Beyond the resolution: to better or worse, richer or poorer, until….

“Pop psychology tells us that we are all victims, if we’re messed up it is because of our environment, or because we were abused as children, or we were socially or economically deprived, or any number of other excuses. We bear no responsibility for our actions or how we turned out. No matter what happens, it is always someone else’s fault—our husband, our wife, our children, our boss—anyone except ourselves.”
Quote attributed to Dr Miles Munroe.

Who is responsible for the final outcome, and when is the outcome final if ever so.

She gets a pony ride because she feels bad about being deprived; deprived because she grew up poor. So she committed crimes as a result; she became the ‘juvenile delinquent.’ To make her feel better now about her upbringing, to lure her away from the addiction, she gets a pony ride. Ivan Pavlov would say that society would get conditioned to bad behaviour if such rewards are the norm.

Once upon a time, in one English council, the Councillor proposed a reduction in late night taxi fares for scantily clad or sensually dressed women to minimize the risk of sexual harassment. I guess the spirit was to get them home quickly, safely and cheaply, since taking the cheaper public transport involved more alone walk time and potential outdoor male visual contact. Someone joked: “hello cab company please hurry a cab here, I’m a pretty girl, alone, outside in a very short pretty dress with my back exposed, I need a quick cheap lift.” O dear! There must have been, in that region, a ‘significant’ number of unruly and opportunistic men, expressing little restraint and respect for woman, going about late at night, fueled, likely on high spirits. The other side of the coin could possibly be that the stimuli were so strong, the temptations so great, that many ‘normal’ night crawling ‘normal’ men would be ensnared beyond their minds and be tempted to act animally, having opportunity. Which is more likely?

What one person was concerned about was the the kind of thinking behind such proposed solutions as above and those who pursued it. Fundamentals! He said.

And then, how easy is it to leave an addiction? Procrastination is much easier done—for the procrastinator, his norm. See http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html and http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/how-to-beat-procrastination.html for an interesting picture of procrastination and dealing with it.

“It is easy to include, by accident, perverse incentives that promote and reward damaging behaviour. Similarly, it is easy to reward short term behaviour at the expense of long term success.” “…the challenges of the … century can … be met by … stakeholders playing their crucial roles in demanding, specifying and operating systems that work.”
From the booklet, Creating systems that work: Principles of engineering systems for the 21st century. Editors: Dr Chris Elliott, Professor Peter Deasley.

Vote engineers into elected government offices, if they would deign to contest. They seem to much prefer modeling and simulation (the interview) to the dignities or otherwise of seeking electoral positions (the campaign).

Make a new habit? “He is of age: ask him, he will speak concerning himself.” (From the book of John.)

‘Atrophy of vigilance’ refers to the idea that organisational performance will degrade or slacken with time. The vigilant Procter and Gamble, however, have rebranded/relaunched a particular successful soap product more than 80 times. An excellent company according to Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr.

There’s something about having a bath; everyday refreshment.

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