Let's Think Together
One Voter At a Time .... That is How.
Published on November 19, 2007 By ThinkAloud In US Domestic
In a recent article LW, one of JU thoughtful Bloggers, got so frustrated with the state of affairs in our nation, the USA, to the point of calling for a Revolution to change things to the better and get us out of this miserable state in which we find ourselves neck-deep.

I reached that same point of frustration looooong time ago..... About 40 years ago to be exact. I wanted to do the same thing. A Revolution. With that I SHALL change everything. Everything. Here and in the world. Seriously.

Unfortunately, I am an Engineer. And if you don’t already know what that means, I really can’t help you. What is more unfortunate is that I am a Chemical Engineer. And if you are not one, don't tell me you know what that means. You will never know . And I am not kidding ( a prominent professor of Chemical Engineering once said: if you ask any person in the street what does an Engineer Do? you will never get the correct answer. If you ask any Engineer what does a Chemical Engineer Do? you will never get the correct answer .... i discovered that he was absolutely right) . We do things in a way that seems absurd not only to normal people but to other types of engineers as well. Master Plans, designs, details, specifics, logic, laws (natural and legal), client desires, client resources, efficiency, economy, common sense, smoothly working systems, safely-operating systems, elegance, harmony, consistency, ...etc. But who needs that??? That is a headache producing, frustration inducing and annoying way of doing things.

As such, I started working out the Plans, and the details and specifics and logic and legal foundation for this Revolution of mine.

When I got to the "Client Desires" I was shocked. My client in this Revolution is the People. What do the people want? I asked myself. I know what they "Should" want. but that is just me. What do they Really want so I can design this Revolution of mine.

As any good Engineer would do, I started asking people around me, "How do you think a good government should look like and what should it Do. In details. No general glorious slogans please?" And to my utter shock, I found out what I still find everywhere including here on JU. People want everything on the condition that they pay nothing. what is more is this: “Everything” for a group of people is the opposite of the Everything of other group of people and both are different from the Everything of a third group of people and so on and on and on.

In actual engineering jobs, if your client is like that your ONLY position should be this: Tell the client's people to get their act together and first decide what they want and they should call you back when that is achieved. The rule is: don’t you ever start unless The Client knows exactly what they want. Period. No exception. If they need help doing that, provide it if you can but that is another project. Finish that first then start the original one after they agree on what they want

Well, the Clients of that Revolution of mine are the People of the country. And based on what I found I decided I should postpone this Revolution until they get their act together.

In the meantime, I said to myself, let's see what kind of resources my Client (the people) has. I need good honest-to-God incorruptible, selfless, open-minded, tolerant, humble, looking-for-each-other-type people. That is what I need for that Revolution of mine.

A second shock swept through my spine up to my brain. That woke me up and made me smell the coffee. The people, as a single group, don’t know what they want. And assuming that they can get together and figure that out, they don’t have enough people who can give them what they want.

That made me remember the time-honored principle: "The Thousand mile Trip Starts with a Step". That revolution of mine must start by revolutionizing the people themselves .... one by one until we have enough of them. And since they say that in any organization (and any country is just a large organization) almost 20% of the people do 80% of the work I figured that the minimum number of people required for this Revolution of mine is 10% of the American People. The Other 10% will learn on the job…. I said to my self.

With these two discoveries I decided to wait till there is enough Americans who can agree on what the country should be like and at the SAME time have at least most of the above mentioned qualities. When “That” happens I will revisit this idea of a Revolution.

Over the years since then, I discovered another thing: When we get that many Americans that way, the Revolution would already have been happening. No more action would be necessary. The objectives would already have been achieved.

Going back to LW's hope for a revolution to change our government, I can only say our government, and our country, will change when at least 30 million Americans can agree on what is best for the country as a whole. At the same time those same Americans must possess most of the qualities mentioned above.

As it stands now we can’t agree on anything of importance. Even within the limited community of JU, look how uncompromising most of the views here. How each "Opinionator" blindly believes that their opinion and theirs alone are the absolute best. How inconsistent their opinions are depending on the moment and the circumstances. How they disregard every logical argument and reason. How they defend the indefensible. How they disregard the "Other" which is anyone who disagrees with them. How they disregard the consequences of their actions and opinions regardless of who suffers or what is being destroyed.

Until we, individually, change ourselves to match the required qualities nothing will ever change. The revolutionary people will be like the current ones unless they come from a changed people with consistent values and objectives and possess the moral integrity that is required to achieve those objectives.

How do we achieve that change? That needs a separate and hopefully shorter article.

Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 19, 2007

      While I have been gone for quite a while it is nice to come back and see a well written article. Frankly it is nice to see that someone realizes that this group of folks simply can't make up it's collective mind because it doesn't have a collective mind.

      If ideologically homogenous groups in towns and cities can't agree on local policy then they certainly won't achieve consensus nationally across heterogenous ideological groups.

