When we inaugurated this website in 2018, our paramount purpose was to restore the health of the workforce suffering under the tyranny of organizational dysfunction (OD). Improving workforce health requires first elevating the health of the front line leader (FLL), aka the man-in-the-middle (MitM). We knew from experience with this remarkable slice of hierarchical society that the FLL’s would assimilate the essential sociotechnical knowledge, regain their health, and apply the knowledge of flourishing to their revenue crew. MitMs are the only people in the hierarchy that have no social status to lose. Social status by granted authority is harmful to your health, even after you attain it, because gaining authority by opinion is an open invitation to the imposter syndrome. All authorities know they are frauds when it comes to delivering good things into human society.
Three dimensions of the original view have changed.
- The plague of organizational dysfunction has spread in scope and severity.
- The debilitating health issue of the FLL has spread further into the general public.
- An important portion of the fix for the FLL has proven to be effective for improving the health for people in general. Psychological stress relief has many benefits to physical health.
The COVID pandemic and the abrupt freefall of the USA, from flourishing to languishing, from healthy to unhealthy, have greatly increased public anxiety and insecurity. The thoroughly corrupt governments running things today are unable to fix themselves because high authority anywhere has never been able to fix itself. As you have recently experienced, a flourishing society can be killed in one stroke on autopilot. Building a flourishing society requires several intelligently-made changes in concert that are far more time-consuming to arrange.
The psychological and physical health of the general population is adversely affected by the chronic anxiety and insecurity intentionally infused by a fearmongering Establishment. Creating fear in their employees, as the COVID scenario examples, is how governments can afford to languish in corruption. Reversing the deleterious impact that languishing has on health has been and is the paramount objective of our work. Seeing health restored by participation in the flourishing social condition is the peak experience of our life’s work.
In the state of flourish, you:
- Have energy, mental fitness
- Connectedness to life, relationships, and your life goals
- Confidence in handling setbacks and disturbances, whenever, whatever, futureproof
The fix for the languishing FLL, first implemented in 2013, is demonstrably effective for improving the wellbeing and security issues caused by class-based exploitation, for anyone open to learning and change. The great damage to population wellbeing caused by corrupt authoritarianism is due to deliberate ignorance about the mechanisms of social action, business as usual coupled with an ingrained aversion to cognitive effort. Everything in this languishing/flourishing domain of existence is psychological. For those who wish to improve their lot in these precarious times, the website is a bonanza. For others, busy scrapping over entitlements, no hope can be offered. Any suggestions?
The first three galleries of the banner menu are Homo-generic. The other galleries are targeted as indicated. Revising the website to reflect our research into the significant factors of flourishing hierarchical behavior is a work in progress. We are regularly surprised when we silence-break on otherwise undiscussable issues, the ones that matter to your health.
The most significant adage of the flourishing life is the demonstrable fact that the blind spots of authoritarian society are implanted in the Big issues. We have stumbled over several fundamental knowledge areas that are deliberately kept incomplete and incoherent to society at large. For instance, the official definitions of keywords, like safety, trust, wellbeing, and intelligence, are inconsistent and unworkable in the operational reality. The fundamental concepts of cause/effect that everyone uses all day every day in choice-making, as another example of social conditioning as authorized by the Establishment, has been over-defined in the simple end of its spectrum and avoided altogether in the complex end – where all the dominant, critical issues of your life reside.
One takeaway from our considerable silence-breaking experience is to first examine and evaluate the keywords in every goal-seeking endeavor. Find those keywords that you took for granted as long-settled business, with authoritative mumbo jumbo for definitions, no two the same. Doing so identifies why the problems of social unrest persist unsolved. Had you silence-breaked to your professors, you’d be escorted to the student parking lot. Since it works in the same way in polite society, you can test the hypothesis for yourself.
Everything in the realm of social behavior is psychological. Everything. There are no artifacts and there’s nothing to buy. As licensed professional engineers, our viewpoint on social behavior understandably leans towards the laws of the universe, mathematical physics. What are engineers doing in the marked cul-de-sacs of psychology and sociology? We started asking ourselves that question fifty years ago. The answer came in 2013 when Plan B was first engineered into existence. Flourishing is addictive.
Social Intelligence and the Man In The Middle
Whether by plan or accident, you have landed in our realm of applied social-intelligence, developing and leveraging social dynamics to win-win benefit to the health of you and your social systems is the central theme. First, understand the social machinery that drives progressive degradation of a dysfunctional global society. Then, learn about the field-proven fix for you to use as benchmark for what can be done for your own wellbeing and to form and sustain a flourishing social system. For navigating to a better future, knowledge of the best achievable future is far superior to languishing on business as usual, hammering away on your personal sense of worth, as your goal.
