The 29th Day: Changing Our Future
Solutions in a World of Accelerating Change
The Art of Fighting Without Fighting
2009 Copyright © 29thday.org All Rights
Published by George and Peter Berry, October 2009
2009 Copyright © 29thday.org All
George L. Berry
by Peter A. Berry
Reflects revisions made through September, 2012
This book may be copied and distributed freely with the
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This book is intended to be developed through
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This book is dedicated to my family.
We cannot, we must not ever forget who we are, where we came from ... and why we are free!
If most of us were willing to speak out
about injustice, our leaders would not dare to be deceptive. This sin of
omission on our part hurts us and our national honor ... not them. That is
the irony of a sin of omission. We see the risk as the consequences to
ourselves if we dare to be bold and speak out. In fact, the risk is the
damage we do to our character and self-respect if we remain silent. Think of
the people you admire and respect. Do they speak out or do they hide in the
background? Be bold my friends and you will be changing the world.
"Do we want what is best for our country or do we just want what is best for us?"
Consider for a moment the possibility that the answer to this question is
"What is best for our country is best for us."
And that the answer we give will determine our destiny ... and our future ... for generations.
Consider this ...
Have you noticed that the 21st century is very different compared to earlier centuries?
Changes are happening much faster now (exponentially) than ever before.
The reason for this is the widespread use of Computers and the Internet which has unleashed
a powerful force which I call CIC(kick) that is speeding up change ... EVERYWHERE.
You are not imagining that the world is moving more quickly. It is.
CIC is the combined exponential power of Creativity, Information, and Communication.
The old (linear) ideas don't work in this new world.
Are you willing to open your mind and consider some new (exponential) ideas to find out ...
- Why Citizens feel so disconnected from Government.
- What is wrong with the US Economy and what will make it right.
- How cost/quality/access can be balanced in the US Health Care System
- Why there was a 2008 Financial Crisis.
- Why the 2009 Economic Stimulus didn't work.
- Why the US/Mexican Border has not been secured.
- Why the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill happened.
- What is really happening in Europe and the Middle East.
- Where we will be in 10 years … in 50 years.
- What WE can do about what is happening.
The exponential clock is ticking toward the 29th day, toward the end of
our dreams for a better life, toward the end of your dreams for a better
life ... tick, tick, tick.
All of us have a part to play ... all
of us. Nobody is exempt. No matter how big or small
your part is, no matter what your part is, in the words of Nike ... "Just do it!". If enough of us act, we can change the world. That is the
power of CIC.
If you know someone is doing something wrong, they
may stop if you tell them. If you want to be sure they will stop, then
tell everyone. That is the power of CIC.
Don't let someone else decide your future for you!
From: George Berry, ActuaryThe work of science is to substitute facts for appearances and demonstrations for impressions.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) English social thinker, Motto of the Society of Actuaries
My objective in writing this book is not to become popular, rich, or famous. It is to challenge all of us to think and then to act. I don't have a lock on
the Truth. My intention, therefore, is to
rely on website visitors to do their own homework, to form their own
opinions, to decide for themselves what to believe and/or accept, and,
hopefully, to communicate their comments and criticisms to me to make
this Book better.
With five children and being a consulting
actuary in health care financing. I recall well that the daily
pressures of living would have left little time or energy to step back and say, what does redirecting the future have to do with me? As someone once said, "When you're stepping on
alligators, it's hard to remember that your prime objective is to drain
the swamp". Hopefully, Chapter 7 will enable you to find more time. It did for me.
recall also that the day to day pressures of business and
finance placed too much emphasis on symptoms and too little on causes.
I am now a retiree with the time to step back and to examine causes
without the "noise interference" of symptoms (and clients). As a
mathematician, what I see is a world of accelerating (exponential)
change that is moving too fast still attempting to implement solutions
in a traditional (linear) way which is ... just ... too ...slow (Chapter1).
Consider, for example, how quickly
in Libya occurred, and yet how slowly the decision about a no-fly zone
has been made. In my opinion, this reflects also an uncertainty about
our Core Values (Chapter 6). Don't you find US policy about our role/objectives in
Libya confusing? And does anyone have an answer to the question, "Why
in the world does the United States seem incapable of resolving the
problem of illegal immigration?" (Chapter 14). Or, "Why is the US Government
bragging about saving $30 billion when we are $16 trillion in debt (September, 2012)?" (Chapter 15). Sixteen
trillion is 16,000 billions! And I'm not even including the many
more trillions in public pension and Social Security unfunded
liabilities (Chapter 12).
Are we approaching the 29th day for the United States?
(September, 2012). I do not say this lightly and, in my opinion, both political
parties share the responsibility for the current
state of affairs. Consider what
- The US National Debt went over $16 trillion (that is 16,000 billions).
That is more than $51,000 for every man, woman, and child.
third Quantitative Easing (printing $40 billion per month) announced by
the Federal Reserve caused the rating organization, Egan-Jones to lower
the US Government to AA- from AA. Paul Ryan, the Republican
vice-presidential candidate, called it a "sugar-high" for the economy
less than two months before the Federal Election. Too much money
chasing too few goods and services always leads to inflation. It is
President Obama continues his uninterrupted campaigning and the US
Congress is on the verge of a long recess. Shouldn't Americans feel
completely justified to be outraged by the lack of response to the now
obvious deterioration of the United States both domestically and
abroad? Are US political leaders aware of the risk and real danger
here? They are playing with fire and acting like the man who was asked
for the definition of Ignorance and Apathy. His response was, "I don't
know and I don't care." As for help from our Allies, remember, the
first reality of geo-politics is anarchy. All countries will never fail
to act in their own self-interest.
- The United States
is mired in a stagnant economy with unemployment remaining above 8% and
the increase in Gross Domestic Product stuck below 2%. Average income
is declining and the number of people below the poverty level is higher
than it has been for decades. The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire
or be renewed on January1, 2013 as are the devastating Sequestration
cuts to military and domestic spending. Obamacare is in the process of
implementation with as yet an unknown impact on health costs and taxes.
Expanding regulation has inhibited business to grow and expand. The debt
crisis in the European Union shows no signs of being resolved with
attendant repercussions for the American economy. All of these factors
introduce uncertainty, the "economy-killer", into the mix.
- Illegal immigration continues to be an unresolved issue with no light on the horizon.
September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin
Towers in New York City, there were demonstrations against the United
States in Egypt and soon afterward across the Middle East, Africa,
Asia, and even in Australia. These were ostensibly a reaction to an
obscure YouTube movie which appeared in July denigrating Islam.
US Libyan Embassy was set on fire and the US Ambassador and three
members of the Consulate Staff were killed. Members of the Obama
Administration claimed that this was a spontaneous reaction to the
YouTube movie despite the fact that Rocket Propelled Grenades were
involved and everybody else seemed to be convinced that this was a
preplanned terrorist revenge attack coordinated to take place on
September 11. After eight days, White House Press Secretary, Jay
acknowledged it was "self-evident" that this was a terrorist attack.
Nevertheless, the Administration is still claiming it was tied to the
YouTube movie. What is interesting is that in the second Presidential
Debate on October 22, 2012 President Obama said unequivocally that
he had stated this was a terrorist attack during a press conference in
the Rose Garden on September 12, 2012, one day after the attack. And
now, on October 23, 2012 an email from the State Department to the White House Situation Room has come to light stating as it happened that the attack was by a terror group. Request for additional security were denied and then later during the attack
there were three unanswered calls for help. Can it get any worse? And
finally, wouldn't the Obama Administration be offering more information
if it made them look better?
- President Obama appeared
on the David Letterman TV Show and yet was too busy to meet with
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to discuss the
inexorable progress by Iran toward the successful development of
nuclear weapons. The US has refused to "red-line" Iran which would
define a point beyond which action would be taken.
risk of an interrupted oil supply is increasing exponentially. It is
becoming obvious to everyone that the United States must move quickly
toward domestic energy independence. The adverse consequences of our
failure to do this have been horrendous both domestically and, in
particular, with respect to US foreign policy in the Middle East and
elsewhere. And yet ... and yet the Obama
Administration continues to refuse to approve construction of the
Keystone XL Canadian oil sands pipeline. Shall we wait until the
Canadians decide to sell the oil to the Chinese? A report on the
potentially enormous oil and gas resources of the 1.5 million acre ANWR
area of Alaska was submitted in 1987 to Congress by the Department of
the Interior. No action has been taken. Drilling leases on federal
lands are not being approved. What are we waiting for?
should be asking ourselves one simple question, "Are things getting
better or are things getting worse?" And we should be asking a
more difficult question, "What am I prepared to do about it?" How
long can we continue to say, "I'm too busy", "It's not my problem",
"I'm not interested"? Are we just going to wait for the 29th day
Make no mistake, interest
rates will begin to rise and/or the Stock Market will begin to fall if the US Debt Limit resolution (written July, 2011) is
viewed as inadequate. And in our new electronic, exponential,
globalized economy, this
could happen in seconds. Have you noticed interest rates in Greece lately?
Most of us would agree that the most
significant issue facing the United States right now is the answer to
the question "What is wrong with the US Economy and what will make it
right?". Why have none of our political leaders been able to articulate
an answer to this question which is clear, understandable, specific,
practical, and believable? (Chapter 17 - CIC and the US Economy, perhaps the most relevant Chapter in the Book).
presumption of the US Federal Government is that it must be the
architect of any economic recovery by creating jobs. In fact, it is the
Private Sector which creates jobs and wealth. The President's message
should not be, "This is how I will create jobs". Rather, it should be, "This is how I will get out of the way to better enable the Private Sector to create jobs".
of the problems confronting the US economy is that, like the federal
government today, too many people were using borrowed money as income
for decades before the financial crisis of 2008. When they were unable
to continue borrowing, such income disappeared. It will not return
until their outstanding loans have been repaid. This has left a big
hole in consumer spending, which is about two-thirds of the US
economy, and made recovery a lot more difficult. Unfortunately, a
substantial part of this borrowing was in the form of higher home loans
which turned out to be a very bad idea when the housing bubble burst.
