[unrev-II] Survey 7, under the shower and over drinks

From: Henry van Eyken (vaneyken@sympatico.ca)
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 08:00:08 PST

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    From: "Henry van Eyken" <vaneyken@sympatico.ca>

    Sent off this morning my Session-7 Q&As, then took a shower. Should
    have done that the other way around. My answers might have been
    somewhat different.

    The thrust of the questions was where scaling calls/could call for
    recognizing surprises. And what priorities ought apply different
    scales. The difficulty of answering them compounded by a fresh,
    uncertain notion of the bootstrapping process under different
    circumstances. Survey 7 was an exhortation to rush in where angels
    fear to tread.

    Without statistics on hand about population and what people think
    about, I am going to, between my own ears, arbitrary draw boundaries
    between interested academics, middle intelligentia, the crowd
    (accountants, teachers, sales & service engineers, shopkeepers,
    dockworkers, homemakers). (Never mind my choice of words.) Voters all.

    Corresponding ballpark numbers (seat-of-the-pants, for N. America to
    keep things "simple"): 1000s(?), 10,000-1,000,000(?), up from there.
    (Never mind the accuracy.)

    Mostly these people express opinion more freely over drinks. Mostly
    instant opinion. Much of it to be amicably concurring with partners
    in conversation and not an insignificant portion of it (depending
    somewhat on alcohol consumed) to display superior contrariness,
    independence of thought.

    Am I talking hooey? Well, why not put it to the test? Listen and
    observe at social occasions over drinks and at watering holes like
    bars, taverns.

    Especially taverns. Might be a good exercise to size up what kind of
    surprises are in store when we scale up. A good exercise to start
    thinking about how deep bootstrapping concepts should drill into the
    thick of society. Thinking about where the Stanford Colloquium,
    Oprah, Rosie O'Donnell and the crowd find common ground. Voters all,
    in a turmultuous society whose attention shfts from Monica to Kosovo
    to Pokimon (sp?) to "final answer?" within the blink of an eye. As do
    the shifts from thoughtful consideraton to emotion and back.

    How deep the reach of strategy? Where to turn from brain to brawn?


    I guess my questions are prompted by my own low-to-middle class
    background and by having spent a quarter of a century in a huge
    inner-city community college with middleclass staff "teaching"
    lower-class kids, as well as a somewhat unusual blend of other

    I have faith in Doug's strategy on the intellectual plane. Insofar I
    am understanding something, there is a comfortable consistency here
    as long as I mentally compartmentalize myself. But I am worried about
    penetration issues, which do not only concern corporations,
    bureaucracies, and NGOs, but also society (societies) at large. Not
    much consistency there. Not easy to be unflappable and calmy return
    to force on oneself a disciplined thinking about the subject at hand.

    Sorry, if this all comes a bit off the top of the head, but I think
    we should recognize here another urgent, complex problem that mankind
    must cope with. One I can't fit easily within any of the Millennium
    Project's other fifteen, and also looks very real.


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