While the purpose of creating this website, stated above, was to aid the man-in-the-middle (MitM) to psychological health, it turned out in application that the first tier benefits to the MitM, as well as being substantial, are universally and unconditionally accessible to anyone. There are no prerequisites for restoring your own health. No permissions are required. Social intelligence resides in the individual, not the government.
The ‘Man In The Middle’ of a social system is defined as a” producer,” flogged by the upper hierarchy as standard upper-class practice regarding the lower classes. Should the MitM deliver higher performance than the groupthink expectation authorities consider standard for his role, the product of his intelligent choices in using his efforts to produce, the entitled authoritarians regard him as a threat to their social status as vested, omnipotent, entitled infallibles.
The first definition of social intelligence, by Edward Thorndike (1920), was “The ability to understand and allow men and women to act wisely in human relations.” Equivalent to interpersonal intelligence, it is an aggregated measure of self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity to engineer social change with prudence. Social intelligence reflects the ability of individuals to synthesize information about group norms, the viewpoints of others and their own perceptions of themselves as group members. It is using deep knowledge of social dynamics for mutually beneficial purposes.
How did real-world social intelligence become such a bonanza? The reason is that current “culture” comes from our exact-replica genome of the Stone Age version encountering the dramatically-different operational context of today’s anthropocene. Obviously counterproductive to health and welfare, it is lose-lose to producers and consumers alike. Anyone who thinks otherwise, has not been paying attention to the raging dysfunctions of a global society out of synch with its environment – clinging to an obsolete population control strategy, called Plan A, that never did work. Accordingly, when someone who does have social intelligence enters the scene, what he brings to the sordid affair is indistinguishable from magic. You will be supplied with various ways to falsify this assertion for yourself.
Social Behavior and Your Way of Life
Ingest, apply, and enjoy the benefits of this extraordinarily-valuable knowledge about the social dynamics of flourishing. Since the principles have to be generic, you can learn how to leverage social intelligence to large and lasting personal advantage to your way of life in whatever is your operational reality. As its “secrets” were mined where no man had gone before, far above the politically-correct level of discourse, you will find large windfall benefits streaming to you and your social systems. Best of all, you get to enjoy its largess every day. Only when you have earned positive social power can you unfailingly predict the future – because you are shaping it. DIY flourishing is the only way to live. If you want a healthy, happy workforce, there is no alternative to bringing it up to the flourishing state. There can be no losers.
When the man-in-the-middle (MitM) breakthrough, to deliberately and unfailingly engineer and deliver a flourishing social system finally came in 2013, after 55 years of failures, we reckoned the body of knowledge developed to backstop the success, called Plan B, had nothing to benefit anyone but MitMs. Eight years of implementation experience with the paradigm that delivers, informed our minds otherwise. The field-proven knowledge herein, put to effect, can bring more health, security and prosperity to the personal and social life of any productive member of society. Social system flourishing can’t be operationalized without boosting the social intelligence of its keystone MitMs first. The workforce is an indicator species. If it’s not flourishing, the organization cannot be flourishing.
Once again, Everything about social behavior is subconscious-mind-psychological. That means you already have all the equipment you’ll ever need to flourish. The catch? Reaching the streaming benefit packages of flourishing involves protracted, conscious-mind cognitive effort. While deliberate thinking is natural enough, it does not function effort-free like the auto-pilot subconscious-mind supercomputer sitting between your ears. “How do I know what I think before I hear what I say?”
The principle of the universe that rules this precise moment is the Law of Optimality. Tethered to the law of optimal control in particular, it instructs that if you don’t start your goal-seeking “right” at the beginning, you create new obstacles for yourself that will eventually defeat your enterprise. Preoccupied with crisis management, you will run out of time and resources before the problem gets solved, Hofstadter’s Law. You are your choices, either languishing or flourishing, even if you’re clueless as to how your powerhouse subconscious mind makes them for you.
Our painful experiences colliding with the optimality law formed our operating mantra:
Keep it in ‘park’ for a bit more. You have to do something else first. Once you have missed the first button hole, you’ll never manage to button up.
Every adult enters this arena of social intercourse as psychologically-damaged goods, neurotic or worse. You were enculturated with false mental models of reality (M2R) that now thwart your journey to a much better way of life for these times, that your government does not want you to understand. You were socially conditioned to disregard your senses, don’t think for yourself, obey authority. This socially-infused belief system, business as usual, holds that good old faithful, Plan A, running on entangled subconscious minds is all there is – all that can be. Don’t bother looking for a more appropriate paradigm of social living for today because only languishing can exist. Even science fiction writers can’t imagine a kind of social system other than Plan A. For proof, look at all the failed “utopias.” When humans created socio-economic status, their elected potentates created a way of using fear to subordinate others like nothing ever before seen in primate hierarchies.