As I see it, we have three economic choices:
Make the tough decisions to reposition and redirect the US economy:
promises made and expectations may have to be revised downward but at
least we will be able to pay for them and end up with a healthy economy.
Don't make the tough decisions to reposition and redirect the US
economy: inflation will revise the value of promises made and
expectations downward to a level we can afford. Unfortunately, at the
same time, inflation will devastate the rest of the economy.
Something in-between 1. and 2.: The closer to 1., the lower will be
inflation and the healthier will be the economy. The closer to 2., the
higher will be inflation and the more devastated will be the economy.
these are not our choices will result in 2. It is time to Pay the Piper
and his price-tag for delay is inflation and increasing
the difficulty of the decisions required ... exponentially. What
people everywhere cannot believe is that, for the first time in our
lifetime, there is no longer enough money to pay for everything we
want. Unfortunately, we have waited so long to do anything about it
that we are not even close to having enough money. The reality is that
it is likely that everybody is going to pay, whether they like it or not. My conclusions are that because of the rapid (exponential) development of computers and the internet:
is what this Book is all about. I am hoping that you will be willing to
open your mind to some new ideas. I am hoping that you will see and
agree that, as impossible as it sounds, it is you and I who must begin to redirect the future. I am hoping that you will realize even day-to-day life will become worse than our worst nightmare if we don't. My thinking has lead me in two directions.
- the 21st century is significantly different than past centuries (Chapter1),
- there is a lack of awareness and clarity about what has happened,
are too many sound-bites, impressions, and excuses and not enough substance and
clear common-sense thinking, backed up with facts and
- we need very different kinds of solutions now because we have very different kinds of problems,
- "business as usual" doesn't work any more,
are running out of time much more quickly than we may realize to solve
some very serious problems. The 2008 Financial Crisis is a good example
- most of our leaders do not have the necessary sense of urgency,
- people are feeling increasingly helpless and frustrated ... and angry,
- there is much more at stake than we may realize (Chapter 19),
- the hope for redirecting the future will begin with individuals like you and me and not with governments (Chapter 2). Recent events in Egypt (March, 2011) are a good example.
first direction has been to be prepared for the worst, which is that there is no
possible way to redirect the future. Over 30 years ago, my wife and I
purchased 100 acres in a remote area of Canada. Most of our "civilized"
skills were useless in this environment, and learning country living
and self-sufficiency has been a long slow process. It is definitely not
something that can be done "at the last minute". But we are as prepared
as we can be.
The second direction has been to hope for the best,
which is that there has to be a way to redirect the future. The result
is on this website, 29thday.org. You can judge for yourself. As it
turns out, I believe that there is a way to redirect the future. While I have read and
studied others' analyses of what is happening, who to condemn, how to
prepare etc, many of which are excellent, my context is "So what can we
do about it?". My mindset has had to be that there is actually a way to
redirect the future successfully. With 5 children and 20 grandchildren, I have no other choice. One of the things I have
learned over the past 30 years is that blaming others generally leads
to inaction. To me, it is simply a variation on the theme, "It's not my
fault". Too often, it leads to the smug feeling, "I have figured out
what is going to happen, and now all of those other people are going to
get what they deserve."
Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from
extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It
must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same,
or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children's children what it was once like in the United States where
men were free".
believe strongly that doing nothing
will result eventually in the loss of our Freedom, something which is
unthinkable and unimaginable to most Americans and Canadians. It is
very real, however,
to those brave men and women in the Middle East and Africa who are
Freedom right now, to the brave American, Canadian, and Allied Armed
Forces (and their families) who are serving on the front lines in
Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as to those Americans and Canadians who
actively engaged already in a variety of ways across the United States
and Canada. We have to wake
up, and to
grow up, in order to realize that our future is not going to be
redirected unless we act deliberately to do it. The longer we wait, the
more difficult it will be, until eventually it will be impossible. What
I am offering here is a way to make
ourselves heard, a way to redirect our future. My earnest hope is that
you will pursue it. Or to use a term from the old Scots law, become an
intromittor, which is someone who gets involved. My goal is the preservation of our independence (as in the Declaration of Independence).
Right now (July, 2012), the United States is on the brink of a divisive conflict
between the Public Sector and the Private Sector (politically defined as "the middle class vs. the super-rich"). These two sectors have a quasi-symbiotic
relationship. The Public Sector provides protection, regulation,
infrastructure, and a safety net. The Private Sector finances the
Public Sector by paying taxes, and creates jobs and wealth
through innovation and risk-taking which is what enables it to
pay taxes. The Public Sector hurts itself by being too onerous because
that results in lower tax revenue. There is a limit to the alternative
of borrowing and increasing the National Debt which occurs when lenders
will simply refuse to lend. If and when that day comes, all of us will suffer far beyond our worst nightmare.
The reality is that the Private Sector, not the Public Sector, is the goose that lays the golden eggs. Cripple the Private Sector, or the people who expand the Private Sector... and no more golden eggs. The creative spark of the unencumbered,
entrepreneurial individual mind, whether in the form of the wheel, the
telephone, or the computer, lights the path to prosperity. The rest is
just window dressing. To say otherwise will never make it so.
One indication of the confusion about the free enterprise
system is the controversy which has erupted in July, 2012 about the
contribution of small business to the economy. What the small
businessman does that employees and government do not is he (or she)
takes a risk. If it works, he is successful; if it doesn't he can lose
everything. This is the essence of the free enterprise system and I am
disappointed that nobody, Democrat or Republican, has mentioned it.
have reached a tipping point as a result of the collusive relationship
between politicians and unions, and misleading accounting practices
(see the Chapter on the National Debt) - politicians promise higher
pension and medical benefits to public employees in exchange for
election support by their unions. These benefits have been massively
underfunded raising the specter of city and state bankruptcies. At the
national level, the tipping point may be the actual
cost if Obamacare is implemented, or simply waiting too long to repair
Social Security and
The very real threat of "A house divided against itself cannot stand" in this looming
tragedy is because half of us pay income taxes ... and half of us
don't, a few of us are wealthy ... and most of us are not, something
which is ripe for unscrupulous political manipulation in an election year. And watch out for what Socrates said, "When the debate is over,
slander becomes the tool of the loser".
have had a glimpse of the future in Greece and even in the State of
Wisconsin. This is becoming a life and death struggle between
concentration of power and distribution of power, between coercion and
enlightened self-interest, between tyranny and freedom. It is time for
all of us to take a stand one way or the other or get out of the way.
Be wary of three fatal errors: 1. Everything will be resolved
satisfactorily even if we do nothing; 2. This is really a struggle
between the rich and the poor; 3. The Public Sector is the goose that lays the golden eggs; 4. A tyrant will be kind and generous to us.
said, "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from
us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and
lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and
may posterity forget that you were our countrymen".
emphasis in this book is American because I am an American (and also a
Canadian). But the application of these ideas is universal.
Table of Contents
What is the 29th day?
What in the world is CIC? - CIC Principles
What really happened to the Financial System in September, 2008? And what did CIC have to do with it?
Is the US Federal Stimulus Program actually stimulating the economy? Where is CIC?
Why are Americans feeling disconnected from the US federal government? The clash of CI and CIC
What are Core Values and why are they necessary?
CIC and The Family - Time Choices, Priorities, and Lessons
CIC and the Lottery
CIC and the Media - Another clash of CI and CIC
Can CIC affect US Health Care Reform? - The Road not Taken
CIC and Education - Is the Tail wagging the Dog?
CIC and Entitlements - A Reality Check
CIC and Demography - The Hidden Tsunami
CIC and Immigration - Has somebody been trying to use Slavery again? Is this really a global issue?
CIC and the US National Debt... uh, oh.
CIC and the US Federal Reserve - heh! heh! heh!
CIC and the US Economy - Rolling the boulder down the mountain
Does Iran have to be a 'rogue' nation? - Is this CIC Chess?
CIC and the Mother of all 29th Days-Where are we headed? And with whom?
Is CIC a panacea? Can it fail? Will it succeed? Can it be destroyed? Why should anyone use it? Who is likely to use it?
or Freedom - Can We Avoid Another 29th Day?
Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) Military Leader, President of the United States
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
Albert A Bartlett (1923- ) Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Colorado in Boulder
last three major evolutionary steps in our development all required us
to accept a new perception of reality and a new way of thinking:
The Agricultural Revolution - farmers replaced hunter-gatherers,
increasing efficiency in food production resulting in leisure time to
begin to accumulate knowledge and information.
The Industrial Revolution (triggered by harnessing steam) - Creativity
and Information, acting as catalysts on each other, caused a revolution.
The dominant force was Concentration of Power (CI) and the
dominant structure was the pyramid, most power at the top, least power at
the bottom. Structures increased their power by absorbing individual
freedom. Before this revolution, we had the candle, the horse, and ambassadors for long-distance communication; after the revolution, we had the electric light, the train, and the telegraph.
The CIC Revolution (triggered by computers and the Internet) -
Communication acting as a catalyst on CI, transformed it into CIC and
caused a revolution. The dominant force was Distribution Of Power
(CIC) and structures flattened out from the pyramids of the Industrial
Revolution. This was essential to increase the speed and quality of
moving a product to its market and satisfying customers. Before this revolution, we had the telephone and the telegraph; after the revolution, we had affordable computers and the Internet. Every individual could now obtain whatever information they wanted, and communicate to everyone ... instantaneously. Think about how this has impacted what you do for a living. Alvin Toffler, in PowerShift said the US has become a country of Information Companies who incidentally make steel, cars, etc and provide services.This
Book asks us to be adaptable enough to change our perception of
reality. It will be difficult and is somewhat like realizing suddenly
that the sun really comes up in the West rather than in the East. And
so, a legitimate question arises, "Can we do it?" The good news
is that this new reality offers the opportunity for you, along with
millions and millions of people just like you, to change the future, to
change the world. I expect that sounds unbelievable to you. It
certainly did to me when I first thought of it. Well, open your mind,
take a look, and see what you think.