      As you say in the article you think you know what they "should" want, but they also think that they know what you "should" want. Strangely, the two "should's" bear no resemblance to each other and never will.

on Nov 19, 2007
As you say in the article you think you know what they "should" want, but they also think that they know what you "should" want. Strangely, the two "should's" bear no resemblance to each other and never will.


First, thanks for your nice words (that was quick .... My goodness, i just posted the article.... )

Second, open-mindedness and humility would get those two "should's" close enough to satisfy both sides. Of course that needs selfless groups.
on Nov 19, 2007
Second, open-mindedness and humility would get those two "should's" close enough to satisfy both sides. Of course that needs selfless groups.


Groups, by the nature of the word itself implies selfishness on behalf of the group at least. This is the essence of tribalism/nationalism.

Humility just allows the last hold-out group to take advantage of the groups who caved before them. The rest of the world understands this. We in the very comfy US tend to beleive that everyone wants others to improve their conditions as we do.

They don't. They wan't to improve their own condition by taking from other people's condition. This is after all much easier than building prosperity on your own. Thievery > Work ethic in much of the world.

on Nov 19, 2007

Great piece of writing ThinkAloud!

The thing is, our Founding Fathers anwered most those questions by just not consulting the people in the first place.  They decided amongst themselves what kind of government they wanted, their meetings were behind closed doors, one person wrote the Declaration of Independence and when it came right down to it, only about 1/3 of the people were for a change in the first place.

The fact is, revolutions aren't about what "the people" want, they are about what that leaders, movers and shakers in the revolution want... even those few that establish a government "Of the People, By the People, and For the People".

 

~~~~~

btw, from what I've seen, what a chemical engineer does is carry a half a billion cards that keep them "up-to-date" on the latest and greatest government specs. Everything not on those cards seems to be secondary.  ;~D

on Nov 19, 2007
Ted - True, most of the foundign fathers also realized that limiting the people's ability to just keep voting themselves money from other taxpayer's pockets was crucial to long-term success.

on Nov 19, 2007
from what I've seen, what a chemical engineer does is carry a half a billion cards that keep them "up-to-date" on the latest and greatest government specs.


Thanks Ted.

As for your answer ..... wrong . That is far from it. That is just part of the continuous self-education process they have to do ALL the time. That is the "Law" part I mentioned in the article. now you can only imagine what the Actual job entails.

Everything not on those cards seems to be secondary.


you see, it only seems that way. and It also seems absurd .... i might add.

Oooh I said that already.

on Nov 19, 2007
I found out what I still find everywhere including here on JU. People want everything on the condition that they pay nothing. what is more is this: “Everything” for a group of people is the opposite of the Everything of other group of people and both are different from the Everything of a third group of people and so on and on and on.



welcome to the constitutional convention
on Nov 19, 2007
revolutions aren't about what "the people" want, they are about what that leaders, movers and shakers in the revolution want


It may start that way. However, unless it eventually does what the people want it will always, always become a "dictatorial" regime. That has been proven allover the world many many times.

That is what i was trying to avoid. I knew what they "should" want, but i didnt want it to turn into a dictatorial regime. So i wanted to know what do the people want ..... the article tells you the result of that.

How do you get the majority to agree on a "way forward" is the trick. And it involves multitudes of things. I will try to summarize that in another article ..... soon i hope.
on Nov 19, 2007
welcome to the constitutional convention


Is it still going?

Where are they convening? please tell me. I am packing now and waiting for the direction.
on Nov 19, 2007
Where are they convening? please tell me. I am packing now and waiting for the direction.


every other year at the voting booth
on Nov 19, 2007
every other year at the voting booth


that is not going to change anything. We established that already.

on Nov 19, 2007
It may start that way. However, unless it eventually does what the people want it will always, always become a "dictatorial" regime. That has been proven allover the world many many times.


That's what I mean, the American Revolution wasn't something most the people wanted, but the Founding Fathers did it anyway. Dictatorial Regime? ;~D
on Nov 19, 2007
every other year at the voting booth


that is not going to change anything. We established that already.



sure it will eventually.


but in either case it doesn't make what i said wrong.
on Nov 19, 2007

As you say in the article you think you know what they "should" want, but they also think that they know what you "should" want. Strangely, the two "should's" bear no resemblance to each other and never will.

That is the best definition of democracy yet.  And why it does not degrade into totalitarianism - at least for awhile (short for some - see Venezuela).

But to your point of a Chemical Engineer - no I dont know Chemical, but I do know engineer, and your statement about "what you want, then call me" is universal to the trade.

And second, refer to the first comment.  What you see as the perfect way is not what I see.  And it is not a matter of pride (as you insinuate), but a difference in perspective.  I see your vision as a road to ruin.  Not as a salvation.  And I am sure you see mine as the same.  But as long as neither of us can prove the other wrong (Chemical, Electrical, Quantum, Network - they are all based on absolutes with undeniable rules - people are not), we will never agree on the way.

The problem with engineers is we have the solutions for perfect worlds (as the physical world is based on it), but not for the vagaries of human nature.

BTW - Great article too!

on Nov 19, 2007
the united states is the oldest living republic.


so the question is are we an ancient republic or are we just getting started.