The physiology of fear
The trademark policy of Plan A aristocrats is to develop and exploit fear in the masses as a basic means to overpower their variety (Ashby’s Law). Fear mongering concentrates the population into a languishing bait-ball where they can be consumed en masse. You can see the process and the social bait-balls in their precarious conditions in today’s news. Not being futureproof carries a large streaming health penalty. It makes you vulnerable in an ever-changing society.
Fear enters your being by hijacking cells in your sensory systems that have access to your brain, it burrows through millions of networked neurons to the subconscious mind, which also controls the autonomic nervous system and the bodily functions of respiration, heart rate, and digestion. Through this portal, protracted fear wreaks havoc with your health, psychological and physical, though your subconscious-mind-controlled endocrine system. Governments and their media combine to herd their constituents into submission through fear.
Victims of induced fear feel the effects before they can recognize them: shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat, blood sugar rush, and muscle contractions that mimic a punch to the gut. This constellation of symptoms is known as the stress response and it is one expression of our invariant human nature, Stone Age model.
As the Establishment knows, fear mongering works because fear is especially contagious, often the root of mass hysteria outbreaks. A quarter of the people seeing a person in distress who is experiencing a spike in cortisol, also exhibit a spike in cortisol. The way we emphasize with others is the mirroring of our body reaction to that of others. Entangled commiseration fans the flames of misery. Social media has turned fear-mongering of the population into a cost-effective science for hijacking minds, making Silicon Valley rich in the process. The overworked stress response in Plan A society is commonplace.
Because fear is a response to aggression, it grabs hold instantly. Control theory, a natural law, shows that benevolence is many times slower in taking effect than that of aggression. While converting benevolence plus action into trust can take weeks, an act of betrayal demolishes trust in less than a centisecond. At one time or another everyone has been betrayed and zoomed through the same lightning-fast emotional reactions. This reflex is the handiwork of your Stone-Age genome and it triggers negative reciprocity.
Your life trajectory attests to the impediments and tribulations posed by Plan A, business as usual. Now that Plan B exists, you can experience seasoned Plan Bs for yourself, validating that it delivers extraordinary positive outcomes. You can engage a flourishing social system first hand. Then, you can freely choose to benchmark your choice-making on Plan B principles rather than continue serving the fear-mongering menace of Plan A authoritarianism. The operating policy of Plan A leads to a languishing organization, not because of personalities but because it attempts to defy natural law. Plan B can be immortal.
The purpose of the website is not to splint and bandage the ugly consequences of organizational dysfunction (OD) one by one. It is to inform you that a Plan B flourishing way of life exists. Like all social systems, it is an ecological system. Plan B people, all formerly Plan A people, are in another dimension of reality, not separate from Nature, enjoying a happier, healthier way of getting along and being productive towards common goals. Plan B is a generic, a priori paradigm of social functioning, a system fix for Plan A which dependably generates a healthy, happy social state attainable by anyone.
There are three cumulative streaming benefit packages
- Health, psychological and physical
- Getting your act together, GYAT
- The grand prize of Plan B
The first benefit package, which reverses the precarious way of life through understanding the prime movers, is easy to reach. The first two galleries in the banner menu (gallery is our name for the columns of pages) are for any visitor to the website. The second package, GYAT, is for producers, wherever they function. The rest of the website is stuff for the MitM/keystone, and the interventionist, which you read at your own risk. The grand prize, flourishing, is attainable only by the MitM keystone on behalf of himself. Through his continued efforts, psychologically-important benefits stream to his revenue crew. The continuing cascade of Plan B benefits, after full implementation, includes positive reciprocity, competitive advantage, and franchise – benefits unavailable to the Plan A organization.
Strategically, the Plan B ideology enables any society to address its problems and seek its opportunities in a prudent, stress-free manner. It becomes futureproof.
Navigation to the benefit packages
With only Plan A experience and languishing organizations to guide you, navigating to the system fix for Plan A dysfunction, namely Plan B, is impossible. You have no way to learn the root causes of the wreckage you observe. You must have, as benchmark reference, what done looks like so you can know how to steer and then recognize when you have reached your destination. False notions of the scope of organizational dysfunction (OD) and what done looks like led us down blind alleys and into cul-de-sacs for 55 years straight. Our crowning life achievement is blazing the trail from Plan A to Plan B, sparing legions of producers like you the anguish of perpetual blind drift, searching for a goal that, as far as we ever knew, didn’t even have to exist.
Everything about overwriting the menace of languishing with the flourishing Plan B ideology is attainable, demonstrably attainable. Taking part will revise your notions about what is and what is not possible for you to achieve in your pursuit of happiness, an inalienable right. Using social intelligence is how you get and stay there.
