How to Figure Things Out and Test Them For Yourself.
While I was sorting out Self-Help, a funny thing happened. I wasn’t sure I knew how to investigate and analyze anything.
So I had to pause that study, step back, and study how to study. I had to analyze analysis. All without any proven study or analysis tools.
But it was again that start-up approach. Work in iterations. Added to that was the pragmatic farmer/engineer upbringing: to use the tools you have to get the job done and meanwhile, create the tools you need to do a better job.
Above, you heard about natural systems. When I was growing up, some of the big, popular books were Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Paul Erlich’s “Population Bomb.” These books made some very important points. However, history wasn’t kind to them.
Far from being permanent, removing DDT from sprays proved that it didn’t have any continuing or residual effect on our bird populations. (Unfortunately, for certain countries, it also brought back Malaria as they now had nothing as effective to kill mosquitoes.)
As nations improve their disposable income, by building their middle class, the numbers of children per family drop. And now several nations have negative population growth. As immigrants entered these countries, they also raised their own standards of living and also quit having as many children.
Natural systems are also playing havoc with other popular books. Everyone agrees that the climate changes, but it’s a 50/50 split on exactly how it’s changing. (Which is why the term “Global Warming” was turned into “Climate Change.”)
Nature has a habit of healing itself, as long as it’s not interfered with too much. Humankind has made more than one desert. But, if they emulate Nature and replant according to Nature’s rules, they are able to regenerate the land. Unfortunately, this isn’t widely known. You can see areas which were part of the great Dust Bowl of the ‘30’s which are being farmed today and not eroding even in a drought. Farmers changed their practices. They started farming like Nature does – different plants every year, and a diverse variety of them. And it turned out some of that land should only be grazed, or managed for sustainable forestry.
Natural systems also apply to analysis. The Scientific Method has been widely used, as it’s really based on observing how successful people work things out.
Despite how the Academia have turned it into complicated processes with twenty-some steps and verified only by advanced calculus, it can be quite simple. (You just have to take it back to the version the Ancient Greeks used.)
But it also isn’t a simple, one-time sequence. It’s a system. Once you improve something, you can turn around and continue to improve it.
Here’s the short-hand:
1. Look over something.
2. Get an idea of how it could be improved, get a plan.
3. Execute that plan and see the results.
4. Finally, compare those results back against what the scene is now.
1-2-3-4, rinse, repeat.
That’s a four point analysis system. It’s natural, as you’ll see anything living on this planet uses this. Nature is abundant and pervasive because it uses systems like this.
This system can also test anything you are told, read, or view.
1. Start out with what results you want.
2. Then observe what’s there and work out what should be changed to achieve those results – which gives you a plan.
3. Execute that plan.
4. Are those results then closer or further from what you want or need?
Someone gives you a datum. If you try to apply this datum, does it give you the expected result? Look closely, and you’ll see those four points there again. That datum should give you expected results. If it doesn’t then the datum as given doesn’t work. You can run it through a few more times, if you can figure that maybe you need to tweak this or that – but if it keeps coming up with different results than you expect, it’s a false datum.
So now I had an analysis system.
Applying this to self help, the idea came: if self-help is based on a natural system it would be successful in its results.
OK, I can hear you from here. And the warning is this: look out for short cuts.
Monsanto tried this with their Roundup Ready herbicide and genetically-modified plants. About the time their patent ran out, Nature had already started producing Roundup-resistant weeds. And a decade after that patent expiration, people are moving off Roundup and glysophate-based herbicides as they don’t work as promised any more. They are moving to alternating herbicides and pesticides, as well as changing their tillage and planting habits.
In short, they’ve gone to what worked before this “breakthrough.” Monsanto had a great run, made a lot of money, sued a lot of farmers for mis-using their patented seeds. A quarter-century later, it didn’t matter. (And we’re side-stepping what genetically-modified plants and glysophate may or may not do to animal and human consumers.)
“Internet Marketers” also have this problem: there are a certain crowd who have attracted a following of gullible consumers who will buy the “latest thing” in online marketing. The problem is that by the time these guys write up and package what quickly made them millions, is that they no longer work.
When you really look at what they were doing, it was to use shady Internet Marketing tactics to sell Internet Marketing packages to Internet Marketing wannabes. Since their sales “proved” those packages worked, it was a continuing vicious cycle.
(Why it actually continues to work is that most people who buy courses never complete them. The whole system runs on charisma. See something familiar here?)
And these Internet Marketers shared their lists with their network by promoting those other people’s products to their lists. Meanwhile, they cross-coordinated their releases so that they weren’t stepping on each other’s toes. This means that most of the people they email to are on several of their fellow Internet Marketer’s lists as well. And this group of people is happy to buy their stuff and put the package on their living room shelves as a trophy.
These Internet Marketers know people probably won’t get through the course they offer before they get the next offer to buy. And the entertainment value of their pitches keeps those customers in a buying mood. So they pitch the next guy’s stuff and rake in commissions for those sales. And so it continues, round-robin. Meanwhile, their buying public keep their Day Jobs, for sure.
Are these Internet Marketers doing anything to improve humanity? Only to the degree they keep cheering people up.
Did Monsanto help? For awhile. Now, not so much.
But at last I had a way to study broad classes of things to find the natural systems which made them work.
And now, you do too.