Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Karma and the Laws of Scaling

"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have." - America

SIDENOTE: I did get the role of the Wizard of Oz in the local production. I now need a balloon in case I need to make a fast escape. Oh my. I am a confirmed humbug and typecast.

Technologies that scale do so because they are not meaningful. The more you have to control a technology, the less likely it is to scale because power is the hardest item to scale effectively. At least, directly. It is a good idea to understand the difference between alternating and direct current. Do you want to send one amp at a million volts or one volt at a million amps? It depends on how far you want to transmit and just how thick a wire you can afford. What you gain in direct effect, you lose in heat. By metaphor, if you want to fix a person, it may be better to use a lot of little jolts to change their mind because one big one could burn them and you and likely will destroy the connection. After that, you are powerless.

I was reading a post by someone tempted to use their blog in attack mode. I don't know any specifics, but it seems to be a way of saying, "You've been bad. I'm popular, my blog is popular, people will agree with me and if I badBlog your reputation, your value will decrease." It reminded me of the conversation I was having with my ten year old daughter last weekend. It seems she and some of her friends are having a problem because they all gossip about each other. She asked what she could do to fix it.

I told her to apologize if she had said anything bad or false, but otherwise to withdraw. I told her that what she was after was power over others, but that my experience is that if one tries for that, one creates a lot of karma and that karma IS power, but it alternates acts or it destroys in a single act. The more one does to others, the more karma one accrues, and because the act done can't be undone, the more karma one has, the less power one has. Do as done unto, but be sure the game has a reward one values. The act is the surest expression of a value, but so is the choice to act or not act. The recurions make her crazy but she got the point.

After many mistakes and much karma, the one thing I've discovered is the futility of attempting to fix others. One can alter their behavior of course, but that fixes little in the cognitive realm. If as the old humbug tells the tin man that "a heart is not judged by how well it loves but by how well it is loved by others", one has to ask if the act of fixing others ever gains one a scintilla of admiration, or just fear? Fear has its place, but again in my experience, fear is an irritant one seeks to do without. One might frighten another once, but can one keep it up?

In the long run, I find fear to be the least powerful motivation. I find excitement and anticipation of pleasure to be far more powerful. Even then, karma is neutral. I've seen drug dealers with very pleasant personalities control entire universities the way a teacher controls an entire classroom of preschoolers with candy. It is the means that do matter for control is the same however it is obtained. But fear will make the mammal retributive and when the authority is relaxed, when the back is turned, or when through age or lack of practice that authority relaxes that fear making habit, the results are always the same and retributive. I blogged this concept under "The Value of Values".

Life and death, these are reasons for the destructive act, and even then, such acts exact a very high price. Wars are never right even when necessary and as my Father taught me, if you must use the weapon, use it, don't show it, and then with speed and precision because the one against whom it is used may be capable of taking it away from you and then will most certainly use it on you. Fast feet are a better means unless the weapon is in your face. Even then, it is better to take it from them and use it as you will.

Otherwise, as I taught my daughter, as my Father taught me: a dog that will bring a bone will take a bone. If you don't want to feast on bones or be feasted on, go home and do something you enjoy in the privacy of your own backyard. Those that love you will seek you out; those that don't have no lasting value. Karma is like XML: it doesn't care. So you have to.


See. It just doesn't work. Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man.

1 comment:

Mike Dierken said...

You could also take a look at 'Queen Bees and Wannabes' - it's a great book that talks about cliques and social pressures that young girls are put through. It's helped understand stress and issues with our daughter's school and classmates.

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