Exactly what is this change in our perception of reality, and are you willing to consider it? We
need to believe that it is possible for reality to be accelerating. For
most of us, this will be a new idea. Most of us think that reality is
linear, that is, reality is not accelerating – day by day by day, year
by year by year. By extension, most of us think that changes within
this reality are linear too, that is, the rate of change is not
accelerating, not exponential.
But it is. This is the way I would explain what has happened.
was a lily pad on a pond, which doubled in size each day until, after
30 days, it covered the pond. The riddle is, on what day did it cover
half the pond? Most of us think the answer is the 15th day, but it is
not. The answer is the 29th day ... because the lily pad doubles in
size each day. So, it will not take 15 days to cover the first
half of the pond and 15 days to cover the last half of the pond. What
seems unbelievable to most of us is that it takes 29 days to cover the
first half of the pond but only one day to cover the second half. This
is exponential power. Linear thinkers (most of us), who add to
get the rate of change, think the answer is the 15th day and that 15
days remain to cover the last half of the pond. Exponential thinkers,
who multiply to get the rate of change, know the answer is the 29th day
and that only one day remains to cover the last half of the pond.
Q. How much of the pond is actually covered on the 15th day? A.
3/100,000 or 0.003% of the pond.
In the 21st century, for the
first time in history, our world has become visibly exponential, that
is, the rate of change is accelerating visibly, just like the lily pad.
And we are thinking mistakenly that the 29th day is only the 15th day.
The result is we feel that (exponential) problems are becoming crises
too suddenly, and traditional (linear) solutions are being implemented
too slowly. It is frightening us, angering us, making us feel
that things are out of control. In fairness to President Obama, it is
much more difficult to be an effective President in an exponential
world. Much more difficult.
This has happened because of
the extraordinary development of computer technology, particularly
personal computers and the internet. Now,
at the speed of light,
everyone can tell the world what is on their mind. We can share
information instantaneously. We can Google to find out immediately
whatever we want to know. We have discovered a new, fantastic
way to communicate, to enhance our creativity, to get information, to
share it with everybody, to exert influence, to gain personal power and
then to use it. Hoarding information is now obsolete. No more secrets.
call the exponential force which has been released, CIC (kick). These
letters stand for Creativity, Information, and Communication. Each of
the components of CIC is exponential. Imagine how much more exponential
they are combined into CIC. And CIC will trigger innovation to
revolutionize education. How about free education for everyone around
the world? Check out www.khanacademy.org. Bill Gates likes it!
This tremendous acceleration in the
development of computer technology has been transferred to everything
else ... because of the way we use computers and the internet to
communicate ... such as the economy, politics, health care,
immigration, warfare, terrorism ... by this force, CIC, that has been
unleashed by computers and the internet. You are not imagining
that the world is moving more quickly now than in the past. It is.
Everything has become visibly exponential. Have you noticed that
messages from government and virtually every advertisement now have a
web address attached to them? Do you have a mobile phone, a personal computer? Are you a member of Facebook, Youtube? Do
you Twitter? Do you read blogs? Do you get your news from the
internet as it happens? That is CIC at work. It enabled Bill Gates to
become a billionaire by the time he was 30. A few years later, it
enabled the founder of Facebook to become a billionaire in his 20s. It
enabled a young woman to make a video and put it on Youtube, protesting
that her bank had increased the interest rate on her credit card to
30%. The result was that her bank reduced the interest rate on her
credit card. This is exponential power. These things would have seemed
preposterous just a few short years ago.
of the most vital
things that CIC does is to transfer or distribute power from
institutions to their "markets", that is, to people like you and me. This is
happening whether the product of these institutions is cars,
health care, government, religion, or working conditions. This is
what empowers us to redirect the future. Whether or not we choose to do
so is a test of our character. How we redirect the future is a matter
between us, God, and our conscience. I am using CIC right now.
You can use it, too. It is available to everyone. And be assured ... it
is being used right now to redirect our future ... your future.
A major conclusion of this Book is not that exponential forces will
continue unchecked. It is that limiting factors are guaranteed to
occur. "Limiting factors" is just another name for 29th days. The pivotal issue is, "Can We Avoid Another 29th Day?" The only way to do this is by redirecting the future with an exponential solution(s). My
deeply held belief is that if those people who love Liberty do nothing,
or wait too long to introduce exponential solutions, then those people who
are against Liberty will simply wait for limiting factors to occur, and the result
will be the loss of Liberty. Furthermore, if there is no awareness of
the nature of the exponential forces at work, the natural limiting
factors which will inevitably occur will have the effect of destroying
Liberty. Ask yourself, "Did I lose some of my freedom, some of my
choices, when the natural limiting factor of the Financial Crisis
occurred in 2008?" I believe it is absolutely critical that this
point be understood. Otherwise, those people who are for Liberty are
likely to miss the necessity of them taking action to introduce
exponential solutions. In fact, an important part of this Book is about using CIC to introduce
exponential solutions. It is also about learning how to think exponentially and how to understand Risk.
important thing to understand about Risk is that risk is impersonal. Risk
does not care if you are a good person. Risk does not care if you are doing
something that you think is socially desirable. Risk does not care if you do not have
enough money to back up taking the risk, in case it materializes adversely. Risk always
operates the same way, for everyone. Always. Every single time. It operates on the basis of circumstance
and probability. If the risk is 20%, that means 20 times out
of a hundred, thing won’t go well for you, and 80 times out of a 100,
they will. If the risk is 80%, that means 80 times out of a
hundred, things won’t go well for you, and 20 times out of a 100, they will.
So, for example, 20% is a lower risk, and 80% is a higher risk.
Here are four "rules-of-thumb" in risk-taking. Of course, before you do anything, ask an
expert(s), and research as much as you can
about the risk before you take it.
- If you are still uncertain, try to avoid taking the risk.
you have to take the risk and still have no opinion about it, assume the risk is
50/50 or 50%, that is, it is equally likely to be favorable or adverse,
and act accordingly.
- If you have to take
the risk and you have formed an opinion about it, use the 80/20 rule,
that is, assume the risk is 80% likely to follow your opinion, and 20%
likely not to, and act accordingly.
Occam's Razor, which I like as a rule-of-thumb - "The simplest
explanation is most likely the correct one". This is slightly
misleading because "It is a principle that generally recommends
selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new
assumptions, when the hypotheses are equal in other respects . For
instance, they must both sufficiently explain available data in the
first place (whew! - sounds a bit like a Philadelphia lawyer, don't you
think? ... but it does have the merit of being more accurate). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
One of the most
significant aspects of Risk-taking and Risk-based Decisons is unintended consequences. This
is where the saying, "It seemed like a good idea at the time" comes
from. One of the reasons for this is that what follows a Risk-based Decision is
dynamic and not static.
What this means is that people change their behavior
because of a Risk-based Decision (and also because of the introduction
of Incentives, which is critical to anticipate when using CIC),
something which governments and even some businesses seem to fail to
understand. There was a famous study by the US Government which
estimated that there could be billions of dollars of additional tax
revenues generated by raising the marginal tax-rate to 100% for incomes
over $200,000. Nobody in the government seemed to realize that the day
after its introduction the highest income in the United States would be
immediately (and inexplicably to the government, I guess), $200,000! So, the additional tax revenues would, in fact, be zero.
The sad truth is that all
taxes - or virtually all taxes - do affect behavior and we must consider
those effects. A recent request by
Senator Hatfield illustrates the issue.
Hatfield asked the Treasury to study the revenue gain from a 100%
tax on all incomes over $200,000 per year.
The Treasury responded that the government would receive $X billion
the first year and $Y billion per year thereafter. Common sense suggests that while a tax
could perhaps prove very effective the first year, as people were caught
napping, it would have little effect in the years thereafter, and would
raise zero revenue. How many of us would work if we had to give all of our
income to the government? The reason for this nonsensical
result is that the Treasury analyzes all tax proposals using static revenue
What is the lesson to be learned? People act in their own (hopefully, enlightened) self-interest. This is a key feature of exponential solutions, which make use of "the art of fighting without fighting". Risk-based Decisions can affect the Environment as
well, which is also dynamic and not static. Check out what
happened after the construction of the Aswan Dam in Egypt about 50 year
What is the Lesson to be learned? Whether we like it or not, actions and inaction have consequences.
How does this relate to the real world?
the natural limiting factor of the Financial Crisis occurred in
2008, we thought, because of the way we think, that it must be the 15th
day. What terrified us was to be told by Treasury Secretary Paulson
that it was really the 29th day. Suddenly, we were out of time.
Fortunately for us, Paulson's response (no matter what you may think of
some of the other things he has done) was an exponential solution which
was implemented in time to avoid a complete financial collapse,
obviously a much more significant
29th day. This is
the subject of Chapter 3.
now, we are trying to resolve
exponential problems with linear solutions, which are ineffective or
worse, and which are ... just ... too ... slow. A good example is the
2009 US Economic Stimulus. It was a linear solution to an exponential
problem. It has been ineffective and ... just ... too ...
slow. The Economic Stimulus has not lowered unemployment, improved
economic growth, or slowed down the approach of the US National Debt
29th day, let alone avoided it. What a
difference it could have made if the solution had been exponential.
This is the subject of Chapter 4.
What can we learn from this? ... Plain and simple, exponential solutions (pro-freedom of choice) can avoid 29th days, linear solutions (pro-control and coercion) do not. What
is the difference between them? Why
can one work (using incentives/self-interest and the "art of fighting
without fighting") and the other does
not (using penalties/coercion and the "art of fighting by fighting")?
