Are people fit to govern themselves?

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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Chorlton » Sat May 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Sorry TJ but I have to disagree somewhat.
Your statement below may have worked for the nurses but it was the death knell for the Bristish Coal industry:

"A small group of dedicated people "just doing it" made a drastic impact across a Nation.
"Just Do It" works.
But you have to do it.
No one can do it for you."

In the 70's we here in the UK had the Miners strike, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners' ... (1984-1985)
This strike broke families up, broke communities up, and broke the UK Unions up (effectiveley)
That wasnt a small group of people, it was an enormous group of people, and they stood up to the Government, but the Government won, destroyed the union and many peoples lives and jobs, closed the mines and due partly to that success opened the UK up to a faulty 'free market' which eventually destroyed the UK steel Industry and many smaller dependant industries.

'Just do it' doesnt always work.
In France Nestle workers decided to go on strike. Nestle simply shut the factory down
Just do it dont always work.
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Shawnna » Sat May 10, 2008 7:34 pm

Each circumstance (individual and/or industry) is going to be different.

Calling one situation a *success* or *failure* depends on your perspective.

I happen to agree with TWJ - not because of the specifics of the situation he describes - but because in the end, if you don't stand for something - you stand for nothing.

At some point one chooses principles to live by - even if the choice is to NOT have principles they live by.

:wink:

These choices are either conscious, or unconscious but in the end, our lives reflect the choices we've made. We can either OWN those choices or we can blame some*thing* else - a f---- up family, a f---- up government, bad luck, whatever. When we embrace and own our choices and recognize the Lessons learned from each and every one, we are on the path toward Awareness. I happen to call this path a Spiritual path but that is just me.

I know quite a few individuals who are living very conscious lives but absolutely denounce any Spiritual awareness and/or belief. Doesn't matter to me. As long as they are Conscious of their choices and Learn from the consequences of each and every one, I will seek these individuals out as there are Lessons to be Learned.

And so it goes....

S
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sat May 10, 2008 8:12 pm

I would like to state that I see the points made by TJ, Chorlton, and Shawnna... and I agree with all of them. If I may, I would like to point out that what Chorlton has pointed out is even, in one way, supported by what Shawnna has just written. To be more specific:

It is not enough to say "just do it" if the "it" you plan to "do" does not lead to the intended result. In other words, while we may have the best intentions in "just doing it", that does not make any of us immune from "doing the wrong thing." In short, all of us can be wrong, and it is orthogonally separate from our intentions. We can intend to do good, but the actions we take could (inadvertantly) lead to the opposite of good.

This is a very fine line, and I would submit that this is the fine line that is being highlighted all over the world at this time in our evolution. As Shawnna pointed out, if you don't stand for something then you stand for nothing. We all must make choices to do something. But at the point of resolution, when our actions have built the energy into a final result, we must resist the calling of our ego to "defend" what we did as "right". Our intention may have been pure, but one must look at the result... and be "man enough" (or "woman enough") to admit in the endgame that our actions may NOT have resulted in our intended result.

I have taken many actions in my life that were in error... in other words they did not result in my intended result. It is never easy to suppress my ego and admit that my actions, while based in a benevolent intent, were the wrong actions. I further submit that this is the central issue in our society today as we seek to evolve. I have made mention many times here that we are moving from the age of information to the age of intent. And a transformation in self, and our view of the world around us, is always requried to make such a transition. I submit that the willingness to suppress the ego, and use ONLY the result as our guide to rightness or wrongness is the primary struggle we have today... as we seek to evolve from beings who simply use information, into beings who use information to achieve a certain, stated intent.

Welcome to the age of intention. Now it is our job to coach others to make that same leap... by "just doing" the task that seems the hardest... suppressing our egos when they need to be suppressed.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Shawnna » Sat May 10, 2008 9:13 pm

Interesting perspective, Ray.

