C-125. R-Erosion

Late stage functionalities (C-97), such as skilled tool and procedural usages(App. VII), are known to erode unless used – and may even then erode with diminished capacity (e.g., memory and move strength) and/or lessened demand for use (e.g., loss of “motivation”). They may also erode because they were not all that well Realized (App. XIX; C-111) to begin with – as, for example, there having been a poor design, or a lack of needed help and/or support for developing a capability or learning a usage (II: All that it takes). There may very well be weaknesses in the Grasp and Involve functionalities by which the body and/or step structures of the Realization were constituted. The behavioral architecture (C-90) of a tool or a procedure may be poorly designed, lending itself to decay. R-erosion can also occur when a usage is to be shared (e.g., when taught) if it is represented in conceptual terms (C-124) – hence the comparative utility of shaped, patient imitation (“Show, don’t tell;” apprenticeships).

However, there is another, crucial consideration. There may be a lack of R-Sense (C-96). R-Sense says that needed functionality is a continuing matter (C-115) and thus that Realization is an unending challenge. Just as CEM-Sense* (App. XI) says that increased materiality is an unending opportunity as well as a challenge (re needed functionality).

CEM-Sense says make the most of things, especially of yourself. An R-Sense is the guide for doing that, and Realization the way to do that. Not so much, we might say, by learning more … but by knowing more (C-93). (See HAS discipline: App. VIII and App. XV.)

The antidote for R-erosion is straightforward: Continue arduously on the R-path, with attention imbalances (XI; App. XVII; C-71, C-120, C-122). Or, as it is often cogently said, “Get better!” And: “Grow or die!” Progress is not something we can do without (C-115: functionality breeds needed functionality).Needed functionality allows of functional equivalence, if not always pragmatic equivalence, in the R-paths we take. So new Realizations may compensate for eroding old ones.

What we should not do is to simply – and meekly — consign R-erosion to the realm of the second law of thermodynamics. Rather, we should emphasize capability development and the creation of (BS) structures … and renew our Realization efforts. Thus, for example, the story we create and elaborate in and for practice (e.g., in a “Book”) to accompany a Realization effort can assist in strengthening the Grasp and Involve of that effort. (CEM-history, as Realization, is a story – a story about consequentiality and the consequential [C-78].)


R-erosion is the plague of community, a source of “decline and fall” (C-51) for the partially realized communities we do have. The U.S. Constitution, after all, does begin (almost**)with “… in order to form a more perfect union…”, confirming an imperfect realization of needed functionality.(And implying Realization => Values, along with the Values => Realization that wasimplicit in the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence as actions.)

Characteristic of such community R-erosion is the regression from problem solving to decision making (0:Sp; C-98). There can be a serious loss of community, due to having imposed a decision with its inevitable losers, this in addition to the individuals’ losses. Decisions may set aside the building of needed strength for unsolved problems (0:S-P, Ps,P) in favor of seeking power to control decisions (power/strength>1) … as in partisan legislative battles … and also in the obscenely continuous electioneering of contemporary U.S. politics.

Those who dependon the theme, “Make good choices”, and emphasize this if and when helping others – especially the young, are not contributing enough to needed Realization. Nor are those who commit their developmental efforts solely to decision making capabilities and technologies. (Not that “sink or swim” or other such untutored trial and error freedoms OF [C-40] are that much better counsel. Knowing by trying can be helped by reference to the HAS discipline [App. XV].)

* Note that CEM-Sense yields a set of theoretical constructs to replace some familiar concepts (C-85, C-124). We also suggested earlier (App. XI; passim) that pragmatism become CEM-pragmatism, that positivism become CEM-positivism, that functionalism become CEM-functionalism, and that utilitarianism become CEM-utilitarianism … extending and sharpening their applicability. Realization affirms all these changes.

** “We, the people…” begins the Preamble. Both “people” and the pronoun “we” cry out for Realization, as suggested in regard to “union” as an R-word (C-112). (Also see C-23: “As one”.)

(c) R.F. Carter