Readers’ Guide with Topics Groupings

Topics by Group

Since there are often Topics covered by multiple posts, I decided to use this page to place those posts in order.  Well, sort of.  I decided to a major housekeeping exercise on this page, because I realized that much of this material was likely to get lost in the blog.  Some of it’s pretty decent, but I had forgotten it.  Here’s to the ongoing excavation.

I had invented a little marking system — with asterisks indicating importance (1-5) and color indicating accessibility, with GREEN meaning easy, and RED meaning difficult/takes some time.  Examples:   *** would be moderately important, and easy to read.  ***** would be very important, but require background work and some thinking.  The reality is, that I kinda stalled out.  I may get back to rating and ranking this summer.  Since the rankings are valid on the ones I did do, I’m leaving them up, even though they are incomplete.

Posts on Fundamentals of Empathetic Connection

The posts below are all the building blocks of understanding how empathy works in social systems.  A lot of this work has showed up in my academic papers, but I’ve attempted to keep things somewhat simple. Sometimes, though, I get going.  Not very empathetic, but I’m working on it!

There is some seriously important unpublished academic work in the links below — especially in the Neurobiology of Education, Structural Memetics, and chaos/nonlinear dynamics posts.  Though it has a funny title, the Mario Kart post is key for understanding why it takes empathetic evolution to understand the deep human OS.

Two Types of Relationships  ***
External Relationships — WHAT we are ***
Independently Generated Relationships — What does Having Friends Really Mean? ***
Independently Generated vs. Externally Defined — Trust vs. Loyalty **
Back to Basics — Emergent Behavior
Back to Basics — How Individuals Think — A Simple Model ****
Back to Basics — Algorithms and Heuristics
Empathy is not Sympathy  *****
Conway’s Law — How empathy structures knowing
Models of Empathy ***
Back to Basics — Updating the Empathy Model with Conscious Empathy
Mirroring Behavior — I Yawn, You Yawn (Part 1) ***
I Yawn, You Yawn (Part 2) ***
I Feel, You Feel — Emotional Empathy ***
Rational Empathy — Part I ***
Rational Empathy (Part II) — Or Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like a Dark Shadow on your Door
Global Empathy (Part I)
The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything ****
The Meaning of the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything
The Master Equation for A Theory of Everything ****
The Theory of Everything — Multi-Scale Analysis
For New Years — Identifying and Utilizing the Legalistic v-Meme — Good Scaffolding
Embracing your Inner Performance v-Meme for New Years
Shorty Post — Article in NY Times by Nicholas Christakis
Knowledge Structures and Scaffolding — How to Fill in the Stretch Marks as you Evolve
Star Trek — Good Scaffolding, Bad Scaffolding, and Knowing it When You See It.
So How Does Empathy Synchronize Time?
Quickie Post — True Transdisciplinary Thinking –Thermodynamics and Empathy
Chaos, Complexity Theory, Empathy and Social Systems
Maxwell’s Demons, The Pirate Pugg, and the True Nature of the Internet
Mapping Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations to Empathetic Development
Quickie Post — the Difference Between Algorithms and Guiding Principles
The Neurobiology of Education and Critical Thinking — How Do We Get There?
Back to Basics — Updating the Empathy Model with Conscious Empathy
Sebastian Junger’s Tribe — Mapping the Tribal v-Meme
Making Knowledge and Uncertainty Truly Multi-Dimensional
Entropy as Empathy, and the Analogs for Social Structure and Culture
Empathy and Non-Verbal Communication — An Introduction
Empathy Lessons from the Octopus
Quickie Post — Hippocampal Tagging and Access to Larger Data Structures Inside Our Brains
What Caused the Enlightenment? And What Threatens to Unravel It?

How Does Big Data Fit into the Scheme of Empathetic Evolution? Part 1

How Does Big Data Fit into the Scheme of Empathetic Evolution? Part 2

Comparing Engineers’ and Artists’ Brains — or Brains is Brains — sort of!