I currently (for I hope I am always open to new ideas!) subscribe to the school of thought that there is no 'wrong' end game per say. From my perspective, the outcome of any situation or event may either be 'right' or 'wrong' - depending on the side of the fence you sit on. Rather, each and every participant has Lessons to learn from that particular situation or event.

[woo woo on]

And this is where it will sound a bit woo woo so indulge me if you will.

:P

If you think about it from the perspective that, as Eternal beings, we are all connected and ultimately engaged in a mutual path of spiritual evolution. In the Eternal, we choose the Lessons to be learned and agree to participate in various ways in mortality in order to learn ( or facilitate another's learning of) those Lessons.

For example, the Lessons to be learned by the head(s) of the UK Government in Chorlton's example are just as valid as the Lessons learned by those perceived to have had their lives 'destroyed'.

What does it REALLY mean to have one's life 'destroyed'? Did you loose your house? Your wife? Your money? In each and every situation there are significant Life Lessons to be learned. Whether we learn them or not is purely our choice - conscious or not. And if we do not learn the Life Lesson in any given situation, as surely as I'm sitting here typing this another 'opportunity' to do just that is right around the corner.

:P

You see - THAT is what Life is all about after all. Learning our Lessons.

[/woo woo off]

In my most humblest of opinions, or course!

S
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Chorlton » Sun May 11, 2008 9:33 am

Interesting responses, thoughtfull.

In the question of the miners strike, I doubt the miners were aware of the very very far reaching consequences of their actions. To them they were simply fighting for their livelihoods, the right to feed and cloth their children and simply continue the lifestyle which they had chosen. The effects of that strike, however had repercussions far far wider than their wildest dreams could have foreseen and effectively those actions touched every person in the UK. The effective closing of practically every coal pit in the UK, and the purchasing of cheaper, though a lesser quality coal from Europe, (we lose, they gain), the almost total destruction of the UK's steel industry. And the worse thing, changing of Trades Union Laws making them pretty much a toothless and clawless tiger.
Did the miners foresee all of this?, doubtfull.
Would they have taken the same course of action if they had of known the far reaching repercussions of their actions? again doubtfull as it was their problems they were concerned with.

With hindsight (isnt that a wonderfull thing?) I think the miners actions merely brought forward an economic situation which we can see now would have eventually happened despite their actions. With the development of better and cheaper communications, transport and The Internet and cheap labour in Asia.

But decisions? yes everyone makes them and we are ultimately responsible for those decisions, but we are human and fallible.
Hell I was the bloke who turned down a job with a little known keyboard player called Reg Dwight in the 60's. OOps
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Shawnna » Sun May 11, 2008 10:21 am

'We'/'they' thinking will always result in someone losing and someone gaining. Until that way of thinking evolves to something along the lines of 'our' kind of thinking, we will continue to perpetuate the divide and always be more concerned about 'me' and 'mine'. And in this context 'me' and 'mine' could mean an individual, a nation, a corporate entity, a particular industry etc.

Is it possible for humanity to look beyond their own 'personal' needs? 'Personal' in this context could mean an individual, a nation, a corporate entity, a particular industry, etc.

In the example of the USA having the capacity to produce enough food to feed the entire world, imagine a world where the USA actually did that simply because it would be the right thing to do?

Imagine a world where individuals were not only concerned about their problems but actually worked toward making sure all benefited from whatever action is being considered because we no longer thought from the perspective of 'us' and 'them'.

Something along the lines of 'whenever one of us hurts, we all hurt' and 'whenever one of us prospers, we all prosper' kind of thinking.

Idealistic? Yes indeed! It is my humble opinion that the evolution of our species is absolutely dependent on our continuing to hope and dream of a better world. One driven by genuine concern for all simply because it is the right thing to do.
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Access Denied » Sun May 11, 2008 3:34 pm

Like Chorlton said, thoughtful responses. To add to what Shawnna said I noticed this the other day…

Bush calls for $770 million in food aid
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24410358/

The new money comes on top of $200 million Bush ordered released two weeks ago for emergency food aid. Even so, Bush called it "just the beginning" of the U.S. effort to help. He said the United States would spend a total of $5 billion this year and next on food aid and related programs.

