RE: virus: Congratulations! You found it!

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 09:40:50 -0800

This was such an earnest post that I wanted to respond.

Alex wrote:

>> Imagine that the Absolute Truth is NOT embedded in OR, but that instead
>> there are an infinity of mostly self-consistent truth systems that
>> describe OR. Each has advantages and disadvantages given what your
>> purpose is.
>I find this a very telling message in Mr Brodie's
>usually-less-than-revealatory serries regarding Level-3.

This is because it's usually (paradoxically) a very ineffective means of
communicating a new paradigm to come right out and say what you mean,
which is why I try other methods. Smart people easily seize upon
whatever conflicts with their existing world view and
ridicule/marginalize the new perspective. But go on...

> Allow me to
>indulge in a little (half-)cynical mockery:

Please! I love mockery!
>We have here an example of someone on the brink of Level-4 thinking;
>he understands that Truth (with a capital T) regarding some subjects
>is relative, but he has yet to apply that to his own belief systems.
>He takes a single idea and uses it for every application, just as the
>chimpanzee knows no better than to use the monkey wrench to hammer
>nails. When he transcends this limitation, he can attain Level-4.

Chimps again! Where's Tad when you need him? Of course if I believed in
the Learning Pyramid as Absolute Truth, you would be right to mock me.
But what gives you that idea? I guarantee you, when I'm refereeing
basketball, I see a block or a charge---no Levels required!
>Mr Brodie appears to consistantly confuse the media with the message,
>the map with the territory.

If it were so, it were a grievous fault. But since I have a whole
chapter in VotM (and another one in GPOK) about NOT doing that, you must
mean that, while I INTELLECTUALLY know not to confuse the two, I'm
unconsciously doing it anyway. Example?

> As a philosophy of thought, however, the
>use of Level-3 modeling seems to be, at least, mildly irritating and
>at most, dangerous.

No, it's at most enlightening and empowering. I'll concede irritating.
As George Bernard Shaw said---and I don't have his balls by a
longshot---"if you can't say something in an irritating way, you might
as well not have said it at all." Some members of this list are much
better at such Shavian rhetoric than I. Perhaps I ought to work on my

> He co-opts the same meme structures as modern
>religions by creating a false `analyze/discard' text which `describes'
>Level-3 thinking but which /everyone/ who thinks uses,

No, there's a tangible difference in the process of Level-2 folks who
become fearful, angry, or defensive at a belief conflict and Level-3
learners who are agile in their mental repositioning. Level-3'ers do
have a new process, just as Level-2 folks are able to see the forest for
the trees while Level-1'ers can't.

> then publicizes
>it, knowing that the majority will recognize that Level-3 represents
>some kind of `elite,' and, desiring to be a member of the elite, will
>recognize that `hey, you know, /I/ do that! Maybe I should look into

You are correct that I am attempting to harness the hierarchy drive...

> not realizing that /everyone/ is an executor of that way of

...but this is not accurate.
>I won't claim that there is only one language that communicates, the
>rest being only shams, and likewise won't claim that there aren't
>multiple logical /frameworks/ which /describe/ reality to varrying
>degrees of fitness with the observed facts, but I must, as a person
>who barks his shins on the furniture in the dark, accept that the
>Objective Reality beneath exists and describes itself in one way
>alone, whether or not that matches up with /any/ of the logical-models
>that humans, /any/ humans, carry around in their heads.

Alex, I can't remember the last time that I barked my shins on furniture
in the dark. Maybe you could learn something from me. =)
>> Realize that most people have perfectly OK lives without knowing about
>> the charge of an electron or even Pi.
>But very few get by driving down the street without all of them
>consistantly receiving the same impulse from seeing an octagonal
>device with some paint that reflects a very narrow range of photonic

And it's a good thing cars have an exhaust pipe to expel all the excess
phlogiston produced by the internal combustion engine!
Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?