The Transpantaneira Highway, Brazil, 2006
My whole blog really is summarized in one line: “As we relate, so we think.” If we fill our lives with irrational, belief-based relationships, then that will be the way we think — belief-based, and ignoring the world around us. If we fill our lives with rational, trust-based, data-driven relationships, then that will be the way our brains operate — taking in the varied nuances of existence, and connecting to the people around us. And here’s the wild thing — our brain, being mostly a software engine, will use those same meta-formats to solve other problems. Bottom line — the best thing you can do to increase your ability to handle complex problems OUTSIDE the human space is to practice inside your human relationships.
Neuroscience research is slowly catching up — Matt Lieberman’s book ‘Social’ basically confirms (albeit in a fragmented fashion) my fundamental hypothesis. My work exists at, and reaches far above the micro-neuroscience level, into larger systemic social organization.
How all this manifests turns out to be a wild ride.
Who am I? I am a professor of engineering at Washington State University in Pullman (think the location equivalent of Tatooine,) a world traveler (38 different countries,) a father of two teenage boys, and a husband. I attempt to be a servant of humanity. I used to be a Class V kayaker, but now need to practice my roll or I’m gonna kill himself.
I also have started to realize that not telling people I have actual professional experience on this page may hurt my chances of people reading my stuff. So here goes: I am a published professor in the field of design theory and high performance work teams. I run a large Design Clinic with over 500 successfully completed tech. projects. I’ve worked on organizing sustainability education in Europe. And I’m also one of the second-wave pioneers in understanding nonlinear dynamics and complex system theory. I was one of the folks who figured out how chaos and fractals relate to each other. I have an extensive background in environmental policy, and was a leading roadless area preservation activist about twenty years ago, with experience up and down the governmental food chain. And I’m also a leading edge thinker in experiential education. I’ve also been on the fronts of the COVID policy wars, and understanding how different social structures reacted to the existence of the virus, and attempted to co-opt the pandemic for their own ends. These are status-based assertions that may lead you to read more of my stuff — but I’d really be happier if you figured out whether the arguments themselves make sense. 🙂
I took most of the pictures that appear on this blog. I’ll try to be good and give credit when that’s not true.
For those that want to contact me, best to use my chuckpezeshki at gmail.com address. One of the things that’s interesting is that this blog has a modest, but daily world-wide readership. Not surprisingly most of the readers are in the U.S. But I do know this is true, because WordPress gives stats and locations (no names or addresses). On any given day, there are people from Australia to South Africa, Finland to Austria, Mexico and Brazil that read this blog. After seven years, we’re up to somewhere north of 300KK page hits. The reason I’m writing this is I’d like to hear from you. Send me an e-mail with what you think. I’m continually working on making this blog more comprehensible, but I can’t do it without feedback. So drop me a note.
I’m also on Twitter (far too much.) You can DM me there or follow my feed. @PezeshkiCharles
11 thoughts on “About”
Read the “Fundamental Set of Knowledge Structures”; I like the possibilities that suggest themselves even before I can clearly set those down.
Thanks for chatting with me this morning. Hope you and your boys had fun!
We did, Joey — great connecting! We found our old friend Rogers at the top, and ripped it up!
Hey Chuck, good to meet you yesterday, thanks for stopping by and observing the workshop . Let’s keep in touch. All the best and talk to you soon!
Sean! Thanks for pinging me. I’ll write you a longer e-mail a little later. Super-excited about our chance meeting. Theater and improv. are gateways to great things — some you might have thought of, some not — but with a combined ‘yes, and’, who knows what might pop out?
Hi Chuck! It has been great to follow your blog posts throughout the pandemic. It had been anxiety relieving. At some point I started to question my own sanity, because I could not understand the conformist behaviors of my friends, my family and even my significant other.
I came across an interesting paper on mass hysteria in the light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913136/ I am struggling to relate it to the theories I have read here. Seems like structures that are religious in practice and private law societies with agents focused on individualism have some sort of chilling effect on the consequences of mass hysteria. I live in egalitarian Norway, where society was very much in agreement that masks are not a good thing, yet we succumbed to the centralized news sources reporting on their purported effects in large society settings.
How do these chilling effects of lower level thinking on mass hysteria in welfare states relate to empathy structures? And how are we to ocercome the pitfalls of communitarian ways of relating? Did the lower level scaffolding disappear due to values not being passed on to this generation?
This is a great question and it’s a whole piece! Obviously cultural scaffolding helps support individual empathy when people are fearful. I think the way to ponder it is to consider the interface between that external forcing and inherent social dynamics in a system. I wrote a little about this here. https://empathy.guru/2016/05/19/the-theory-of-everything-and-multi-scale-analysis/