Now maybe using something Bush is championing is a bad example and I seriously doubt he came up with this idea on his own, however this is a good (albeit somewhat token) example I think of what leadership can do and more importantly, more accurately reflects what is at the heart of most American people, and indeed the vast majority of people in the world… a genuine concern for the well-being of others and the desire to “just do it”… "it" being the right thing.

The problem of course is more often than not, something gets lost in the translation and not everyone, particularly in politics, has altruistic motives… unfortunately greed is a human “quality” that won’t be going away anytime soon and those who suffer from it the most naturally are the ones most driven to “succeed”… and they usually do.

Altruism doesn’t pay.
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Shawnna » Sun May 11, 2008 6:15 pm

Access Denied wrote:
Altruism doesn’t pay.


And until pay isn't the primary objective (whether it be an individual, government or corporate entity'), nothing wlll change.

The core values of a nation (or person/family, or corporate entity) are reflected in where they put their 'energy' (aka financial or other resources).

A local public example of this is when cities/states subsidize the building of huge sports arenas while their school system resorts to bake sales to fund their basic needs.

Choosing principles to live by and then actually following through begins with the individual. The above example would not have played itself out if each individual refused to support this financial arrangement by not buying tickets for games in these arenas. That would have required a conscious choice.

There are many other examples but my point is that changing the world begins with raising the consciousness of individuals such that their choices can begin to be reflected in society.

And so it goes......

S
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby torbjon » Mon May 12, 2008 8:23 am

wow...

I get sucked up in another project and you all go ape *laughs*

for the record I've been awake for about 70 hours now so bare with me...

AD:

um, that's Nola for president, VOTE 2040!

Chorlton:

I'm not being glib here, I'm aware of the strike you mentioned... my story of striking wasn't advocating striking perse, but rather the concept of solidarity... you're story... again not being flip, but, well, they didn't do it. They tried to do it, they ended up doing something else... if no one learned anything, if no fears were conquered, if no hatreds were overcome... then it could be argued that they 'failed'... but of course, it' Wasn't a failure.. not for everybody... some of those folks came away 'better' for it... and some died *shrugs*

sorry, very brain dead here... the point has been touched upon by many people... won't belabor it...

Ray:

sweet. very sweet. Self knowledge coupled with honestly expressing self... Bruce Lee is smiling.

Shawnna:

wow, groovy. So, yer a hoopy froog too, huh? who'da thunk it *laughs*

onward

Don't get too caught up in the 'right' or 'wrong', 'good' or 'evil', 'hot' or 'cold' thing...on the outside we All know those are "relative" but truly what they equate to is individual greed.

I doubt any of the fish I murdered felt too cool about it, but I never lost any sleep over it. It was 'good' that I was feeding the world... it was 'bad' that I was killing the world to do it. Every single action / non action has the exact same duality of consequences...

"just do it" is not an altruistic holy righteous positive better Good thing. Nor is it the opposite.

it just IS.

too brain dead to elaborate or reply more...

sorry.

laters
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon May 12, 2008 3:41 pm

torbjon wrote:Ray:

sweet. very sweet. Self knowledge coupled with honestly expressing self... Bruce Lee is smiling.


Thanks, Torb. I would like to continue my thoughts viz-a-viz "intention" and how we govern ourselves to see if anyone might agree with how we might go about "just doing it."

The time-honored tradition of how we specify complex systems in the systems engineering world certainly may be able to augment and improve how we govern by laws. As systems engineers, one thing we do (before we ever design an algorithm or a widget), is to agree on our INTENTIONS for the nascent system. That means defining how we see the system operating (doing its job) once it is built, and this goes all the way to defining METRICS of how well the system performs its job. Obviously, the purpose of metrics is to be able to measure... and thus verify if the system you built can meet your intentions. If not, then it is time for the engineers to go through another analysis and design cycle. Simple, no? Indeed, so simple that it has resulted in some of the most complex, yet accomplished systems that mankind has ever built... airplanes, rockets, a trip to the moon, the International Space Station, powerplants, automobiles, the Chunnel, etc.