The Man in the Middle (MitM) is keystone species of the ecosystem of hierarchical ecosystems that spice mankind’s society. He is the linchpin, gateway, and hero of organizational flourishing. He has the only “big picture seat” an organization can have. For social system benefit, our secondary goal, rendered attainable only by reaching the first, the achievement reflects his essential role in bringing anything positive into the organization. That’s right, it’s impossible for the upper hierarchy authoritarians to benefit the organization they lead. Authority (awarded) is a variable entirely separate and independent of positive social power (earned by performance).
The keystone echelon, comprising about 8% of hierarchical society, as workmasters responsible for the fate of 80% of the organization’s population, occupies the catbird seat of collaborative productivity and competitive advantage. By performance as a savvy producer he acquires the social system power to do good things for his collective, things those vested with high authority by the opinion of others can only dream about. Foremen know, first hand, that granted authority based on opinions does not exchange with the currency of positive social power, which has to be earned by consistent performance over time in order to exist. No authority, no consumer, can be vested as the keystone of positive social change by opinion, by winning an election. The only social-behavior control tool available to the authorities is punishment. That’s not how flourishing organizations are constructed.
The floggings will continue until morale improves. 1765 CE Voltaire
What’s with all the social dysfunction?
Global society, a massive, nested ecological system, is mired in dysfunction and its consequences simply because the human genome we were all born with installs instincts for social living in our subconscious mind that evolved over millions of years for the survival of our species in the hunter/gatherer Stone Age environment. The industrial age ushered in a class-differentiated, hierarchical social culture around the globe where these invariant Stone-Age genes, when allowed to predominate, bring about the downfall of civilizations. It is obvious from the historical record that whatever social behavioral control system was used to sustain the imperial dynasty consumers, failed. It prospered and then failed in the first city humankind built 12K years ago in Turkey (Gobekli Tepe).
In short, the no-brainer way to live successfully in Stone Age society is a Hobson’s Choice that when applied to the operation of tall hierarchies, fails its Darwinian purpose. Rely on subconscious-mind intuition, auto-pilot, to make your task-action choices and the consequences of the bad choices that result will dominate your way of life. In languishing mode, unhealthy, you have no energy left to do what it takes to understand cause and effect, make good choices, be prudent, prosper.
Making good choices, a priori, takes significant and protracted cognitive effort – exactly what society discourages. The operating context of a mature Plan A organization is all white noise, nothing but an endless competition of conflicting opinions, every one of them incongruent with the operational reality.
You live in a precarious, languishing social environment, detrimental to your health, that is functionally disintegrating because of persistent attempts to defy two “Natures,” Natural laws and human Nature – neither of which can be defied. Since no species can thrive in a failing ecological system, fly by the seat of your pants in this fogbound madness and you will crash. Don’t expect natural selection to spare your offspring. Genome evolutionary adaptation rates, small and sporadic, are measured in millennia. These computer-driven-society days, civilizations change de facto culture in a few years. No relief from human species extinction there.
Between what you need to do to flourish today and what you actually choose to act on, poor choice-making fueled by false notions of cause and effect, is ubiquitous. We now know we can use our conscious minds, plus the cognitive effort and social intelligence it takes, to establish a way of social life engineered for today’s reality such that any organization can flourish. That is, Plan B is generic. It is its adaptability to the vicissitudes of the operational reality that defines Plan B, not compliance to the fixed rules of infallibility and groupthink. Of course it applies to Stone Age collectives as well, but autopilot works well in that context too.
First operationalized and validated in 2013, the contrast between dysfunctional (nobrainer) languishing and prosperous functioning (effortful), having tons of supporting evidence, is breath-taking conspicuous. As mentioned above, orchestrating a flourishing social system can now be done using a generic process that is transparent and open for examination. You are cordially invited to visit live implementations of Plan B and evaluate this “miracle” of applied social intelligence first hand for yourself. The differences in social dynamics between unhealthy dysfunctional business as usual and a flourishing healthy Plan B operation are not subtle. Its positive reciprocity display is the most beautiful social behavior on planet earth.
The intellectual effort required to assure that our species thrives in the arriving future is substantially more than what the way of tribal life required to be happily secure. It is nature’s joke on authoritarianism that the mental effort it takes to prosper is far less than the resources they will expend to deal with the consequences of their ill-informed choices to languish. What you encounter in everyday life are social systems preoccupied with repairing damages they inflicted on themselves. Know a happy tall hierarchy? One?
The more you learn about the psychological factors of great causal significance to our species survival, the less support you will receive from others. When you finally reach the mother lode of social intelligence, the holy grail of explicit understanding about social dynamics, about the root causes of the health crisis, you will only see the backs of fleeing men. W.L. Livingston (1986)