Why can one be so quick and the other be so slow? How do we implement
exponential solution in time to avoid another 29th day? What role do CIC, Core Values, and the Messenger play? What is the "art of fighting without fighting"? This is what we
need to understand. It is discussed throughout this Book. In my
opinion, The Financial Crisis and The Economic Stimulus are particularly clear examples of exponential vs linear solutions.
Other real-life examples, however, have been included as well.
Their purpose is to help us figure out how to be successful in this new
An exponential solution
relies on a Trusted Messenger with a Message which is an exact match to
the (enlightened) self-interest of the target audience. This audience,
therefore, adopts the solution immediately which makes it quick and
effective (this is how Treasury Secretary Paulson was able to avoid an
economic meltdown immediately following the 2008 Financial Crisis). This
is the art of "fighting without fighting".
On the other hand, a linear
solution (a holdover from the Concentrated Power days of the Industrial
Revolution) relies on persuasion and/or coercion and does not match the
(enlightened) self-interest of the target audience. This audience,
therefore resists adopting the solution which makes it slow and
ineffective (the 2009 Economic Stimulus and Obamacare are linear solutions). This is the art of "fighting by fighting".
If you like, you can take your
pick of 21st century exponential problems ... all now subject to limiting factors or 29th days.
- US and World Economies,
National Debts, Immigration, Demography, Health Care, Energy, Oil
Exploration, National Entitlements, the "old" Media, the Disconnect
between Citizens and their Political Leaders, Iran, North Korea,
Terrorism. This Book discusses all of them, and encourages your input.
If you have a better idea, I will include it in a future version of
this Book. Several people have already contributed better ideas which
are reflected in the version of the Book you are reading now. I have
identified them at the conclusion of this Forward ... examples of Personal Power.
Have you seen any
exponential solutions lately? If we continue to believe that we have
plenty of time because it is only the 15th day, how long will it be
before we are terrified by another 29th day and suddenly, we will be
out of time ... again?
Make no mistake about it. There will be
a limiting factor (29th day) to the exponential growth of the US National Debt.
Guaranteed. Either we can recognize the approaching 29th day and act
exponentially by using CIC to create incentives to reduce government
spending, and/or increase taxes (don't forget we are trying to repair
our economy), and/or find a way to grow our economy, enough to manage
the Debt successfully, which would become our choice
(see Chapter 9). Or, the Government can continue to act linearly and think we have
plenty of time because it is only the 15th day and wait until the
National Debt is large enough that our creditors refuse to continue to
lend us money, resulting in US bankruptcy, runaway inflation, and the
collapse of our economy, which would then become the government choice.
Right Direction or Wrong Track
22% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction, Ties Lowest Level of Obama’s Presidency
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
percent (22%) of Likely U.S. Voters now say the country is heading in
the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national
telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, April 17. That ties the
lowest number of Obama’s presidency, last reached in mid-March. Since
President Obama assumed office in January 2009, confidence in the
nation’s current course has ranged from a low of 22% to a high of 35%
measured in early April 2009. Seventy percent (70%) of voters now say
the country is heading down the wrong track. Since January 2009,
pessimism about the country's direction has ranged from 57% to 72%.
Most Republicans (88%) and voters not affiliated with either major
political party (74%) believe the United States is heading down the
wrong track. Among Democrats, 36% say the country is heading in the
right direction, while 49% say it's heading down the wrong track.
By the way, Standard and Poor's downgraded it's credit outlook for the United States Debt from stable to negative on April 18, 2011. Uh, oh. Wasn't that just about the time that Congress took a 2-week recess and the President left on a re-election/fund-raising tour? Doesn't that sound linear to you? - "We have plenty of time." Oh,
and it was the first time that Gold closed over $1500 an ounce and gas over $4 a gallon. And the Federal
Reserve is continuing to expand the money supply (you should take a
look at Chapter 18). If you would like some information
about the actual inflation rate, actual GDP, actual unemployment rate, etc., check out http://www.shadowstats.com/. It will confirm your uneasiness that the inflation you are experiencing seems to be a lot higher than the Government says it is.The UK had a similar negative outlook rating which they reversed by
implementing a Plan - a 25% reduction in spending, except for Defence
and Health, and the lay-off of 500,000 government workers (the
equivalent in the US would be 2,500,000). Do
you think the US Congress and the President will implement a Plan that
will be successful in reversing S&P's credit outlook for the
source: Fox News.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Standard & Poor's on Monday (April 18, 2011) downgraded its
credit outlook for the United States, citing a "material risk" that
policymakers may not reach agreement on a plan to trim its large budget
While the agency maintained the country's top AAA credit rating, it said
that authorities have not made clear how they will tackle long-term
S&P said the move signals there's at least a one-in-three chance
that it could cut its long-term rating on the United States within two
"Because the U.S. has, relative to its AAA peers, what we consider to be
very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the
path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revise dour outlook
on the long-term rating to negative from stable," S&P said in a
Outstanding public U.S. debt has swelled to more than 60 percent of
total output in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and
with a budget deficit projected at more than $1 trillion, is set to grow
secret to repairing Medicare and Social Security is to restructure
these Programs without cutting them to ribbons. This is definitely
A U.S. Treasury official said the S&P negative outlook
underestimates the ability of U.S. lawmakers to tackle the country's
will be a limiting factor (29th day) to the exponential growth of US Health Care, including Medicare,
as well. Also guaranteed. Either we can recognize the approaching 29th
day and act exponentially by using CIC to create incentives which voluntarily
encourage both healthier lifestyles and the widespread adoption of best
medical practices (IBM has this on the drawing board for its Watson computer), resulting in bending the health care cost curve,
reducing health care costs, improving quality, and improving access,
which would become our choice (see Chapter 8). Or, the Government can
continue to act linearly and think we have plenty of time because it is only the 15th
day and try to control the cost of health care: by eliminating waste
and fraud (an effort which has been ineffective since 1965); by
negotiating lower and lower Medicare reimbursement rates (and
transferring the cost to the private sector) with members of the
Medical Community until they refuse to accept Medicare patients, so
that the elderly, in effect, lose their coverage; by forcing private
health insurers to lower their premiums artificially, so that the
private health insurance market collapses, resulting in rationing of
health care, delays in access, and a decline in quality, which would
then become the government choice.
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Health Care Reform Bill into Law, nicknamed "Obamacare".
In my opinion, this is another linear solution to an exponential
problem. It can be reversed ... but will it? To everyone's surprise, on
June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of
Obamacare by re-interpreting the individual mandate provision to be a
tax rather than a penalty. The irony is that even President Obama had
argued that the mandate was a penalty rather than a tax. Ask yourself, "Is there any tax right now that taxes us for not doing something?" Isn't this the definition of penalty, or do we have now an expanded definition of tax.? It will be
interesting to hear the political spin by both Parties. In any event,
this raises the stakes for the 2012 US Federal Election.
Health Care Law
52% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law
Monday, April 18, 2011
A majority of voters continues to favor repeal of the national health
care law, but the number who Strongly Favor it has fallen to a new low.
So has the number of voters who see the law as bad for the country.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters
shows that 52% favor repeal of the health care law, while 41% are
opposed. But now just 39% Strongly Favor the law’s repeal, the lowest
level measured since the plan’s passage last year. Twenty-nine percent
(29%) Strongly Oppose repeal of the legislation.
I wish that the following point could be made in letters three-feet
high. Social Security (and Medicare, if we don't repair Health Care, as
outlined above and in Chapter 8) are going bankrupt. They
are also exponential (check out Chapter 13, CIC and Entitlements, and
Chapter 15, CIC and Demographics) and would have a limiting factor (29th day)
eventually. They will
be restructured or the Program(s) will implode. Here is the point that
everyone should note and be prepared for it to be distorted. It is the single best area for scare tactics aimed at the elderly (that includes me, by the way). Nobody, and I mean nobody, will ever suggest that benefits be changed for folks over 55. So, a Big Message to everyone who is over 55 - When these Programs are restructured, your benefits are safe.
Don't listen to anyone who says differently. They are just trying to
scare you into voting for them. Ask yourself, "Do I really want to vote
for someone who would say that just to scare me?". The one exception is
mentioned in the preceding paragraph about US Health Care and I will
repeat it here. "Or, the Government can
continue to think we have plenty of time because it is only the 15th
day and try to control the cost of health care by negotiating lower and lower Medicare reimbursement rates (and
transferring the cost to the private sector) with members of the
Medical Community until they refuse to accept Medicare patients, so
that the elderly, in effect, lose their coverage."
Whatever we do will not be
easy. Reducing spending means that someone is going to get less ... and
they aren't going to like it. But the response of Government to a 29th
day(s) crisis would be a meat-axe, indiscriminate, panic-driven cut in all
spending. You know it and I know it. Look at what the UK has had to do. Is this what we want? We all know
that this would be the wait-until-later end-game to a potentially
tragic real-life drama. We all know that the longer we wait, the greater the sacrifice.
So, do we want a shared sacrifice now, or do we want to SACRIFICE later?
There are no other choices. It is time to Pay the Piper and he is
standing on our door-step. There is no sacrifice-free solution. Oh, and since it is exponential, such a 29th day(s) would happen in our lifetime.
Just in case anyone is thinking we can defer it for long enough that
the next generation will have to deal with it and we can get a
free-ride. This is our problem ... now and later.
you like to see the only Power strong enough to force Government to
begin to act exponentially and create a different future? ... take a good long look in your mirror! We need to abandon linear thinking which is about using coercion and "the art of fighting by fighting" and learn how to
think exponentially which is about using incentives to match enlightened self-interest and "the art of fighting without fighting" if we want to avoid another 29th day. And we need
to learn how to use CIC and to understand Risk. And we need to be
quick! That is what this Book is all about.
are hearing already (April, 2011) a lot of political mumbo-jumbo and fuzzy math from
most (although, not all) politicians about "lowering" the National
Debt, and "controlling" Health Care Costs, over 10 or 12 years, of course, using unbelievably favorable assumptions about future economic growth, of course, using 10 years of projected income but only 5 or 6 year of projected expenses in the estimates, of course, avoiding any significant sacrifice until these politicians are out of office, of course.