Why You’ve Just Gotta Dig — or how just considering topical information is the death of meaning

HOW Facts Change Minds
Back to Basics — Mirror Neurons

Understanding our Theory of Empathetic Evolution by Observing Mario Kart
Empathetic Evolution — What’s So Hard, Really?

Quickie Posts — Wealth Inequality and Thermodynamics — Brother Jake’s Insights

Quickie Post — Remembering Things

Does the American Finance Community Really Want Greater Productivity? Or do They Just Want Folks to Be Miserable?

Quickie Post — Aliens are Not Gonna Eat Us (again)

The Wisdom of Crowds – and Empathy

Quickie Post — Brother Leachman’s Thermodynamics of Creativity

Quickie Post — More Evidence that Sentience is Evolutionary – Cetaceans Redux

How Social Structure Arises from Empathy

Contrasting a Model of Hierarchical Complexity with Evolution vs. Sophistication and Empathy

What is Structural Memetics? And Why Does it Matter? *****
What is a V-Meme? And Why does it Matter?

Quickie Super-Geek Post — Why Different Relationships have Meta-linear or Meta-nonlinear characteristics, and how we can always learn a little from single-celled organisms

Understanding Long-Scale (Geologic Time) Evolution of Empathy

Social Coherence and V-Memes

Design Theory

If you stumbled on this page through any association with my stated professional affiliation, it’s probably because I’m a design professor.  And you’ve probably heard of “design thinking”.  The reality of all design thinking is it is governed directly by Conway’s Law, which states that a design will make to the social organization that creates it.  People across the planet hand wave around what design thinking means.  Here, you get a systemic, neurogenic, and bottom-up understanding that will help you sort what other people actually mean when they’re talking about their flavor of design thinking.  As well as how to actually structure your organization to achieve the outputs you’d like to see regarding design, from buildings to airplanes, to software.

Finally Getting Around to It — An Introduction to Design Thinking ****
Algorithmic Design — Old School, little ‘D’ Design Thinking ***
Heuristic Design — New School, Big ‘D’ Design Thinking ***
Heuristic Design, v-Meme Scaffolding and Social Structure — Gotta Get Your Matryoshka Dolls Stacked Right!
Heuristic Design Processes and My Old Friends, Ulrich and Eppinger — A Man’s Got to Know his Limitations
Why Customers Matter So Much for Design — Back to Metacognitive Basics *****
Design Post — Looking at how v-Memes affect Product Design
Design Post — The Internet of Things
Design Process Evolution — Understanding OpenIDEO
Design Process Evolution — The Roadmap
Mapping Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations to Empathetic Development
Quickie Post — Say Hello to Conway’s Law and your Micro-Biome
Black Swans, Bifurcations, Solution Spaces, and Empathy
Making Sense of Sensemaking — Understanding the Emergence of Second Tier Design Methodologies from an Empathetic Evolutionary Framework
Design Thinking -> Servant Leadership Podcast
Closing the Doors on Disruptive Innovation and Bacterial Parthenogenesis

Evolution of Sentience — or “Sentience is Sentience is Sentience”

One of the things that drives me nuts is the idea that humans are somehow unique in how they think and feel.  While it is true we have a faster processor, with larger memory and more inter-agent bandwidth (fancy words for the facts that people have language) sentience and empathy is shared, in varying degrees of development by all animate creatures.  That’s why you love your dog, and your dog loves you.  Understanding this is what most of these posts are about.  As well as why space aliens won’t eat us.

