Ming the Mechanic:
Seeing change

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Seeing change2003-10-06 14:29
by Flemming Funch

Another pattern.

In contexts where a person or group is behaving in a certain fashion, which they potentially should be able to control:

Deliberate change can only happen when you can distinguish what you previously have been doing.

Said a different way, you need to be able to see something a bit at a distance before you really can notice it, and articulate it, and then change your mind about it, and choose a different path.

You can't change something you are BEING

You can only change it after you, at least for a moment, step back and perceive it from a meta-perspective. You dissociate from the state of being.

Whether you can talk about the subject matter or not is part of the equation. If you don't have language to talk about a certain kind of situation, you're not very likely to be able to decide to change it. If you have words for it, or if you have a mental model for it, a mental abstraction for it, then you can make a decision about it.

And, to change into a different mental model, a different paradigm, one needs to be able to perceive that paradigm. One needs to be able to examine it, and say something about it. So, there are a lot of possibilities that aren't really available, just because they are so far removed from one's normal frame of reference that one just can't see it.

You can only change into a new state if you can perceive it as a possibility

Of course I'm only talking about conscious, deliberate change here. One can change other ways too. External circumstances might suddenly hit you in ways you didn't expect. Evolution might happen without your conscious involvement.

(Gee, I could use a drawing pad. Drawing with a mouse sucks)

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8 Oct 2003 @ 14:49 by ming : Stuck in a loop
I guess you don't need to know exactly what 'causes' such a loop. But you at least need to recognize that it is there. And look around for alternatives. Try on different kinds of changes, and you might well find a mode that doesn't include that loop.  

8 Oct 2003 @ 16:35 by dang @ : then be something else!
What if? .... Imagine for a moment that God has invested you with the power to create an entirely new human being, from the ground up. This person can be absolutely anything you imagine in any area you imagine. There is no necessity for them to have any allegiance whatsoever to your current preferences or beliefs or anything-- they can like different types of food, different types of people, can enjoy what thoroughly displeases you at present, etc. They can be filthy rich and talented in areas which you've never even heard of, or they can be utterly poor and useless and destitute and without hope. When you're all done, you will have your consciousness transferred to this new person. You will become them.

So given this possibility, this hypothetical question, what would you have yourself be? If you truly answer this question for yourself, you will discover an interesting secret about life, about your personality. It is the most terrible, most excruciatingly beautiful thing imaginable. Are you up for it?  

9 Oct 2003 @ 05:37 by ming : Something else
Well, I'd tend to believe that you already are invested with exactly such a power. The reason many of us might doubt it at all is probably that we usually are very sloppy at imagining what exactly we'd want instead. So, what we get is mostly what we already are, plus a relatively haphazard mixture of lucky circumstances and vague intentions that sometimes are satisfied. If you could be very clear on what exactly you want, and how that would be, and how you would feel and think, in a great deal of detail, and you could make it more real and compelling to yourself than what you currently have - but of course, that would become your new reality.  

9 Oct 2003 @ 13:34 by ming : Bootstrapping
I'd say that our imagination is exactly our inherent bootstrapping mechanism. (metaphor of pulling oneself up by the straps of one's boots = being able to do start doing something while having hardly any resources.

No matter what kind of situation we're in, and no matter how much the cards are stacked against us, and no matter how much we're stuck in past patterns that don't work - if we can just imagine that it might be different, it can all change.  

9 Oct 2003 @ 16:11 by dang @ : exactly!
"the toynbee convector" on a personal level!

from an article about the mysterious "toynbee 2001 tiles":

Toynbee, who lived from 1889 to 1975, was best known for his theory that humanity's perception of its history shapes its future. This theory was turned on its head and used as the premise for a 1983 Ray Bradbury short story titled "The Toynbee Convector" in which a character by the name of Stiles travels 80 years into the future and returns with stories of mankind's marvelous achievements. Stiles' reports of a future free of war and disease prompts people to join forces to work together to attain this future and in 80 years they have succeeded. Stiles then reveals that his story was a lie. But the world he prophesied has nevertheless come to pass, validating a kind of corollary to Toynbee's theory, that humanity's perception of its future shapes its present."

9 Oct 2003 @ 19:10 by dang @ : beautiful.
for your convenience.. will be taken down soon, make a copy :)


10 Oct 2003 @ 09:25 by ming : Toynbee
Ah, great with the Toynbee Convector story and idea. I've gotta write something about that.  

Other stories in
2014-11-07 23:12: Welcome to the 5th dimension
2011-11-07 17:22: Notice the incidental
2010-07-14 13:35: Consciousness of Pattern
2010-06-28 00:03: Pump up the synchronicity
2009-10-29 14:03: Convergent or Divergent
2007-08-05 23:45: Perverse incentives
2007-06-22 22:18: Elementary magic
2007-03-21 14:20: Cymatics and group formation
2007-03-15 01:06: Structural holes
2007-02-27 23:50: Leverage

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