Do you remember Indiana Jones' famous line in "Raiders of the Lost
Ark"? ... "Trust me!" I wonder if he got that from some politician? ...
"Trust me, I'm from the government!" Am I being too harsh? Well, have
we heard this kind of talk before?
Medicare was enacted in 1965, official government projections foresaw
hospital spending — the program’s largest component — reaching only $9
billion in 1990. Actual Medicare spending on hospital care in that year
was $66 billion, or over seven times as high."Whatever
you do, take careful note of the most dangerous promise in both
politics and economics ... "This time it will be different". And,
as you well know, the Marquis of Queensbury Rules of fair play are not
used here. Then use your common sense, which Americans have in
abundance. You know
what rings true and what does not. Do your own homework. Talk to people
whom you respect. Don't be reluctant. This is the best way to become
informed, to be able to separate fact from fantasy. Then use your own
judgment. You will be making your best decision about what to support
and whom to support.
We have already paid the price for the exponential problem of
the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill to find out that prohibiting low-risk options
leaves us only with high-risk options. The argument for not drilling
for oil domestically is bogus. We have to drill for oil domestically in
order to sustain the US economy. Alternative energy viability as a
substitute for oil is still in the far distant future. To think
otherwise is naive and foolish at best and reckless and irresponsible
United States is the largest energy consumer in terms of total use,
using 100 quadrillion BTUs (105 exajoules, or 29 PWh) in 2005. This is
three times the consumption by the United States in 1950. The U.S.
ranks seventh in energy consumption per-capita after Canada and a
number of small countries.
vast majority of this energy is derived from fossil fuels: in 2005, it
was estimated that 40% of the nation's energy came from petroleum, 23%
from coal, and 23% from natural gas. Nuclear power supplied 8.4% and
renewable energy supplied 7.3%, which was mainly from hydroelectric
dams although other renewables are included such as wind power,
geothermal and solar energy. Energy consumption has increased at a
faster rate than energy production over the last fifty years in the
U.S.(when they were roughly equal). This difference is now largely met
development of renewable energy and energy efficiency marks "a new era
of energy exploration" in the United States, according to President
Let's get a grip on reality. If any of the top four sources of power were eliminated, how would we replace them? I
am not saying that we shouldn't work to develop
alternative energy. It's just that we shouldn't fantasize that
alternative energy is viable in the short-term or even medium-term.
Consider that working on alternative energy, which is wise, is not the
same as having enough alternative energy to replace oil now. We have
acted as though it was the same and so low-risk oil-drilling options
have been prohibited. By the way, when President Obama visited South America
recently (in March, 2011), he offered Brazil billions of dollars (see March 22, 2011 and June 17, 2010 articles below) in
incentives to drill for oil, which they would sell to the US. Does that
make any sense to you?
Obama: Drill, Brazil, Drill!
March 22, 2011
leaving U.S. oil and jobs in the ground, our itinerant president tells a
South American neighbor that we’ll help it develop its offshore
resources so we can one day import its oil. WHAT?!? We will help Brazil develop its offshore oil so we can one day import it.
have noted this double standard before, particularly when — at a time
when the president was railing against tax incentives for U.S. oil
companies — we supported the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s plan to lend $2
billion to Brazil’s state-run Petrobras with the promise of more to
Now, with a seven-year offshore drilling ban in effect off
of both coasts, on Alaska’s continental shelf and in much of the Gulf
of Mexico — and a de facto moratorium covering the rest — Obama tells
“We want to help you with the technology and
support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to
start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”
wants to develop Brazilian offshore oil to help the Brazilian economy
create jobs for Brazilian workers while Americans are left unemployed in
the face of skyrocketing energy prices by an administration that
despises fossil fuels as a threat to the environment and wants to
increase our dependency on foreign oil.
Obama’s Oil Spill
the CL June 17, 2010 Corporatism, Environment, Progressive
This is interesting ... especially in light of the BP oil spill.
Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling
You read that headline correctly. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.
U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil
company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore
discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de
Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National
Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to
talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us
it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the
amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of
increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the
money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either
way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given
that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of
the largest corporations in the Americas.
But look on the bright side. If President Obama has embraced offshore drilling in Brazil, why not in the old U.S.A.?
As reported at Bloomberg.com, George Soros purchased an $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR),
(better known as Petrobras) in Q2. The Brazilian oil company is now the
largest holding in his fund, amounting to 22 percent of the total $3.68
billion of stocks and American depositary receipts held by Soros Fund
Do you think it makes sense to George Soros? ... Does it make more sense to you now?
George Soros is a Hungarian-American financier, businessman and notable philanthropist focused on supporting liberal ideals and causes.
The result of linear thinking has been
that because results from Alaska oil-drilling will not be available
immediately and because environmentalists are against any drilling, we
wait, as if this decision could be deferred forever without
consequences. The risk we take is that, someday, because of an
unforeseen crisis, such as in the Strait of Hormuz next to Iran, for
example, long before alternative energy is viable, we are going to need
Alaska oil immediately to sustain the US economy, and if we wait until
that someday, we will be ten years too late.
40% of the energy consumed annually by the United States is produced by
burning oil. As of 2008, more than two-thirds of this oil is imported
... American dependence on oil imports has grown from 35% in 1973 (the
first year reliable data were collected) to 60% by the end of 2006 ...
in 2010, the top crude oil exporters to the United States were Canada,
Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia (in order from most exports
We are paralyzed by
the unending argument between those who want to drill for oil and those
who want to protect the environment. Linear thinking is about
either/or, (drilling or the environment) that is, maximizing or “We
win, you lose”. This prevents sustainability. Exponential thinking is
about both/and (drilling and the environment), that is, optimizing or
"We cannot win, if you cannot win". This promotes sustainability. Will
we continue to think linearly and say things like, "Oh, no, no, no, we
cannot drill in Alaska. We cannot drill in shallow water. We cannot
afford the risk to the environment."? Tell that to the people who live
and work on the Gulf Coast.
The longer we wait, the more severe
the consequences. If we continue to think linearly, someday we will
experience yet another disastrous example of a 29th Day. Guaranteed.
And yet, linear thinkers still say, "It is only the 15th day, we have
plenty of time, we can fix it later". When that 29th day arrives, how
many of us will think that it is only the 15th day? We have paid
a terrible price already for mistakenly thinking that the 29th day was
only the 15th day. Do you really think "We have plenty of time" to
avoid another disastrous 29th day, even after our real-life experience
staring us right in the face
... of waiting too long to avoid the 2008 Financial Crisis?
... or of waiting too long to avoid the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill?
and now, hearing at the 2010 G20 Economic Summit that we are going to
wait too long again, this time to do something about the US National
Linear thinking is making us act like we have a death wish! What we are not
doing is clarifying the consequences of doing nothing and making them
real possibilities, perhaps because it is considered to be Politically
about driving at top speed toward the edge of a cliff. What makes us
put on the brakes is visualising what it will be like to go over the
edge. We are acting like this is a TV reality show. It is not. This is real life ... your life. To
put it bluntly, if we wait too long, the result is going to be worse
than our worst nightmare. Many of you may think I am exaggerating or
fearmongering, that somehow consequences can be avoided forever, just
because we don't want them to happen. It doesn't work that way. Risk doesn't work that way.
of the consequences of the continuous bombardment to our senses by CIC
in the modern world is that we have become immunized against the
horrors and tragedies of world events. There tends to be an impersonal
quality and a sense of unreality to the TV News. In my opinion, this
has induced a sense of paralysis and helplessness in many of us to be unwilling or unable
to do anything other than watch what is happening. We are becoming like
the man who was asked for the definition of Ignorance and Apathy. His
response was, "I don't know and I don't care".
wife and I are approaching the end of a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise
(April, 2011). How
fortunate we have been to have had this opportunity. It has been an
amazing experience. We have kept a diary (including
pictures, videos, and wonderful write-ups by my wife) on a blog so
family and some of our friends could share it with us. A little bit of
CIC, eh? What has affected us most of all, however, is that during the
cruise we were one day away from Christchurch, New
Zealand at the time of the earthquake; we were off the coast of Japan
at the time of the tsunami; we sailed through the Gulf of Aden, had a
"pirate drill", and heard that there are three pirate attacks there each
week. This has given us an indelible and clarified sense of
reality that these tragedies involve real people living through their worst nightmares.
We will never forget it. We will never get over it. I believe it has
changed us forever. It has sharpened my focus that we must not, we
cannot just "go about our business" and pretend that what is
happening to our country has nothing to do with us, with our
future ... that there is nothing we can do, must do about it. I find
myself wanting to shout at the top of my lungs to everyone, and
even to myself, "WAKE UP!" ... wake up while there is still time to redirect the future ... before our worst nightmare begins.
order to wake up, one of the things we need to overcome is the almost
insurmountable barrier created by Political Correctness in the United
States. Dare I take on this sacred cow
... well, somebody has to,
so why not? It used to be that being polite, considerate, gracious,
thoughtful, and respectful was socially acceptable. As a boy, for example, I was taught to aspire to the best qualities of life. My favorite book was "Ivanhoe". My children were taught to avoid the
worst qualities of life. They studied the book, the "Pigman". Now, if
my grandchildren watched TV and movies, they would be taught to expect
the worst qualities of life. Have you seen a TV Reality Show lately?
