Topic XI: Balance Requisite

Our bodies have a well recognized balance requisite. What, though, of steps?

We speak – not too helpfully, but with concern – of an unbalanced mind. What about unbalanced minding? (Such as the fixed focus on one or another behavioral emphasis. Such as the traumatic grip of indecision and/or the traumatic threat from oscillating between emphases.)

Behavioral options are many, just among the capacities and capabilities already available. Repertoire management comes to be a problem – with a very general requirement: Imbalance must be avoided, lest one’s steps, like an imbalanced body, falter.

Consider the circus rider who stands astride two moving horses at the same time. Balance is at a premium – not to mention steady horses. But conceive the paired horses as ten-fold (at least) and let them diverge, converge, even disappear or be triadic on occasion and we get a rough sense of all that it might take to lead a balanced, composed life.

We shall soon look at some familiar – if oft misconstrued — balance challenges in behavior, but first let us note three further dynamic features of the balance requisite:
  • The options (ala the horses) have to be independent, lest there be no true balance problem. (No teeter-totter with only one person.) Learning and knowing, for example, are sometimes taken as one; so are basic and elementary. Others are fused, hiding a difference that makes a difference (e.g., structure x function; need x want; solutions x answers). Act x content and process x product are especially bad for communication and cognition as sciences of the possible. (See Communication and Cognition.)
  • The options may be interdependent. (No teeter-tottering without mutuality.) Learning helps us to know; knowing gives us something worth learning; need can lead to want, want to need; structure affects function, function effects structure; etc.
  • The options may be complementary in their consequentiality – at least potentially. Both learning and knowing help us cope with our incompletely instructed condition; problem solving and questioning make joint contributions there also.
Further examples can help to make these points about behavioral dynamics. Here is a partial listing from which we can draw other examples:
  • Act x content
  • Agreement x understanding
  • Basic x elementary
  • Behavioral necessity x logical necessity
  • Body x step (, )
  • Capacity x capability
  • Cognition x recognition
  • Combination x composition
  • Consumer x citizen
  • Criticism x analysis
  • Development x research (, )
  • Economy x polity
  • Effectiveness x efficiency
  • Evolution x development
  • General x particular (, )
  • Impression x image
  • Individual x community
  • Minding x moving
  • Nature of Things x order of things
  • Need x want
  • Possibility x probability
  • Problem solving x decision making
  • Problem solving x questioning (solutions x answers)
  • Process x product
  • Quality x quantity
  • Reading x writing
  • Responsibility x capability
  • Satisfaction x pleasure
  • Significance x signification
  • Similarity x difference
  • Strength x power
  • Structure x function
  • Theory x method
  • Validity x reliability
  • Adopt x adapt x adept
  • Art x science x humanism
  • Basic x applied x applicable (research)
  • Orientation x reorientation x construction
  • Five modes of curiosity
It seems pretty obvious that too much emphasis on either the individual or the community, either on being agreeable or understanding, either on the body or the step, either on the economy or the polity, etc. … on any option to the exclusion of its companion(s) is going to be dysfunctional sooner or later. And this most notably when they could enjoy relationships of interdependence and/or complementarity. Polity and economy must work together and each help the other for a productive community. Similarly, individual and community progress together as each serves the other. Understanding (e.g., of common problem) may lead to agreement; understanding may necessitate agreement (e.g., of language usages). And so on….

That someone should become fixated and imbalanced, by strategy or mere tactic, on emphasizing one horse (so to speak) is bad enough: This would be a minding closed to communication and cognition. But in addition we have in the present day, as the result of such uneven developments, dynamic clots and clogs.

Clots occur when a group of over-emphasized options come together, as for example in a current set: Economy-consumer-individual-want-decision making-adopt. They become clogs with respect to improved problem solving. Which is to say: They are impediments to progress.

(Comments [C-1 … C-N] will touch on these and other dynamic duos, trios, et al.)

(c) 2010 R. F. Carter


Supporting Audio

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4