafty Medieval oppression.

Or else, just how, exactly, do we, so lightly treading and traipsing along with pied piper Dr. Edward de Bono, merrily donning together ourGreen Hat of creative alternatives and solutions, escape the ugly vicious trap, and oh so convivially answer just this above monumental begged question in order to properly address so thorny a problem?

Alas, donning ourBlue Hat of organization and summary, indeed as we have sadly seen is typical of consensus "facilitation" (manipulation), what Dr. Edward de Bono omits to spell out, is just how decisions are reached without confronting disagreement directly, because raising questions but only as far and as much is possible while avoiding argumentative conflict, that is to say, controversy, is the most urgent top priority and monumental hubris of Dr. Edward de Bono. And so, rather than by despised categorical logic coming to any conclusion in the now astonishingly discredited quest for truth, defined as the location and identification of correspondence to reality in assertions, instead the hamartia of Dr. Edward de Bono aims at consensus of all concurrent private deliberation, consideration and contemplation, unvoiced individual thinking including any degree of however unresolved reservations, all coming to converge with and within organizational process and whatever collectively "owned" Groupthink, the individual finessed of individual dissent, exactly as Lynn M. Stuter so incisively indicts of all such typical facilitated consensus manipulation chicanery and manufacture (but only on the secular Left). The subject is cunningly maneuvered into cognitive dissonance, the inner conflict of dishonest hypocrisy, even as manifest in dialogue as Antiprocess, and thence down the path of least resistance, namely to rationalize after caving in. Thus, though, mind you and perish forbid, no one is actually wrong, nevertheless we (must) all agree!

However,  and exactly as Dr. Edward de Bono contends, the tool of synthesis is but a means of creative thinking, not a categorical determinant of truth, optimums or even esthetic taste. Hence, any synthesis is only one more competing and perhaps viable hypothesis, strategic option or work of art, as the case may be. Once again, the most disastrous misuse is only in the direct application to decision making!

So what must be done when synthesis is not completely successful in consensus generation, and therefore complete consensus does not arise voluntarily and will not be manipulated or however lightly extorted?  In truth, the actual procedural options in practice in any such an event are logically predictable by default and extensively corroborated by repeatable observation in virtually any and every context. Either, but beyond as much as Dr. Edward de Bono somewhat shiftily concede, there is truly a place for argument, and, indeed, adversarial systems of open controversy must be allowed, indeed, cultivated, in order to test stubbornly irresolvable mutually exclusive competing hypotheses for fitness against one another, at least as a last resort, or else other less voluntary and less honest means to consensus must be employed, manipulation, coercion, shunning, ostracism and so forth. In a word, bullying, a worrisome proposition, plainly enough even without all that touchy-feely and vaunted sensitivity training.

The escape from responsibility and evasion of difficult decisions without any clear moral imperative by the invocation of loaded words, phrases and slogans, is characteristic of that which Dr. Walter Kaufmann dubbed "decidophobia," a paralytic fear of responsibility in making firm decisions or even forming cogent opinions regarding at all whatsoever complex or uncertain questions by honestly and analytically considering and comparing alternatives.
 
Indeed, beyond simple cognitive dissonance even as manifest in dialogue as Antiprocess, how perverse the destructive and dishonest lengths that some people will go simply out of decidophobic conflict aversion, ultimately the devious nastiness and harm they will do, just to avoid ever confronting error or flaw of their own, and all starting from the putative motivating goal so blithely put forth or only implied, of never hurting anyone else's feelings. A position scarcely any better balanced than the seemingly opposite extreme, the puerile and Sophomorically maladjusted Fascist ideation of truth and honesty only attainable by the utter abandonment of civility and decency all to be despised as bourgeois and effete. 
 

"Or I'll eat my hat!"

Either way, without the filters of explicit criticality and self awareness, perhaps most unwisely omitted in the fabrication of Dr. Edward de Bono's Black Hat of fault finding, problem definition, and danger alert, likewise, I've just got a hunch that care may have been omitted that the dapper brim on the Red Hat of emotion and intuition never squeeze too tight as to seal in the insidious rising toxic mercury vapors of impulsive acrimony.
 
In other words, adult productive, fun and stimulating rational controversy must eventually take precedent over immature emotionally driven conflict and debilitating resentment, reciprocally. At some point adult hard reason and good sportsmanship must govern, temper, moderate and reign in tender emotion, especially however unduly hurt feelings, rather than dangerously validating immature reactive hostility, codling and exacerbating needless anxiety that even children grow out of unless, as all too often, otherwise socialized and undermined to debilitating heteronomy. There is nothing helpful and tender about emotionally taking militant offense simply because others are trying to think and communicate for and amongst themselves, nor or by caving in to accommodate precisely such bullying by which at any moment and under any circumstances, anyone may be pressed and cowed into hesitation and silence for fear that to speak up may reflect poorly, exercise futility, bring adverse consequences or even do harm.
 