Is Finer Better? And All We Need is Love — and a Little Crocodile Empathy

Intelligence is Intelligence is Intelligence, Redux — the Lesson of the Ctenophore

Quickie Post — The Agony of Tilikum, or Sentience is Sentience, no matter what the Package

Quickie Post — More Evidence that Sentience is Evolutionary – Cetaceans Redux

Quickie Post — More Fun with Cetaceans and Humans

Relational Disruption and Sentience — What Can a Bunch of Monkeys Teach Us About System Science?
Further Lessons from de Waal’s Capuchin Experiment regarding Relational Disruption

Quickie Post — Dolphins, Problem-solving and Empathy

Quickie Post — Aliens are Not Gonna Eat Us (again)

Stephen Hawking and Getting Eaten by Aliens

Empathetic Communication Strategies

Anyone that has ever taught a class and had half a lightbulb turned on in their head knows that the students in that class don’t get most of what is preached at them.  How all that works, and how to make it better is discussed, in the context of empathy and fundamental knowledge structures that all humans use below.  This work is extremely important for Artificial Intelligence, as it lays out the fundamental memetics necessary, and the steps we must pass, to build truly intelligent machines.

Empathetic Ladders and What People Can Understand — Matching Knowledge Structures for Messaging (Part I)
Empathetic Ladders and What People Can Understand — Matching Knowledge Structures for Messaging (Part II)
Empathetic Ladders and What People Can Understand — Matching Knowledge Structures for Messaging (Part III)
Shorty Post — Empathetic Ladder
What does Empathetic Criticism/Feedback Look Like?
The Death of Twitter? — how Emergent Behavior Weeds out the Non-empathetic
So How Does Empathy Synchronize Time?
Transgenerational Empathy — Adding Time, as well as Space to the Empathy Equation

Understanding Conflict in terms of Social/Relational Structure and Empathy

How conflict works, and how to avoid it, is detailed in the following posts.

Conflict — Understanding, Avoiding and Healing it — Intra- v-Meme Conflict
Conflict — Understanding, Avoiding and Healing it — Inter- v-Meme Conflict (Part I)
Conflict — Understanding, Avoiding and Healing it — Inter- v-Meme Conflict (Part II)
Conflict — Understanding, Avoiding and Healing it — Inter- v-Meme Conflict (Part III)
Evolving your People and Reducing Conflict — the Lessons of Groundhog Day (Part I)
Evolving your People and Reducing Conflict — the Lessons of Groundhog Day (Part II)
Shorty Post — Clocks, Time, and Their v-Meme Effects

Servant Leadership 2.0

In the following posts, I lay out a vision for Servant Leadership beyond Jim Collins’ version that stretches to how one manages larger, complex systems and social networks.  Read for insight on solving wicked problems.  You can’t get there without empathetic development.

Servant Leadership 2.0 — A Starting Point
Servant Leadership 2.0 — It’s coming, whether you like it or not
Servant Leadership 2.0 — some Semi-Final Thoughts
Servant Leadership 2.0 Continued — the Evolved Global Holistic Team
Design Thinking and Servant Leadership — the First in a Series
Design Thinking and Servant Leadership — Part II — Understanding the Legalistic Transition
Design Thinking and Servant Leadership — Part III — Trust-Based Relationships and Leadership Acceleration
Combining Servant Leadership 2.0, Empathy, and Design Heuristics in High Performance Teams
Empathetic Leadership – the Road Map

Empathy Disorders/High Conflict People/Relational Disruption/The Dark Side (all posts — ****)

Many of the problems we face in the world are due to people that suffer from a lack of empathy, or are actively anti-empathetic.  The posts below walk through how this looks from a system/social network perspective.