So my "crazy idea" is this: Why can't we MODIFY how we set our goals (and make laws that attempt to achieve said goals) by doing the following:

1) STATING OUR INTENTION CLEARLY and making that actually PART OF THE LAW.
2) Defining METRICS by which we can agree that, when measured, will show evidence that the contemplated law has actually achieved our stated intentions.
3) Alternately defining metrics for those "bad" things which we contemplate could actually come to pass as a result of the law. Again, the reason is that if these "counter-positive" metrics are measured, and they indicate that the law is doing more "harm" than it is achieving stated intent... then that would mean it is time for...
4) Doing analysis of the metrics behind a law after a certain amount of time has passed, and correcting the law to make the counter-positive metrics reduce and make the positive metrics improved. In other words, the same analysis & redesign cycle that us engineers go through to make sure the airplanes the public flies on are not only safe, but continually getting safer!

What is wrong with applying a bit more engineering methodology to how we govern ourselves? It would certainly give the politicians a LOT less wiggle-room to interpret things in such a way as to support their arguments for why they should be re-elected!

Thoughts?
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby Shawnna » Mon May 12, 2008 6:20 pm

I like the idea of identifying outcomes clearly in advance - it is something I try to do in my work as well.

My question would be *who* would be in charge of determining what those specific outcomes and associated metrics would be? And how can *we* assure that self-interests are minimized? In this context, 'self' can be interpreted as an individual, a government, or a corporate entity of some sort.

Very thought provoking dialog!
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby torbjon » Mon May 12, 2008 9:51 pm

again, still brain dead... sorry:

Ray:

I love the way you think. Shawwna touched upon a point I'd like to touch too...

It has to do with relinquishing... power, control, authority, responsibility, identity, etc...

The "who".... the "who is in charge" concept... like, someone has to be "at the top", running the show, and ultimately the "fall guy" when things go wrong (and they will, they Always do)

This is an age old concept since day one and may very well be genetic in nature (herd mentality) People seem to want to defer power, authority, responsibility to some "leader type"... most people seem more comfortable "following the leader" than actually Leading themselves (either on an individual basis -- simply being responsible for your own actions -- or in groups -- someone actively Takes, or has placed upon them, the mantle of Leadership).

Again I use the human body for example. The individual cells do indeed seem to be following instructions from some "leader", but that leader sure as 'ell isn't ME, nor does there seem to be a "central" control system for aspects of cellular civilization within the human whole....

The "leader" on the cellular level seems to be the Intent itself... a non organic non recognizable non identifiable "higher entity".

(and yes I'm aware of DNA, but DNA is simply a set of instructions, and in some cases those instructions seem to offer Choices to the individual organic units bound by them... basically I'm saying "free will" here)

I don't feel that the Intentions of a civilization needs to be clearly defined and stated Outwardly, but rather clearly understood and stated Inwardly by each individual.

In short: This Is What I Am Going To Do.

even shorter: "just do it"

most folks simply do what they "can", what they feel they are "allowed" to do, they feel "trapped" and "hemmed in" by the rules, regulations, and pressures of the society they live in... In short they are simply reacting to their Fears.

Once you conquer those fears though... now what's stopping you?
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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby lost_shaman » Tue May 13, 2008 2:27 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:So my "crazy idea" is this: Why can't we MODIFY how we set our goals (and make laws that attempt to achieve said goals) by doing the following:


Hey Ray,

Let me give a simple, if only repetitive yet truthful, answer.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:1) STATING OUR INTENTION CLEARLY and making that actually PART OF THE LAW.


Impossible in Politics.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:2) Defining METRICS by which we can agree that, when measured, will show evidence that the contemplated law has actually achieved our stated intentions.



Impossible, again, in our current two Party system. This would require one Party to admit the other Party was right about something!

