Diddle


MouthOnFoot200
If you want to speak truth to power then keep at least one foot on the ground and your voice in their ear.

did·dle /didl/ verb 1. Waste time,
2. Mess with the system.

Here be stuff we are thinking about and working on.
(You are free to join us as long as you work mostly for the betterment of people other than just you).

Len Bakerloo exists to serve children no person alive today will ever meet.

Len asks nothing in return (how could he?). However, he hopes to earn their gratitude just as children today can thank Sherlock Holmes as they read themselves to sleep.

So, how is he going to serve them?

The New York Times’ determines what news is fit to print. The Atlantic media gives flight to ideas and equips opinion leaders. TED provides attractive packaging of ideas for you to spread. Facebook lets you share anything, no matter how stupid or petty. Twitter lets you say and repeat anything as long as you keep it short, while Wordpress lets you go on forever. Colleges prepare you to “join the discussion” and porno sites stand ready with help for when the real thing is too much work.

Ask yourself: How much bandwidth is devoted to distraction and masturbation in all its forms?

Don’t answer; you don’t want to know.

Len Bakerloo, on the other hand, wants you to do something about something meaningful for the benefit of future generations yet unborn. He hopes this idea will take off because it is the only market niche that isn’t yet saturated.

Len doesn’t want you to spread this idea.

The idea is nothing new. The human race would not have made it this far if it wasn’t practiced by our forebears. The problem is that we’ve stopped practicing it and we need to start again. (Some well-of people and countries think they are helping future generations, but are they thinking of those who will not inherit their bloodline? If so, where is the evidence that on balance they are.)

Len wants to you to talk as little as you can and get to work instead. You already know enough and have said enough. Start down the path and you can back-fill what you need to know. Get into trouble even, because experience is the best teacher, and learning how to get out of trouble is the best skill you can have. (Just start with good intentions; people will forgive stupid acts if your motivations are pure.)

Len will jump-start this process by presenting orthogonal ideas. While contrarian means “the opposite of” orthogonal means perpendicular (geometrically) or uncorrelated (statistically) . Len filters his ideas by originality rather than practicality. All original ideas are suspect because there is no track record, and for this reason, read everything you see here with a grain of salt.

But before you decide to tell Len that his ideas are no good, make sure you gather evidence from your failed attempts and realizing his dreams. Without that evidence, Len plans on ignoring you and dreaming on.

Len wants to diddle with the system. But he won’t be suggesting ideas and then doing nothing. He will creating a skeleton version of those ideas. When these skeletons are ready he will take them out of his workshop and put the into the world in the hopes that you will put some meat on those bones and run with them.

He leaves the spreading of his skeletons to professional and amateur idea-spreaders. So, if you are a superb publicist and you want to talk up Len Bakerloo then feel free to. But don’t you dare ask him to pay you for your services because he is the enemy of the idea that money should promote ideas rather than let them speak for themselves. If you want to get paid then find someone who wants us to stop and let them pay you to tell everyone to ignore Len Bakerloo. That will do Len more benefit than anything you could do for him, whether for free or for a fee.

Len hopes people will steal his ideas and skeletons but he has no interest in spending money on them whatsoever.

This means, don’t try to get him to hire you or invest in you. If you want to get paid then steal an idea and find someone who cares to pay you. Len Bakerloo isn’t a charity, and he isn’t an employer. It isn’t even clear he exists; he is probably only an idea. You can work in the service of a person or an idea, but if you want to get paid, find a person with an idea. If you want an idea to pay they you have to become that person who makes the idea pay.

The world is changed by people who change the world, not people who just talk about it.

Len is not talking about others people.

He is talking about you.

Things Len will be diddling with:

PhilosophyIsn’t all philosophy local? That locale is called My Brain and Yours.

We don’t teach philosophy so much as the history of philosophy.

Why not start from the present brain and work backwards. For example, do I take responsibility for my actions, or do I blame my boss, my parenting, or my circumstances. Perhaps I can answer that question in the next three seconds without getting bogged down with questions of free will vs. determinism, and the implications of quantum physics and the multi-verse.

Let’s start with the questions we all need to ask ourselves (and each other) and elicit the help of professionals. Philosophers are critical to a healthy psyche and society, but they have mostly been sniffing each others poo and calling it peer review. Let’s help them get back on track so they will do their job.

News – What if the news is broken? Rather than tell us what we need to know, what if it is just an expensive distraction. What if we can do for news what Wikipedia did for encyclopedias. What if we can democratize the gathering and dissemination of information as well as the writing of the various drafts of history that we need in order to make sense of it all.

History – What is history, anyway? Big History takes the view that we need to start with the big bang and work up to the present if we are to realize our place in the universe. That’s cool; after all, I was in my 40’s before I learned that I am made of the dust of dead stars.

But I also need to know what I am going to do today to make an impact on the world, starting with what will go in my stomach before I sleep and where will I lay my head. Every day that passes is one more chapter in my personal history, this history of food and homelessness that I am part of.

If we can call Big History BIGHIST for short, then I propose DOHIST as the history that starts in the present as we DO things and make history, and as we document it with the various Drafts of History. (Get it? DO means both “do” and “Drafts Of”)

Ethics – Are all professions as ethical as they can be? Is there an engineering aspect to ethics? For example, commercial air travel is so safe the most dangerous thing is getting to the airport. Financing an endeavor should be simpler an an Airbus A380 and our markets less complex than the the network of airports and air traffic control. Yet if airplanes were as unsafe as finance then thousands of people would die each day.

Schooling – I have lots of questions for the people who are supposed to be educating our children. Before they continue to teach to stupid tests with irrelevant questions perhaps our Ed Biz could start asking a few questions of their own, like what are they trying to accomplish, why, and for whom?

Leadership – Elections are not about choosing leaders who will unite us behind a common purpose and motivate us to realize our full potential. They have become proxy battles for management rights over bankrupt endeavors. We want the cheapest government that our children will eventually pay for that gives us the most and asks the least in return.

Truth – What has happened to the truth? It is alive and well in science and engineering but it seems to have a problem in the politically correct world of moral relativism where moral relativists don’t have to defend their stance with evidence but rather insist they are right axiomatically.

At a minimum, if everyone’s truth is relative then shouldn’t we all be required to disclose what it is so others know who to call out as hypocrites and who to avoid as sociopaths?

Responsibility – If I see a wrong, and if a response is within my ability, then is it not my responseability to respond?

Did your parents teach you that? How about your teachers? Friends? Children? At least somebody? I know, how about your culture?

How many of you can, during a pensive moment, summon Bob Marley and hear him sing Don’t Worry, Be HappyDid you know this:

On 3 December 1976, two days before “Smile Jamaica”, a free concert organised by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley’s home. (From wikipedia.)

People at war should learn to chill.

But people at peace could stand to get involved with difficult problems instead of dedicating their lives to their own happiness. There are enough people chilling all over the place. They don’t need your help.

How many of you, during a moment that requires courage, summon the voice of a parent, a spouse, a child, or a friend and hear them say, “If you see a wrong, and if you respond with anything less than you are able, then I am ashamed of you.”

If, in your head you find no clarion voice championing responsibility, then Len Bakerloo wants to fill the void.

Bob Marley is dead but luckily his voice lives on for you to remember when you need to chill. Len Bakerloo wants to be the voice you need when it is time to stop chilling and get to work.

Marley existed, but luckily for you, Len Bakerloo is an idea and not a person. That means that when you hear his voice in your head it will sound exactly like you.

Is Len missing something?

Say so.

 

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