Introducing The Dark Side — What Happens with a Lack of Empathy?
Understanding the Anti-Empathetic on an Individual Structural Basis
Relational Disruption in Organizations
Anti-Empathetic Leadership on the Dark Side — the Big Three
The Joker — or How did Christopher Nolan Figure it All Out? — Part I
The Joker, Part II — Three Primary Strategies
Wrapping up the Anti-Empathetic — Don’t be the Batman
Quickie Post — Gaslighting Perspectives from my Psychologist/Author Wife
Shorty Post –Nothing New Under the Sun — the OSS Simple Sabotage Field Manual
Against Empathy — Really?
Quickie Post — Bill Nye and the Perils of Responding to High Conflict Systems
Is Trump The Mule? Insights from Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy
What To Do (or Meta-Do) About Trump
Relational Disruption and Sentience — What Can a Bunch of Monkeys Teach Us About System Science?
Further Lessons from de Waal’s Capuchin Experiment regarding Relational Disruption
Quickie Post — Donald Trump, Reflective Personalities and Their Pathologies

How Health Care Deprivation and the Consequences of Poor Diet is Feeding Contemporary Authoritarianism – The Trump ACA Debacle

Quickie Post — the Not-so-Hidden Cost of the Empathy-Disordered in Social Networks

Understanding Weight Loss by Understanding Socially Imposed Beliefs and v-Memes

A couple of years, I lost 60 lbs. at the prompting of my primary collaborator to fix my diet.  These posts chronicle that journey, as well as understanding why our understanding of nutrition is fundamentally broken, and why the U.S. is not only physically dying rapidly, but also how this connects to the psycho-social profile of the nation.  As more and more experts agree, as we eat, so we think, in not-so-subtle and connected ways.

Weight Loss — it’s in the V-Memes
Weight Loss — It’s in the v-Memes (II)
Weight Loss by the V-Memes — (III) What’s the v-Meme stack look like?
Weight Loss by the V-Memes (IV) or Channeling your Inner Australopithecine
Weight Loss by the v-Memes (V) – Cutting out Sugar — The Big Psycho-Social-Environmental Picture
The Case Against Sugar — a True Psychodynamic Meta-Review
Quickie Post — Understanding the Dynamics of Cancer Requires a Social Structure that can Create Cellular Dynamics

Quickie Post — the Trans-Cultural Diabolical Power of Sugar

Donald Trump Posts

I’ve grouped these posts together so people can easily find them.  Donald Trump is a classic relational disruptor, and likely a narcissistic psychopath. We are getting a big lesson on how relational disruption in social networks, as well as the subsequent problems, and potential opportunities.

What To Do (or Meta-Do) About Trump

Is Trump The Mule? Insights from Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy

Donald Trump and Alternate Facts

Donald Trump and Modern Authoritarian Systems

Quickie Post — Donald Trump, Reflective Personalities and Their Pathologies

How Health Care Deprivation and the Consequences of Poor Diet is Feeding Contemporary Authoritarianism – The Trump ACA Debacle

Applications of the Theory for Contemporary Situations

Below is a group of articles all written about understanding how our Theory of Empathetic Evolution works in real-world settings.  Of particular interest is the neurogenic take on diversity.  Short answer?  We need it.