(Their parents are trying to avoid this by teaching them to be
inspired). Is this an improvement or a decline in our expectations of
the human condition? How many of us feel that we seem to be headed in
the wrong direction? Personally, I find it somewhat discouraging.
I would argue that
the next step in this progression is Political Correctness which has abandoned those best qualities of life and created a new
definition of "socially acceptable", that it is no longer
permissible to express what our common sense tells us is true, in case
it offends someone ... anyone. In my opinion, this has become a
powerful social weapon to justify attacking the character of anyone
with the courage to mention the 800-pound gorillas in the room. Free
speech, a cornerstone of our Constitution, is disappearing, unless it furthers the progressive agenda of the Politically Correct crowd (see Chapter 19). Have you noticed, for example, that It's not my fault has replaced red-blooded American? The
Government's message, "It really isn't your fault, we will take care of
you" has become Politically Correct. Is this what our country is all
about? Is this what the early pioneers thought? Is this what our
parents taught us? Is this what we should be teaching our children?
Read Chapter 6, Core Values, and Chapter 7, CIC and the Family before
Is it even remotely possible, that one result of being buffaloed by Political Correctness is that we, you and I, have become part, maybe a big part, of the problem? Have we become the gimmee society? How many of us are willing now to say, "Take more money from the rich"
(even though the top tenth of all wage-earners already pay 71% of all
income taxes, and the bottom half (47%) of all wage-earners pay no
income tax, right now - source: www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6 .... and the Internal Revenue Service - 2007), "Leave me
alone, I didn't create this problem, and I can't do anything about it ... it's not my fault", "It's the government's job to fix this mess", and "Don't ... don't even think of asking me to sacrifice, to take
personal responsibility for it, I've got enough problems". Maybe we need to remember what Pogo, a character in a clever comic-strip from 50 year ago said, "We have seen the enemy ... and it is us".
That's not something any of us wants to hear, is it? But is it even
remotely possible that it might be true? Consider, for example, that in
mid-July, 2012 the Obama Administration decided to waive by Executive
Order the work requirement of the landmark welfare reform legislation
passed by President Bill Clinton and Congress in the 1990's. This
requirement was the centerpiece of the legislation, considered by
President Clinton to be a major part of his legacy. Is this a step
forward ... or a step backward?
it long past time for us to say, "Enough is enough!"? Isn't it long
past time for us to have the courage to confront Political Correctness
for what it is - a way to suppress Free Speech, which is preventing us
from honestly and sensibly expressing what we really need to be
doing to deal effectively with the National Debt, with
Immigration, with Foreign Policy, etc. etc. etc.? Are we up for it?
These people are experts at ravaging the character of anyone who
disagrees with them. Have you noticed that this is what they do instead
of debating the real issues facing us? Well, I say it is
fish-or-cut-bait time. It is red-blooded American time. Let's show them
what we think of bullies, let's show them what we
think is right. Do you think they will be willing to engage in an
honest debate? Or, will they just fire the only arrow they have in
their quiver and attack our character? Remember what Socrates (469BC - 399BC) the Greek philosopher said, When the debate is over, slander becomes the
tool of the loser. Well, if that's all you've got
PC people, "Take your best
shot". We know that the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to
them, call their bluff, and make it crystal clear to everyone that they
are "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". That is what makes
bullies crumble. Don't
you think it's about time we started acting like red-blooded Americans
again? Of course it is! ... Here's hoping I haven't given the Politically Correct crowd a
collective heart-attack ... just a good kick in the pants!
Political Correctness has done a lot of damage to Free Speech in
America, there is at least one area where it has focused attention on a
problem which must be resolved ... Immigration (Chapter 14). Immigration
is a hot topic in the United States today, especially Illegal
central question about illegal immigration in the US, for almost all Americans, is,
"Why in the world does the US Federal Government seem incapable of
resolving this issue ... is it incompetence, is it
partisan bickering ... or ... is it something else?" Well, let me attempt to answer that question.
There are two characteristics of illegal immigrants that stand out - cheap labor, and potential future voters.
- They have low expectations. The per capita income in Mexico, for example, is 25% of the per capita income in the US.
- The rapid population growth in Mexico, for example, means fewer jobs there, especially for young people.
- They are easily exploitable because they are illegal and can't complain.
To put it bluntly,
- There are now 12-16 million or 7-20 million illegal immigrants in the
US, depending upon whom you ask. Granting amnesty would create a very significant number of new voters.
- this kind of cheap labor is just another form of slavery,
We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.
- trying to make them voters is just blatant manipulation of them and of the democratic process.
the meantime, because the US has stopped enforcing existing Federal
Immigration Law (whatever happened to "We are a nation of laws"?),
- there are now "sanctuary cities" in the US for illegal aliens,
- they are receiving welfare, education, and other social services, to the severe detriment of State Budgets.
- the "open border" has substantially increased drug traffic and violence,
- Arizona has become the area of choice in the Western world for kidnapping,
- it has become easier to ignore or not enforce other laws,
- the US is losing its confidence and stature in the arena of foreign affairs,
... and on, and on.
- it has become Politically Correct to label, as a
racist, anyone who wants to enforce existing Federal Immigration Law,
Recently (September, 2012) I read a Time Magazine article
written by a journalist who has admitted publicly that he is an illegal
alien and still cannot find out from US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) whether or not he will be deported.
federal politicians have come up with a laundry list of reasons to
follow the statement, "This is why we can't fix the illegal immigration
problem right now." The US has been singularly unsuccessful in
securing the US/Mexican border. Rudy Guiliani says he could do it
Perhaps the US should hire him. Look what he did for New York City.
Does this sound like the United States? The "can-do" country? The
country that is a "nation of laws"? Or,
does this sound like a country that has lost its way, to the severe
detriment of American self-respect, and loss of international prestige?
Sorry about that. Actuaries
aren't supposed to get emotional, but I just had to get that off my
chest. Everyone is nibbling around the edges of this issue, but nobody
is "telling it like it is." More importantly, however, "telling it like
it is" is the first step in designing an Exponential Solution.
is a moral issue here which, in my opinion, suggests a solution to this
problem. The reason the United States does not have a corresponding
problem with other people who break the law is because existing laws
are enforced and such people are brought to justice. While some of
them may never be caught, they are still considered to be criminals and
the intent of the legal system is to find and prosecute them. For some
crimes, there is a statute of limitation which says that they can no
longer be prosecuted after a defined length of time. In effect, at that
point, the government can no longer enforce the law and such people are
treated as if they were innocent. This is the foundation of our legal
reason that there are at least 10 million illegal
immigrants in the United States is because the federal government has
decided voluntarily not to enforce existing law. While it may be
difficult to enforce the law, surely the solution cannot be to abandon
enforcing the law. The cause of the illegal immigrant problem,
therefore, is not illegal immigrants, it is the federal government
(both Democrat and Republican administrations, by the way). The
result is that illegal immigrants are living and working in the United
States as if they were citizens but must live in the shadows because of
their uncertainty about whether or not they might be deported. So, they
have none of the legal protections citizens have which means they can
be exploited and mistreated with impunity.
The moral issue needs to be
stated with clarity: "Is it moral for the United States to treat any himan being this way?". I would state categorically that the answer is "No!". It
seems to me that two things have to happen to begin to correct the
illegal immigration problem. 1. The United States (including the Federal Government, States, and Sanctuary Cities) has to state
unequivocally that, after a certain date, all immigration laws will be
enforced and anyone entering the country illegally will be subject to
prosecution ... period. Whether or not it is difficult to do so
is irrelevant. 2. Anyone who is in the United States illegally
before that date will be allowed to apply for citizenship as the moral
resolution of the federal government's failure to enforce existing law.
My thanks to the Politically Correct crowd for making this an issue. While I do not agree with how they did it, I applaud that they did it.
I understand how busy you are, how unreasonable it must
seem to be asked to do something more, especially something which
seems to be so difficult, so impossible. OK. How about this? Try doing
one small thing each day, or each week ... just one small thing. In my
opinion, that could be enough, if enough of us are willing to do it.
Try it just once ... one small act. The sense of Personal Power you
will feel will motivate you to do it again. Are you saying to yourself, "I am nobody, what difference could I possibly make?" I understand that because I am nobody, too. We have one other thing in common which is what gives us Power. We are free!
Just remember, in this new exponential world, one person can make a difference. You
can make a difference. And remember the lilypad. It may look like
nothing has changed ... but it has! Guaranteed. Whether you agree with him or not, be inspired by the
exponential experience of President Obama, someone who came from
nowhere ...and in just a few years, became President of the United
States. And we don't want to become President, we just want to make a
difference. As President Obama has said, "Yes we can!".
of the advantages of an online Book is that it can be updated easily.
Fast forward to July, 2011. Reflect for a moment on the events of
the past year or so since the G20 Economic Summit. Have you
noticed the word "crisis" appearing more often in the media? Have you
noticed any 29th days approaching Consider
what has happened as of April 12, 2011 to the nuclear reactor(s)
affected by the terrible tsunami which has devastated northern Japan.
We were told by "nuclear experts" a few days after the tsunami that:
what was considered once to be "low risk" now appears to be "high
risk". I am not trying to frighten you unnecessarily or speak against
nuclear energy. What I am trying to do is demonstrate (as with the 2010
Gulf Oil Spill and the Economic Crisis of 2008) that
we need to understand Risk a lot better than apparently we understand
was no risk of an extensive release of radiation because of the
concrete containers surrounding each reactor - at least one of these
containers now appears to have cracked.
uranium and/or plutonium concentration was too low to be dangerous -
radiation levels around the reactor(s) are now 100,000 times normal.
could not be a "Chernobyl" - the Tokyo water supply now contains
radioactive iodine. Highly radioactive water spilled into the ocean off
a tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant Saturday, April 2. AP - Workers used a milky white dye Monday (April 4, 2011) as they frantically tried to
trace the path of highly radioactive water gushing near Japan's
tsunami-damaged nuclear plant and seeping into the ocean. On April 12, Japan raised its nuclear accident rating to 7, the highest number on the scale.
