Dec 132013

Hi Neil,

Following the discussion about CHANGE (how is it accomplished?),  you may be interested in some of the links below.

There is emphasis on the corrupting influence of Corporations in bed with Governments – the cause and effect relationship – because the corruption is a serious, practical obstacle to change.

You can understand the dynamics of change,

but if you don’t do something about the obstacles to change, you may not succeed in bringing about change.

#6 related to Ego is pretty critical to understanding “change”, I think.  It goes to ROOT CAUSE.  It is an applied understanding (why do westerners spread hate propaganda about Muslims?), but it is generally applicable, if you dig down to “what’s behind our actions”? . . .  Change is thwarted because ego blinds us to what’s really happening.


Which takes us back to last evening’s discussion:  the role of values in bringing about change.  (Ego is pretty self-centred and with immediate concerns.  Lacks recognition or denies our oneness with creation.  Which is denial of the spiritual, as I see it.  The opposite of ego.)


I will do more with integrating and adding to, making sense of the material, when time permits.  Empowerment (education / information) is an essential ingredient, as we discussed.  And critical mass.

The more we can understand the elements of change, the better.

I am anxious to read the book Denial (Varki & Bower).  Perhaps it is the integrator!!  I’m sure there is something out there that puts everything together.

Over and out!


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

These links have something to say about CHANGE:

1.     Pesticides:   The Dynamics of Change.    Health Officials won’t do the job, even when paid  $20,000.00 a month.

I mentioned the thesis that change comes about, not through rational debate, but through the march of events.

(Conventional wisdom is the status quo; it is the inertia that has to be overcome, if change is to happen.)

Galbraith says, among other things – – see the above link:

The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.




3.     Thinkers of the Day on the Unholy Alliances between Government (public institutions) and Industry


4.     J. K. Galbraith, “The Economics of Innocent Fraud”. PPPs (Public Private Partnerships)


5.     2010-02-25 Understanding why we flounder, help from John Ralston Saul “On Equilibrium”


6.     Ego – its role in putting democracy to rest. (Hoax: A German’s view on Islam)


7.     Perception, an illustration of our fallibility and our gullibility. Dan Simons. Basketball.


8.     2013-09 The fiction of memory, Elizabeth Loftus, TED Talk


9.      Love, Hate & Propaganda, the art of mass persuasion


10.      (Email from Mike Bray, 2010):     The section of Al Gore’s book Our Choice called Changing the Way we Think is really interesting. It has some answers as to why it is so hard to get thought and action from citizens on climate change and other environmental issues.


10.    Addressing City Council, 2004:

When so much is known, WHY isn’t change happening?

“It is common for proposals for change, which usually imply criticism of current practices,  to bring up fear and a diverse range of defensive behaviours.

The defensive behaviours range from withdrawal, non-compliance and argument to ridicule, angry confrontation and even violence.”


My proposal to you, that the City revert back to augering from the use of a chemical pesticide is  a criticism of current practices.

In civil society such as gathered here, the defensive behaviour will most likely manifest itself in the form of argument.

In order to bring about change, my strategy must therefore be:


1.    don’t trigger defensive behaviour.   When I become defensive,  I defend my position:  I pay lip service to the arguments of the other person.   I can think of a recent experience where the arguments of the other person made me angrier and angrier.  With you, I want to have an open discussion,  with as little defensive behaviour as possible.  Which brings in my second strategy.


2.    as pointed out, defensive behaviour will manifest itself in the form of argument.  I can tell you some of the arguments that will be presented as a rationale for maintenance of the status quo and how the processing of the arguments will happen.


3.    I should understand what it is that I am attempting to do.  John Kenneth Galbraith defined “conventional wisdom”.  I, and others, are trying to overthrow the conventional wisdom in Saskatchewan about pesticide use.


Ideas come to be organized around what the community as a whole or particular audiences find acceptable.  It isn’t about the reality of the world, but about the audiences’ accepted VIEW of the world.  Because familiarity is such an important test of acceptability,  the acceptable ideas have great stability.  The acceptable idea in Saskatchewan is that pesticide use may present some problems, but it’s okay.

The enemy of conventional wisdom is not ideas such as I am giving to you,  but the march of events.  Conventional wisdom remains with the comfortable and the familiar, while the world moves on:  conventional wisdom is always in danger of obsolescence because the world keeps on changing.

All I can do is to crystallize in words what events have made clear, it has been well-documented for you:  our society has made a big mistake in relying on the propaganda of the chemical industry.  The process of changing the conventional wisdom about chemical pesticides is well underway, even in Saskatchewan.  The process takes time.  From the time when people thought that the world was flat until everyone knew it was round:  how long did it take?

So why shouldn’t we just sit back and wait for the new conventional wisdom to take hold?

The cost of inaction is very high.  To treat a child with life-threatening cancer costs a million dollars.  That doesn’t include the cost to the family.


A CHART  (the chart is a summary of the ARGUMENT and RESPONSE items)

Column 1:  Argument contained in one compartment of the brain

Column 2:  Defensive behaviour:  place this fact in a separate compartment to eliminate conflict with argument

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