ISIS, the Paris Attacks, the Structure of Religion, and Psychopathic Devolution
Understanding the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Shootings — Empathy Disorders and the Effects of Societal Racism (Part I)
Understanding the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Shootings — Empathy Disorders and the Effects of Societal Racism (Part II)
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Tragedy — the Short Version
The Passion of Nicholas Christakis
Shorty Post –China, Social Structure and Building Airplanes ****
Newsy Post — Shell’s Cancellation of Arctic Exploration and the Future of Energy
What are the Implications of Bad Scaffolding? China and the Last 100 years.
We Interrupt our Regularly Scheduled Programming to talk about Diversity and Empathy
Culture and Empathy — Sidebars, or Why the Two Lovers in a Chinese Movie have to Die **
What does Star Wars – The Force Awakens Tell us about Ourselves? **
Understanding Sexual Harassment — or Why This Stuff I Write About is Useful
Societal Post — How Access and Acceptance of Higher v-Memes Affect Student Success
Quickie Post — How we Train Medical Interns, or Why Information Coherence and Empathy are Literally Life-or-Death Issues
Newsy Post — Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Standoff — What If They Had a War and Nobody Came?
Shorty Post — Kaizen Events
David Byrne, Nokia, and how Self-Referential Systems are Doomed for Collapse
Political Post — Sanders, Clinton, Trump and Cruz, Oh My!
Super-Shorty Post — Prosperity Gospel Preacher Endorses Trump
Retaining Millenials — Lessons from Georgia Tech’s Invention Studio
Quickie Post — A Look Inside Amish Culture
The Difference Between Male and Female Brains
Quickie Funny Post for the Day — Five Minute Psychotherapy
Brain Candy Master Class — Why Leia Didn’t Hug Chewy at the End of the Force Awakens
Quickie Post — Dolphins, Problem-solving and Empathy
More Boeing Blues — Or What’s the Long Game of Moving the Bosses Away from the People
Transgenerational Empathy — Adding Time, as well as Space to the Empathy Equation
Stephen Hawking and Getting Eaten by Aliens
Sunday Morning Meditation — The Power of Empathy to Heal Trauma and Create Love
FBI Negotiators Use Empathy — Andy Raskin on Applications
Sanders’ Former Supporters as Libertarians?  Why is this a Surprise?
Quickie Post — Bill Nye and the Perils of Responding to High Conflict Systems
Quickie Post — Zootopia
Quickie Post — Bill Nye, and The Perils of Responding to High Conflict Systems
Sanders’ Former Supporters as Libertarians? Why is this a Surprise?
FBI Negotiators Use Empathy — Andy Raskin on Applications
Movie Post — Look Who’s Back (Er Ist Wieder Da)
Quickie Post — The Agony of Tilikum, or Sentience is Sentience, no matter what the Package
It’s a Wonderful Life — Midwinter Thoughts
Quickie Post — More Data on the Economic Power of Higher v-Memes
What To Do (or Meta-Do) About Trump
Is Trump The Mule? Insights from Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy
Learning Language — or Why Understanding the Neurobiology of Education Matters for Educational Reform
Toward an Information Commons — Moving Education Toward Larger Connectivity and Empathy
Quickie Post — Community Skis
Quickie Post — Jake’s Safety Post on Hydrogen.WSU.edu

Requiem for a True Evolutionary – Hans Rosling

Comparing Engineers’ and Artists’ Brains — or Brains is Brains — sort of!

Guiding Principle Thinking vs. Systems Thinking — an Example — African-American, Urban Mothers, and the Crisis in Infant Mortality

Aerospace Mega-Trends — It All Comes Down to Information Flow and Empathy
Quickie Post — More Lower v-Meme Additive Aircraft Manufacture in China

Donald Trump and Alternate Facts

Donald Trump and Modern Authoritarian Systems

Quickie Post — United vs. Delta, and the Power of Personal Agency

Quickie Post — March for Science

Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich — What it Means in Terms of Social Structure and Performance
Quickie Post — Reading the Energy Tea Leaves/Media One More Time

What Does it Mean to be Global Holistic? Sherman Alexie and His Very Long Day

Intelligence is Intelligence is Intelligence, Redux — the Lesson of the Ctenophore

Quickie Post — More Evidence that Sentience is Evolutionary – Cetaceans Redux

Quickie Post — More Fun with Cetaceans and Humans

Decision-Making in the New Year – Triple D-VRP

Getting to Your Happy Place — Empathy, Design, Friendship, and Emojis

Empathy, Longevity, and the Future of our Society

Quickie Post — Just because the question of empathetic cetacean intelligence is really dead, doesn’t mean you can’t beat it…

Finding a Cure for Cancer — or Why Physicists May Have the Upper Hand

The 36 Stratagems — or How Low Empathy is no Real Strategy in Today’s World
There are No Such Things as ‘Generations’ — or are there?