US Deficit is now
projected to be at least $1.5 trillion for FY2011. The compromise to avoid a federal government shutdown saves less money
than was borrowed during the debate on the Bill. Thus far, there have
been no serious
visible discussions about substantially lowering spending, particularly
with respect to entitlement programs. The next political battle (as of
April 12, 2011) is raising the Debt Ceiling, so that the US can continue to borrow more money (Why do I have a picture in my mind of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning?). Individual US States are
beginning to see their deficits substantially increase as the one-time
effect of the Economic Stimulus Program begins to disappear.
Debt ceiling — The U.S. government is about to max out its credit,
prompting a likely vote in Congress to raise the debt ceiling, now set
at more than $14 trillion. Several recent national polls find that the
public is resistant to extending more credit but aware that not doing so
could have great consequences. In a Gallup Poll
last week, a 47 percent plurality would want their member of Congress
to vote against raising the debt ceiling, compared with 19 percent who
would favor it and 34 percent unsure.
A CNN poll
from early May provided more detail in its question about the debt
ceiling than did Gallup. It found more people in opposition than in
favor of raising it, 60 to 37 percent, with fewer undecided than Gallup.
Both polls found wide partisan gaps; at least seven in 10 Republicans
reject expanding it, while Democrats favor it in a more narrow way.
Independents reject it in both polls, though not as widely as do
Despite the desire not to raise the debt ceiling, the public sees
potential problems if that is not done. In the CNN poll, 58 percent say
there would be a crisis or major problems if it isn’t raised. A similar
56 percent said not raising it would be “disastrous to the U.S.
economy,” in a new Battleground poll from George Washington University and Politico.
are witnessing the exponential
phenomena of low birth rates and, therefore, fewer workers to pay for
social programs in Europe, resulting in efforts by governments to
increase the retirement age. This has been coupled with high birth
rates, and, therefore, more young people looking for work, and
inadequate economic growth to create enough jobs in Africa and the
Middle East, resulting in unacceptably high rates of unemployment. Do
not underestimate the unfortunate opportunity this presents for the
shameless manipulation of desperate populations. Recall what has
happened in Iran since the abdication of the Shah in 1979.
visible evidence of recent events is US Republican and Democratic
rhetoric about the impact of a possible shut-down of the government and raising the debt-ceiling, the
confrontation between the Governor and the teachers' union (and some
national unions) in Wisconsin (and now across the United States) over
balancing the state budget by restricting collective bargaining and by
increasing teacher contribution rates to
their medical and pension benefits (still below contribution rates in
the powder-kegs of riots/ protest demonstrations in Greece, Spain,
Ireland, France, and the UK in Europe (and now in London and even in
the United States), as well as riots/ civil wars/protest demonstrations
Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Libya, Albania, Morocco, Syria,
Iran in Africa and the Middle East, along with the
ubiquitous emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
All of us have watched
the peaceful demonstrations of the Egyptian people, using CIC to
communicate with the world (many of the signs in English so we could
read them when they were reported on TV), causing Hosni Mubarak to
resign after 18
days. As of March, 2011 all of us are watching what is happening in
Libya. My own view is that the present Libyan regime will fall but
time will tell. This evidence of recent events is the subject of Chapters 9, 13, 15,
and 16 on the US
National Debt, Entitlement Programs, Demographics, and Immigration.
many of us are thinking it is the 15th day and we still have "plenty of
time"? ... Are you? In my opinion, we are now well past the 15th
day and close to one or more significant 29th days. By the way, keep an
eye on the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and Saudi Arabia (they are not immune to this upheaval); also on
South Africa, with 27% unemployment in the cities and 60% in rural
areas (Its annual economic growth rate of about 3% can handle
population growth but will not reduce unemployment, particularly with
more and more rural workers moving into the cities); also on the
embryonic development of a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine
Revolution" in China, with only a handful of people, at this point,
joining protests apparently modeled on the pro-democracy demonstrations
sweeping the Middle East. I
will also mention
the exponential tragedy of AIDS, particularly in Africa. What an example of real people living through their worst
nightmare. This horrible disease will change Africa dramatically
the supply side of things, keep an eye on the drought threat to
China's 2011 wheat
production, food shortages, as well as the impact of rising world food
and oil prices, and emerging efforts by countries to nationalize
their water supply. If you haven't heard about Peak Oil, which is the point where oil demand outstrips oil supply, you should
check it out. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil. Also, you might want to think about the consequences of
excessive population growth in any species, including us. Limiting
Factors are appearing on the horizon in all of these areas.
I'm right about CIC, then creative solutions will begin to surface, not
directly from governments, but from individuals. Egypt is one example
of CIC's exponential power. These solutions are somewhat uncontrollable
but definitely dramatic in reshaping the future. CIC can be used for
good or for ill. My pitch is to encourage those people in favor of
Liberty to examine their Core Values and to speak out now so that they
have a say in the direction of our future. To paraphrase
Jefferson, "The only thing evil requires to triumph is for good people
to say or do nothing".
future is being redirected right now. And in
this new exponential world, individuals will make the difference. The
punch line is that we do not have as much time to do so as we may
think. My hope is that individuals with creative solutions and the
courage of their convictions will use CIC to make themselves known and
stand. Who knows, you might be one of them. What gives CIC its power to
redirect the future is when thousands and even millions of us use CIC
stand with them and show our support. This is what just happened, for
example, in Egypt.
If your political representative, or someone in your neighborhood, or your school, or your church, or on TV, says or does
something with which you agree, then tell them, send an email of support, go to a
rally, tell your friends. Email or talk to people about your own suggestions. As important, is what William Penn said, "I
expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any
kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being,
let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this
way again." If enough of us
do it, we will be using CIC to redirect the future. Don't wait to do it 'someday'. Be like Nike, 'Just do it!'. I believe it is guaranteed that you will feel a sense of Personal Power ... that you will be redirecting the future.
Speaking of redirecting the future, all of us heard that on May 1, 2011 Osama Bin Laden, the head of the snake, was killed in Pakistan by the CIA/Navy Seals, and then buried at sea. This suggests that, for a brief time, Al Qaeda will be vulnerable. If we were to couple Osama Bin Laden's demise with
the Freedom Movement in the Middle East and Africa, is there a moment of opportunity which can be framed by the following question: "If
the people of the Middle East, particularly the young people, really want
Freedom, can the United States work with them to ensure that Al
Qaeda's time has come ... and gone?" At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to abandon linear thinking which is about using coercion and "the art of fighting by fighting" and learn how to
think exponentially which is about using incentives to match enlightened self-interest and "the art of fighting without fighting" if we want to avoid another 29th day. And, of course, we would have to be quick!
warned! There are those who will try to persuade you not to think
exponentially. They will say it is silly, meaningless, unnecessary,
gibberish. They are the same ones who will try to control the Internet,
to prevent you from using CIC, to prevent you from gaining personal
power. They practice CI rather than CIC. As you might expect, CI
stands for Creativity and Information but drops Communication. The
power base of CI is information hoarding (concentration of power)
versus CIC's power base of information distributing (distribution of
power). This is the subject of Chapter 2. These two power bases
are clashing right now. Here are two of many examples. Did Americans
(CIC) agree with the way the Government (CI) handled Health Care
Reform? Do most Politicians (CI) like the Tea Party Movement (CIC)?
how the Chinese and Iranian Governments (CI) have been trying to
control the Internet already. Have you noticed anybody talking about
controlling the Internet in the US? You should be listening very
carefully. It is in their best interest to do so because they want to
Here is the kicker
if you are willing to do this. The catalyst for changing the future,
for changing the world, is you, and millions and millions of ordinary
people just like you. Because this is the way you can gain personal
power and then use it. All you will need is desire, a personal
computer, access to the internet ... and an open mind. I'm not
going to kid you. This will not be a walk in the park. It will take
focus, effort, determination, boldness, and a willingness to consider
new ideas. Some of you, perhaps many of you, will decide it is not
worth it, or perhaps that I am just whistling in the wind. But I do
invite you most urgently, "Join with me!" And I say to you as
passionately as I can, "Don't let someone else decide your future for
you, for your children!"
The hardest part is that it will take
time ... time you are using now for something else. Not the time you
are using earning a living or raising your family ... but some of the
time when you are watching TV, playing video games, reading the
newspaper, "shooting the breeze", interacting with others ... time when
you are free to do what you want. You will have to decide that
you want to do this more. Sort of like saying, "I am going to go on a
diet, I am going to start exercising." Only this time (no pun
intended), you will have to actually do it. This is the subject of
Chapter 7. Hopefully, this Chapter also will enable you to find more time. It means that you will have to decide what is most
important to you, what are your Core Values, what is your true
enlightened self-interest, what is really at stake here. These are
things we don't think about very often, certainly not often enough. But
doesn't pursuing them reflect the essence of who we are? This is the
subject of Chapter 6.
will not be easy. Most of us panic at
anything mathematical. Perhaps, we should avoid using the word
mathematical and just think of it as an idea. We may even want to call
it 21st century thinking rather than exponential thinking. To make it
easier, there are no mathematical symbols in this Book, just analogies,
stories, and examples, which even I, supposedly a mathematician, have
found to be more effective. Because the important thing is to get the
idea into your head. This is the subject of Chapter 1. Please forgive
me if at times I may sound condescending. I do not mean to but I know
the psych-out effect mathematics can have on some people. It happens to
me with art-history, biology, and yes, even sometimes, mathematics.
have all of the answers. Far from it. I am simply someone who just
wants to share ideas, so perhaps we can make some sense out of this
confusing world in which we find ourselves. I am in the process of
learning about how CIC works, and no doubt you will find places where I
haven’t got it right. I hope so. Because I am counting on your comments
and criticisms to make this Book better. But, most of all, I
am counting on you to learn about CIC and how to use it, so that
together, we can change the world.
final comment. Much of this Book is about redirecting the future
through individual Personal Power. I have mentioned four aspects of it
- how you can use it (CIC), how little time you have to use it
(Exponential Compression), whether you will use it (Character), what
you will do with it (Core Values). There is a fifth aspect of Personal
Power and I would ask you to reflect on it for a moment or two - what
is its most effective Source?
