C-70. Accord and “authenticity”

“Being true to one’s self” recommends that we be loyal to the course we have established and the self we have made. Be authentic. But we are not on such a course that makes such loyalty the course we should be on. We are not in accord with the Nature of Things.

Consider, for example, the super-Luddite criticism of contemporary technology: Not that we are repelled by the intrusiveness of technology on our accustomed personal behaviors; rather that technology is, in itself, a danger to humanity. But we should not blame the technology that we have for what keeps technology from becoming what it needs to become.

If technology were more in accord with the Nature of Things’ behavioral import, so that its development were guided at least as much by needed functionality as it now is by “debugging” what we are trying to make work (or work better), if we were more innovative and less just making “new and improved” versions of the same model … if we took advantage of the behavioral principles that derive from the Nature of Things and were thus guided before the fact (App. XI, App. XII: CEM-positivism, CEM-functionalism and CEM-pragmatism) we would not now be handicapped by relying after the fact on “experience as the best teacher.”

“We’ve got it all backwards” has this other sense, re imbalance, to which we should attend. Which is that our behavior and behaviors are too much guided by what we have essayed and their consequents. Norms, statutes and actuarial principles summarize what we have tried and the ways we have tried. (XI: After the fact/before the fact > 1.) The Nature of Things’ before-the-fact principles point to, and explain, what still needs to be developed as capability and then exercised in problem solving.

It’s impressive that General Electric is investing a billion dollars to mine particular process and product consequents, to build a huge data bank and employ algorithm writers to make something of – and from — it. But it is not enough of a grasp. Nor is it enough of a grasp that the Gates Foundation has mapped the world’s diseases in great detail across space and time, and has surfaced a great deal of behavioral dysfunction. It helps but it does not help enough.

We need to get in front of our problems. (See App. XVII re the thumb and finger metaphor.) Global warming is a problem, for example, because the behavioral problem (I:Pbeh) is unsolved. World over-population is a problem because the behavioral problem is unsolved. Many other problems are unsolved for lack of a community capability – that lack itself because the behavioral problem is unsolved. Thus too, for example, the market’s “invisible hand,” an after-the-fact control mechanism, seems dismissive of (e.g., anti-regulation), and very much biased against, needed functionality in regard to commerce.

Our not having isolated the behavioral problem from situational problems (I; C-1) has left us woefully and distressingly unprepared. The force of the behavioral problem is great (C-41). And, worst of all, as unsolved problems mount (which they do) that force increases.

“Be prepared” (C-52) is a serious admonition. But it has to be more than that. It has to lead to a greater appreciation of behavioral dysfunction and the need for capability development. A lot less awe and a lot more appreciation of what life implies? (See C-73.)

(c) 2012 R.F. Carter