Quickie Post — The Silk Road

The Lighter Dark Side of Humor and Empathy — Anthony Jeselnik

Empathy and Child-Rearing — Lessons from my life, and the movie The Incredibles

More Empathy and Child-Rearing, with Some Help from Franz Kafka

Quickie Post — the Lighter Side of Authoritarianism, demonstrated by Goby Fish

Social Coherence and V-Memes

Quickie Post — What does being a full professor really mean?

Creating a We for an Evolving World – Empathetic Leadership Book – Refactor – and the First of Two Introductory Posts

Memes are Persistent — Covington Catholic High vs. the Hebrew Israelites

Tales from the South Pacific — Empathy and Integration Lessons from West Papua, Indonesia

Quickie Post — On the (Kinda) Lighter Side — Nina Hartley and Free Speech

I’m Not the Only Person Interested in Conway’s Law

Principle of Reinforcement

The Principle of Reinforcement is a gateway for understanding the principle of self-similarity between society and the individual.  We all matter in shaping the whole, though obviously in varying degrees.

The Principle of Reinforcement — SD and Society
The Principle of Reinforcement — Continued (II)
The Principle of Reinforcement (III)
The Good Side of the Principle of Reinforcement
Using the Principle of Reinforcement for Evolving Empathetic Teams (I)
Using the Principle of Reinforcement for Evolving Empathetic Teams (II)
Of Trees, Social Networks and Our Own Brain Wiring — How to Create Triple Resonant Strategies for Product and Process Success

Organizational Change

The articles below are vital for understanding both HOW to change your company, as well as what obstacles are for evolution of your organization.

Managing Proactive Change Inside Your Company — Sophistication vs. Evolution *****
McDonald’s and Another Major Paradigm — Reliability vs. Validity ****
Quickie Post — A Great Platform for Understanding Evolutionary Business Perspectives
The Master Equation for A Theory of Everything
Relational Disruption in Organizations
Elephants, Rhinos, UAVs and Interdisciplinary Teams — Does Any of this Empathy Stuff Really Matter?
Rat Park — Implications for High-Productivity Environments — Part I
Rat Park — Implications for High-Productivity Environments — Part II
Interlude — Addiction as an Elephant Wrapped in Spaghetti, and Dopamine Transfer Explained by a Dummy
Quickie Post – A Sober Utopia
Emergent Behavior in a Microcosm — Poka-Yoke
Design Process Evolution — The Roadmap
Retaining Millenials — Lessons from Georgia Tech’s Invention Studio
The Wise Organization — What Is It?
The Big Picture — Organizational Change From the Inside
Metacognition, Self Awareness, and Knowing Your Limitations
Why Customers Matter So Much for Design — Back to Metacognitive Basics
How We Know what We Don’t Know — Relating Empathetic Evolution with Metacognition
How What You Think About God Can Tell You Who You’re Picking as Your Business Advisor
Reliability, Validity, and Metacognition — Why Young People Don’t Know what Kodachrome Is
New Year’s Reflection — Dunning-Kruger and Confirmation Bias
Trauma, Epigenetic Change, and Empathetic Development — A Speculative Meditation
David Byrne, Nokia, and how Self-Referential Systems are Doomed for Collapse
The Wise Organization — What Is It?
Back to Basics — Empathy, Metacognition, and Managing Uncertainty
Stephen Hawking and Getting Eaten by Aliens

Understanding Empathetic Connection in Relationship with Other Business Theorists and Gurus

I occasionally write about others’ work.  There is an entire scripted literature on what business books should look like.  Below are some of my takes on the various authors.  Also included in the list is work by people in neuroscience.

What is the Sixth Discipline? Looking Back at Senge and Systems Thinking
The Beer Game, the Power of Empathetic Thinking, and the 787
How What You Think About God Can Tell You Who You’re Picking as Your Business Advisor
McDonalds and Another Major Paradigm — Reliability vs. Validity
The Wise Organization — What Is It?
The Neurobiology of Education and Critical Thinking — How Do We Get There?
Quickie Post — Seth Godin’s Real Skills, and Ways off Intellectual Flatland