Because without conflict there can be no resolution.
                     (Yes, it's more than just the make-up sex!)
 
Moreover, barring oppressive mandatory consensus, advisability and inclusion become nigh inextricable in any at all sportsmanlike adversarial system, as, for example, even in a sports league, where inclusion and participation expressly and intrinsically include openness to competition. Although, there are those who would ban all sports save footbag/hackysack, the traditional footbag/hackysack circle being uniquely collaborative social effort at play, concentrated upon keeping the beanbag in the air without using one's hands, sans any aspect of competition. And wouldn't that be riveting on ESPN! And, while we are at it, no sex, save that it be Tantric and free from all of that nasty aggressive thrusting spiritual violence!

But given that puppies and kittens at play, dearly love to pretend mortal combat, their darling adorable
trusting natures nevertheless at all undimmed, how little reality sense and functional sense of proportion, then, dare we expect from ourselves, lords of creation?

For as few as there are actually committed to the extermination of our own species, there are so many more feverishly work upon one radical strategy or another of veritable mass castration, lobotomy too, and all in the name of social harmony by the unsporting cowardly accommodation of whatever undue unwholesome fragility and capitulation to whatever the calculating emotional blackmail of the moment. Indeed, just as the renowned Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz admonished: the real enemy including his ubiquitous fifth column, sympathisers, Stallin's "useful idiots," are always peace loving, generally preferring the ease and convenience of steamrolling over us all, entirely unopposed. 
 
For, whereas the vicissitudes of unnecessary and irresolvable conflict generated simply by tone, manner, style of communication and behavior, tend only to melodrama, by contrast drama also requires anything important at stake, even a polemical point, and hence may even unfold constructively, in life as in art. But, likewise, the outcome can be kept in doubt, as the mounting destructive passions of pointless escalating conflict become ever harder to resolve. Thus, conflict on any level will never truly or long be forestalled, but only fester, by suppressing the issues or silently swallowing disagreement or, indeed, by rejecting, on whatever dishonest, timid, misguided or self serving principle or sycophantic taboo, the practice of argument.
 
The basic strategies of evasion are flat out denial or else trivialization, making the least of the matter or else dealing with some other problem entirely, and then shutting down, stonewalling in adamant refusal to deal with the undeniable. nevertheless: The truth will out! Indeed, as Gandhi said, first they ignore us, then they trivialize and mock us, then they fight us, and finally, that is when, at long last, the outcome is that we will win.
 
Of course, the Dialectic of Socrates embracing Valuable Intellectual Traits and dimensions of critical thinking, already includes comprehensive checks of intersubjective comprehension, even such as what we nowadays call positive listening, and thence seeks to identify and pursue specific disagreement.  Because honesty, which makes systematic doubt a virtue, must therefore permit even that range of expression which passes out from the bounds of consensus, even after people do understand one another better. What Sir Karl Popper calls disagreements that deserve to be taken seriously, and hence, interesting (fun) to argue, adversarially, and with all that brainy cave-man sport so spiritually destitute and unworthy of Dr. Edward de Bono's condescension. (And not that he'd be jealous or anything. Right?) The diamonds amid Theodore Sturgeon's famous proverbial 95% shit, selected for fitness in the hurly burly process of Evolutionary Epistemology, in which brainstorming is akin to gestation and mutation, and the selection pressure is exactly such rational independent thinking criticality towards which Dr. Edward de Bono, no doubt, and as a good Christian ever yearning for the return of universal faith, harbors such naked contempt. 
 
Lo, even after all these thousands of years, as a sportsmanlike discourse among equals, the Dialectic of Socrates is still everything as advertised. Or the Dialectic of Socrates is also handy as an opportune tool simply for getting one's own point across clearly and even persuasively. But, especially given whatever creeping inequality, the Dialectic of Socrates may drift into a somewhat more propagandistic form, even if fairly straightforward. And, sadly, by the most slippery tactics to subvert honesty and heighten inequality, new and ever more deceitful and devious mass manipulations are pioneered out from every valuable new tool of ideas.