- Is it Thinking? - like Albert Einstein,
Sir Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant.
- Is it Charisma? - like Bill Clinton,
Frank Sinatra, Ronald Reagan.
- Is it Control? - like Saddam Hussein,
Joseph Stalin, Genghis Khan.
- Is it Creativity? - like Thomas Edison,
Salvador Dali, William Shakespeare.
- Is it Non-Violence? - like
Mother Theresa, Martin Luther king, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi.
- Or is it God's
love (Agape - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agape) flowing through you into the world?
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth
When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend
Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life
Dr James Allan ©
ago, the Evangelist, John Guest, said, "What is needed in the world
today more than anything else is a 'change of heart' ". I think he was
By the way, this is what I wrote in Chapter 19. "Since this Book was first published in
the autumn of 2009, only a few thousand people have read some part of
it. There are several reasons for this.
is entirely possible that nobody will ever see this Chapter, let alone
read it. I am not complaining. This is reality, particularly if my
ideas about CIC are not valid. Am I disappointed? I would be if I
thought linearly, or if I wanted to be famous or powerful which I do
not. Only a few thousand people sounds insignificant. But I am a
mathematician and think exponentially. So I remember the lilypad. On
the 30th day, the lilypad covered the entire pond. Yet, on the 15th day
it covered only 0.003% of the pond. Remember? And CIC is
exponential. This may happen, as well, when you begin to use CIC. Don't be discouraged if you don't see results immediately. They will be there!
- I am not famous or powerful.
- I am not particularly a good writer.
- The subject is complicated and abstract.
- There is an enormous amount of "background noise" of information,
stories, etc. created by the internet, TV, and other
communication outlets, that is, by CIC.
- Most people are overloaded with other concerns.
Remember what I said in Chapter 4
about focusing on what is important,
which, in this case, is the
widespread understanding and use of CIC to create exponential solutions
to our 21st century exponential problems, and redirect the future ... our future. I am counting on some of the
few thousand people who have read even part of this Book to mention CIC
and this Book occasionally. Perhaps a better writer than I am will
expand on these ideas. If what I have written about CIC is valid then
that should be enough. In effect, this is "the art of fighting without
fighting" and my part in this process is completed with this Book. So,
am I content simply to make this Book available to anyone who chooses
to read it? Truly, I am. This means to me that what happens now is up to you."
Right now, Exponential Power is working against us. So is Concentrated Power. We need to change that ... and we need to be quick! The CIC-Revolution has begun.
summary, this Book is about whether or not we can/will redirect the future by learning about CIC and Risk, implementing exponential solutions, and avoiding the 29th day(s)
which will trigger a centuries-long transformation of our future. As I
said at the end of Chapter 19, "Wait! ... Did you hear that faint
sound ... It is the sound of Freedom ringing ... Will you answer its
We don't have a lot of time. Remember the lily pad. Whether we like it or not ... the exponential clock is ticking.
tick ... tick ... tick.
For the moment, the choice is still ours. The price-tag is our future.
George L Berry, Actuary
1. Thanks to my wife, Margot, for a better idea with her practical suggestions about the use of down-to-earth language.
2. Thanks to Pete Berry (my son and editor, also an actuary), for a better idea about Complex
Adaptive Systems. It appears in Chapter 2, and eventually will be a
separate Chapter 3.
3. Thanks to Cliff Swartz for a better idea. It appears in Chapter 8, CIC and the Lottery, Appendix 1, as number 6.
Thanks to LifeIsGoodStill for better ideas. They appear as Chapter 7,
CIC and the Family, and in Chapter 10, CIC and Health Care.
to Richard Pellek for a better idea. It appears in the Forward. To
quote part of my response to his email, "What you have made me realize,
and I thank you for it, is that I have not clarified your second point
enough, that is, "Exponentials can be demonstrated
mathematically, and they make sense to use them if there are no
limiting factors, but there are always limiting factors."
6. Thanks to Sally and Ross Wilson for a better idea. Their comments have helped to clarify the Forward.
Thanks to my son, George, (also an actuary), for a better idea commenting
about the supply side of things, which appears in the Forward.
Thanks to Dan McCarthy, (also an actuary, and one of my partners at
Milliman, Inc.), for a better idea with comments he made years ago (before his untimely death)
about duty and responsibility. Their influence appears throughout this
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single
Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) President of the United States
Confucius (551BC - 479BC) Chinese philosopher
They say that there is only one thing worse than being poor,
and that is being rich ... and then poor.
They were mistaken. There is something that is far worse ...
... it is not being Free.
We thought we were living in a stable, non-accelerating Linear world.
We are not.
We are living in an unstable, accelerating
Now, in the 21st century, for the first time in history, ...
this changes everything,
BECAUSE ... Computers and the Internet have unleashed a powerful Exponential Force.
This Force, which I call CIC(kick), has had three effects:
1. CIC transfers power from institutions to individuals.
(e.g. the CIC-using Tea Party Movement)
So now, individuals can use CIC, and have a very big say ...
2. CIC speeds up the rate of change ... exponentially.
So now, traditional solutions, which are Linear, are too slow ...
(e.g. the 2009 US Economic Stimulus)
CIC can be used to create Exponential Solutions
for 21st century Exponential Problems.
3. Risk, which is a Change Accelerator, is now accelerating CIC-activated
(e.g. the September, 2008 Financial Crisis)
So now, we must consider Risk carefully ... instead of ignoring it.
This Book also addresses questions like
- Why Citizens feel so disconnected from Government.
- Why there was a 2008 Financial Crisis.
- Why the 2009 Economic Stimulus didn't work.
- Why the US/Mexican Border has not been secured.
- Why the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill happened.
- What is really happening in the Middle East.
- Where we will be in 10 years … in 50 years.
- The Mother of all 29th days ... where are we headed ... and with whom?
- What we can do about what is
Probability and Risk work like this:
0% is ABSOLUTELY NO
100% is ABSOLUTELY YES
1% up to 99% is INCREASINGLY MAYBE
so, for example, 10% is a weak maybe, and 90% is a strong maybe
is about how you and I can change the future ... really change the
future ... for the better. All you will need is desire, a personal
computer, and access to the internet. In the 21st century, for the first time in history, we are living in a
drastically different world. It is filled with visible "exponential" or rapidly accelerating problems, which require
"exponential" or rapidly accelerating solutions. Instead, we are attempting to solve these problems with
"linear" or non-accelerating solutions … and they are just too slow.
For almost twenty years, I was a consulting actuary, Fellow
of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and Member of the American
Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), in
health care financing with the international consulting firm, Milliman, Inc. Actuaries are not very well known. That may be because they
do not have the most dynamic personalities in the world. My wife just told me
she actually saw this in a book she is reading, "Aargh. I look so boring.
Like an actuary or something. I need ...something else."
source: "Remember Me", by Sophie KinsellaMy clients included most of the US Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Plans, including their share of the Federal Employee Health
Benefit Program (FEHBP), many Commercial Health Insurers, a very
large Health &Welfare Plan, and a variety of other clients.
I worked with them because they were
the organizations that did the health care financing. Early in my career, I testified before a Congressional
Sub-Committee, and later, a number of State Government Committees, and at a
large number of State Insurance Department Hearings. I did a lot of public speaking ,,,
everywhere, to try and share, in plain language, what I thought was right about
health care financing, and what I thought was wrong with it.
In 1993, I discovered CIC(kick)… in
2009, after personal computers and the internet had been well established, I
found a practical use for it. CIC is what I call the force which has been unleashed by the
widespread use of personal computers and the internet. It is the reason why so
many things seem to have sped up, why so many :solutions
seem just too slow. The letters of CIC represent the combined "exponential" force of Creativity, Information, and Communication. You have seen it…. You just don’t
call it CIC. CIC
can be used everywhere. I am thinking, for example, of the young lady,
who made a video, went on YouTube, and successfully got her credit card
interest rate changed back to 12.99%, from 30%. That was CIC at work. I
am thinking of what US Secretary of the Treasury Paulson did to avert a
financial crisis. That was CIC at work, too. Because of CIC, power in the world is being rapidly
transferred from institutions to individuals, to people like you. If we gain an
understanding of CIC, and how it works, I believe it will give us, as
individuals, the tools we need to change things … in a very big way.
- Chapters 1 and 2 explain the 29th day, what CIC
is, and how it works.
- Chapters 3-11, are real-life examples of how it can be applied, to
show how it can offer a way to "exponential", rather than "linear", solutions.
- Chapters 12-18 look at the global and economic effects of CIC and exponential power.
- Chapter 19 looks at the Future ... and the Mother of all 29th days.
- Chapter 20 is the Conclusion of the Book.
This book uses pictures, analogies, and stories, rather than mathematical symbols, to explain
some mathematical ideas, like “linear”, and “exponential”,
because the important thing is to get the idea into your head, rather than the
mathematical symbol for it. I don’t have all of the answers. Far from it.
I am just learning about how CIC works, and you will no doubt find places where
I haven’t got it right. I hope so. Because I am
counting on your comments and criticisms to make this book better.
But, most of all, I am counting on you to learn about CIC,
and how to use it …so that together, we can change the world. As we approach the 29th
day, the exponential clock is ticking.
tick … tick…
you would like to read the rest of this book, you can purchase the
E-Book or the Paperback Version online.