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:3) Alternately defining metrics for those "bad" things which we contemplate could actually come to pass as a result of the law. Again, the reason is that if these "counter-positive" metrics are measured, and they indicate that the law is doing more "harm" than it is achieving stated intent... then that would mean it is time for...


Let me guess... Less crappy new petty PC "Make everybody feel good" Laws? *shrugs*

But again here one of the Parties has to come forward and admit that the Law they enacted was ill-concieved and detrimental to the Country. Good luck...



You Can Call Me Ray wrote:4) Doing analysis of the metrics behind a law after a certain amount of time has passed, and correcting the law to make the counter-positive metrics reduce and make the positive metrics improved. In other words, the same analysis & redesign cycle that us engineers go through to make sure the airplanes the public flies on are not only safe, but continually getting safer!


Sure, but Congress already does this... with Major League Baseball. Are you sure you want Congress involved with anything else? *eh gads*


You Can Call Me Ray wrote:What is wrong with applying a bit more engineering methodology to how we govern ourselves? It would certainly give the politicians a LOT less wiggle-room to interpret things in such a way as to support their arguments for why they should be re-elected!

Thoughts?


Sounds great Ray as a rallying cry for the Revolution, but at the end of the day I'm of the opinion it would just give the same people that are not taking care of business now more power and control over 'our' business in the future.

Cheers,

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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue May 13, 2008 2:58 am

Hi LS,

lost_shaman wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:So my "crazy idea" is this: Why can't we MODIFY how we set our goals (and make laws that attempt to achieve said goals) by doing the following:


Hey Ray,

Let me give a simple, if only repetitive yet truthful, answer.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:1) STATING OUR INTENTION CLEARLY and making that actually PART OF THE LAW.


Impossible in Politics.


I'd agree it is difficult. But when it comes to making something (anything) better, it takes a lot to convince me something is "impossible". How about we make a BETTER form of politics? That is what the Founding Fathers did. It required a Revolution, but sometimes evolution will suffice...sometimes it won't. The point is, as Torb points out, we gotta just agree that "let's do it" if we wanna do it (improve our human political methods).

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:2) Defining METRICS by which we can agree that, when measured, will show evidence that the contemplated law has actually achieved our stated intentions.



Impossible, again, in our current two Party system. This would require one Party to admit the other Party was right about something!


Agreed. And the King of England didn't want to make changes that would allow him to keep his colonies. Look where it got him. Our parties should take note of that example. Again, my call is to change it and change comes from within (us). We SHOULD be able to change our government, is that not one of our rights?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:3) Alternately defining metrics for those "bad" things which we contemplate could actually come to pass as a result of the law. Again, the reason is that if these "counter-positive" metrics are measured, and they indicate that the law is doing more "harm" than it is achieving stated intent... then that would mean it is time for...


Let me guess... Less crappy new petty PC "Make everybody feel good" Laws? *shrugs*

But again here one of the Parties has to come forward and admit that the Law they enacted was ill-concieved and detrimental to the Country. Good luck...


Again, I agree with your assessment. But is your conclusion then just to "give up and wish me good luck"? Even if it may be a difficult thing to do, would you agree it may end up in a BETTER overall political system? If we (and others) can agree that it could make things better, why not try to make it happen? (uhhhh JUST DO IT!?)

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:4) Doing analysis of the metrics behind a law after a certain amount of time has passed, and correcting the law to make the counter-positive metrics reduce and make the positive metrics improved. In other words, the same analysis & redesign cycle that us engineers go through to make sure the airplanes the public flies on are not only safe, but continually getting safer!


Sure, but Congress already does this... with Major League Baseball. Are you sure you want Congress involved with anything else? *eh gads*


Let me put it another way: Can you imagine how bad airplanes (and other critical systems) would be if we permitted the "government model" to govern how we develop and proof safety-critical systems? Engineers ALWAYS have to have their system designs PROVEN (through verification and validation). Why are politicians permitted to pass laws WITHOUT having to go thru the same V&V process? Why is one thing good for engineering, and we settle for less (MUCH LESS) in politics? Simply because it is "difficult"? If that is the answer, it is not good enough for me.