Brainstorming, particularly, was first conceived by Alex F. Osborn, first of all and foremost, as a creativity process. Decision making, generally and in the brainstorming process particularly, is a separate question not to be abused, demanding no less great care, both for the sake of arriving at sound decisions, and also, first of all, never to undermine creativity, which would be purpose defeating. (Not to mention preservation of democratic principles, values and practice, as applicable.) 

And the best consensus building process as ever might indeed be crucial to sound decisions into action is still that which parallels sound Epistemological Methodology. Otherwise, what's the point?

And, of course, brainstorming, in particular, comes in at the inception of Hypothetico Deductive Method.

Or, if absolutely necessary, rather than relying upon or demanding or imposing consensus should the best choices fail to manifest for all in due course, then, in accordance with the principle of deferred  judgment/evaluation which is central to brainstorming, decisions might best arrived at through open democracy in step by step elimination and then final selection of Affinity Diagram entries compiled into the Solution-Finding stage.

If consensus in choosing decisions is an indispensable priority, and all else fails, then, eventually, as a last resort, and even then subject to ongoing reevaluation, votes can be taken as to what to cross off, in turn, from the Affinity Diagrams, in Collaborative Filtering during Solution Finding.

But decisions should not be made, or if arrived at then at least not closed or committed to, before the Solution-Finding stage.

(And unlike the Delphi Technique, where in replies are gathered, summarized and spun behind closed doors, to then fed back to the group members by unscrupulous "facilitators", in the solution finding stage, everyone participates openly in gathering and editing through out, rather than being finessed or manipulated into consensus.) 

Obviously, all final decisions need likewise to be postponed or tabled for at least as long as criticism is to be deferred! Otherwise, there will remain the risk that decisions will be foisted upon the unwary by namby-pamby touchy-feely guilt-tripping slight of hand, and imposed upon us all by controlled consultation with impunity from criticism and without any much regard.

Indeed, if in doubt, to keep from getting "railroaded", it may be crucial to fall back upon Robert's Rules of Order [Survival Tips]. Bartleby.com

For optimal command and control, the wisest application of Robert's Rules of Order, after all, a parliamentary dominance procedure, may often be to hold them in reserve for whenever ambiguity of informal processes becomes untenable, or informal decision making breaks down or becomes vulnerable to abuse, in which case formal safeguards will become a vital contingency. 

Otherwise, just for brainstorming and creativity, there is no reason that any entry cannot remain on the agenda for as long as anybody at all remains interested in it at all, rather than heavy handedly and arbitrarily curtailing creativity, a practice that seems somewhat purpose defeating at best.

Unless there is actually a clear reason why coming to a decision has become crucial, then why force it? For example, is indecision actually obstructing task/goal interdependency? But has whichever task/goal interdependency been fully and creatively explored in brainstorming?

Indeed, far from building consensus, to heighten and sustain sheer creativity, it may even be important to actually cultivate and to sustain creative difference, controversy and tension.

And the joy of creativity can even be more than enough to safe guard amicability, albeit only among those who will partake thereof instead of just knea-jerk bullying for consensus and affirmation. And, if need be, the latter behavior must be curtailed either in some healthy social interaction within the group dynamic within which discourse in contexted, or else ruled out and quashed by the forum moderator.

Clearly tact and sensitivity are only virtues never beyond but only as subordinate to honest truthfulness, truthfulness being, so goes the wise proverb, the value without which, first, there can be no other values, and not even much creativity.

Yes, honest is the best policy, for creativity, decision making and human relations. And compromise with standards of honest is often more costly than will be admitted.

Indeed, consider the importance of honestly bad writing.

 

Q. But isn't consensus-building at the very heart of collaboration? 

A. Disagreement or controversy with that very sentiment may be subtle, yet pivotal, in the question of the engineering of consent, the means by which ever such achieved making every crucial difference. 

The world, chaotic as it may be, is full of collaboration that is nevertheless even the more detrimental. There are many stupid and evil systems for the engineering of consent (including, of course, such infamous consensus
manipulation as the deplorable Delphi Technique), and the consensus they manufacture may tend to be destructive and just dull in the end.

What point is there in adding to the dubious collaboration already filling our sad sick world?

Fortunately, there are also more enlightened methods of mass change of thinking that are happier in the results, because these processes parallel good Epistemological Methodology (systematic application of principles by which knowledge arises) and/or rational problem solving. 

Investigation, then, of the
success of the latter, must be the best route to choosing the best way to collaborate. For such is at the heart of desirable collaboration.

Indeed, consensus is a crucial social institution, but among the highest democratic
values is for all social institutions to remain open to criticism, responsible and agile enough for ongoing readjustment and error correction.  Indeed, debate even otherwise with consensus is the truest exercise of the true spirit of democracy.

And one important feature of free exchange as in brainstorming is that consensus is never made central and, thereby, so important in it's own right as to become arbitrary and thereby, destructive.

Rather, it is unsupported speculation from points of creative departure that are most fertile for options and possibilities, and then adversariality that is made the central crucible to refine any end product. Argument/debate/polemic is also central to free exchange, the attack and defense of competing ideas, even if any first stage of brainstorming might require criticism to be deferred temporarily. And any of this sort of consensus, historically, has been no more than the fruition of such progress.

This highest aspiration of an open and democratic society beyond the most rudimentary achievement of the bloodless transition of power, is the hope of real progress, a consensus evolution ever at all actually mirroring sound Epistemological Methodology.

More than this, collaboration in writing may be less of a consensus effort at all, than merely an exchange from which each participant may obtain input useful or inspiring. A writer simply builds with what is useful, and tries to offer as much to others. Again, writers brainstorming together sometimes part ways, going off in different directions, or sometimes completing projects together, or both, even concurrently. After all, why not?

The question may then be posed, what will bring collaborative projects to completion? -And preferably without stifling creativity...  And to answer that it may be best first to ask, what causes the disintegration of collaborative brainstorming, one way or another? One answer is, quite simply, poor sportsmanship. 

A moderated creative writing collaborative brainstorming prototype Online community is provided as a demo on this site, for testing the bold hypothesis that creativity and productivity will be maximized with little more than the guidelines of keeping at all on topic, no flaming nor personal attacks, and no touchiness finding personal attack where there is none. This is the minimum Social Contract, and the minimum consensus. And all that is really needed for best results. 

Indeed, Collaborative brainstorming is a powerful productivity tool. But not for those unwilling to enjoy disagreement. Such will only want smooth sailing, regardless that any end product be banal and inept.  

And, in their vanity they may even neglect, for example and as applicable, the crucial fiction writing fundamentals

Sound decision making does not begin from any Conformist impulse for consensus, but by rationally identification of what is important to decide in the first place, and why, by the techniques of Visioning.

ideas should compete, bodies should cooperate 

—  John Storrs Hall

 

Q. But if necessary or desired, how does one best follow through all the way to make free choices, arrive at decision, individually or collectively?

When fiction authors brainstorm together, sometimes they complete works in collaboration, and other times they create entirely separate works off on their own. Or one can do both!  And the same principle may or may not apply to any other individual and collective priorities, strategies and agendas to real action.

But what about brainstorming towards not only abstract or hypothetical problem solving but planning and even action in cooperation, not just interaction simply to stimulate purely intellectual investigation as in creative writing including fiction?

A. Certainly concrete planning not to mention implementation, any follow through into action must eventually pass beyond the scope of creativity process such as brainstorming alone.

Bringing together effective and compatible groups of people for endeavors to better succeeded is to be the challenge of future interaction on the frontiers of advanced automated Sociometry, matching not only individuals one to another, for whatever purpose may arise, but also the formation of functional and compatible social circles, likewise.  Both for creativity as in aspiring writers to collaborate and brainstorm as well as Management teams and steering committees for business start-ups and initiatives of political activism.

But in the meantime, one may be obliged to cope situationaly. For example, if one is brainstorming within a place of emolument or of what passes for education, then plans will be drawn and there is already a protocol for follow up action as a group, and to each individual member of the group, their part.  That is, to the extent that brainstorming is a reality there. Or else not. Alas, where response is certain and routine, liberty, imagination and criticality may not be. 

No doubt, there have been remarkable accomplishments but also severe limitations in both independent individual action and in spontaneous cooperation the likes of Open Source. But depending upon the goals and what is at stake, there may be a requirement to be able to depend, reciprocally, upon more committed and intensive closely knit collaboration and affinity. (history) For example, for such complicated and demanding undertakings as entrepreneurial early stage business start-ups and initiatives of political activism, should such be deemed necessary or desirable in the advancement of whatever goals as ever put forth

And, once again, honesty will be crucial because cross-purposes in bad faith of Anarcho-passive ambivalence will lead nowhere but aggravation.

So, just to drive home the point, click here to answer a battery of leading questions!

Indeed, brainstorming may best be followed up and concretized by further specific Techniques for Effective Decision Making.

And all such realistic questions of what it takes, belong, always, at the top of the agenda. Also find a broad selection of planning tools, much of which available free of cost, at planware.org

 

 

 

Copyright 2001 - 2016 by Aaron Agassi

 

 

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