Sounds great Ray as a rallying cry for the Revolution, but at the end of the day I'm of the opinion it would just give the same people that are not taking care of business now more power and control over 'our' business in the future.


Again, what is wrong with holding politicians accountable, where they are currently NOT held accountable? Is that not a good thing to do? Even if you don't think it would work, would you agree this is the correct INTENTION?

This underscores the point I am making (and I think others are looking at, as well). If we agree to our INTENTION (what we say we wish to create) then we can move on to figuring out how the MEASURE when our intentions become realized...and when they are not. Use that "measure of error" to close the control loop... a newer, higher control loop than mankind has ever "engineered". We would now be closing a loop of INTENTION, which is a level above closing a loop of INFORMATION (our current state-of-the-art).

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Re: Are the American people fit to govern themselves?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue May 13, 2008 3:23 am

Shawnna,
Shawnna wrote:I like the idea of identifying outcomes clearly in advance - it is something I try to do in my work as well.


Side note: I often try to give examples of what I am talking about, unfortunately the examples I give always tend to be from my particular speciality...airplane development. I know it may bother or bore some people, but quite honestly since it is the area I know best it is the one I can best give examples from... make sense? And sometimes it gives others insight into how we do things in the engineering world, and how we solve such complex problems.

Identifying how we measure "goodness" before we decide to do something is a "best practice" of systems engineering. My example would be this: We need airplane autopilots to hold (control) altitude. But before I ever even begin to design a control system and its control algorithms to perform this task, I can agree with the test engineers "here is how we shall measure its goodness." We agree that we will score the goodness of how well the autopilot can hold altitude by measuring the altitude error the system generates over time (difference between the altitude we want to hold and the actual altitude). If the autopilot can hold altitude within "+ or - 20 feet" it meets our needs. If it can hold to within +/- 10 feet it is doing an exceptionally good job. Defining these measures of goodness well before I start the design lets me know that I will have a "stopping point"...I will know when the design is done...and there is no need to futz with it anymore.

My question would be *who* would be in charge of determining what those specific outcomes and associated metrics would be?


WoW! Are you purposefully trying to be a "straight-woman" here, Shawnna? :wink: What a great question! Of course there are many different solutions to this part. One that we have found in systems engineering that works really well is to have a "third, impartial observer" be the authority who sets the outcome metrics. In my world the two "opposing" parties are the customer and the engineering designer who has an interest in selling something to the customer. In legal domains this is known as the "disinterested, 3rd party mediator". And I have said FOR YEARS NOW that it is time for our "two party" system in this country to evolve into a "THREE party system". We need an impartial, mediator party. (and BTW, ALL Masons out there would agree with this, as it follows what they are taught from "sacred geometry" of the triad!)


And how can *we* assure that self-interests are minimized? In this context, 'self' can be interpreted as an individual, a government, or a corporate entity of some sort.


Again, a highly relevant and prudent question. And again, there are many POSSIBLE solutions. I do not claim the example I offer is the ONLY solution. But in complex (safety-critical) systems we assure this by making sure that a single party does not have decision authority of measuring goodness "at all levels of the system". And this also implies that what we define as a "measure of goodness" at the highest level of intention (for sake of argument, let us call it the Federal level), may not be the SAME measure of goodness we would use at a lower level of intention (say, the State level), and we may have even different (more specific) measures of goodness at an even lower level of intention (say, the Local level).

The above hierarchy, and how we define goodness and measure that goodness at various levels, exhibits how SYSTEMS THEORY is very well suited to changing the world we live in... one victory at a time! :mrgreen: And some might be interested that this hierarchical model is REFLECTED IN THE DESIGN OF THE HUMAN BODY! :shock:

Very thought provoking dialog!


I agree! And I hope we can continue to share these thoughts. Your questions are very good, and very relevant, IMO.

Ray
The Universe is an Integrated System. Operational, Functional, and Physical.
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