Prudent Allocation of Effort (AE)

The Standard of Care

So you want a happy, secure, prosperous life? You were born with the freedom to make it happen. Are you prepared to take personal responsibility for attaining it, come what may? The compulsion requisite to bring it to fruition is up to you.

What’s that tug holding you back from the commitment? That’s the subconscious fear that if you change for the better, your social systems will push back, doubting your loyalty to the rulers. If you proceed, you will find out the fear is justified. When such happens to you, think about the implications. When you are self-confident and thriving, can you be ruled?

You are a member of a social system, a community of unequals, that has no interest in your well-being. Your social system is placed athwart your path to attain your desired way of life. It’s sore afraid your success will set an example for the others. Of course it will. When the head shed makes a punished example out of you, it antes the general fear of self-improvement.

If you’re a MitM, this psychological herd mentality crap does not hold you back. You’re already being punished to the max. If you’re not a MitM, the tradeoff is yours to evaluate. The primacy of social status is an important lesson to learn. Evidence and reason have no chance against social-status groupthink.


Facing Reality

You live in a seriously dysfunctional social environment. In terminal decline, it is not to be trusted to select your way of life for you. It doesn’t have its act together facing reality and it can’t change for the better without outside intervention. Whatever authority demands, be curious, skeptical, and cynical. Use POSIWID to evaluate assumptions.

All authoritarians are barred from bringing prosperity to their institutions by the 2½ rule. The information feed from their empire is GIGO in the extreme. These are the people setting the stage for you to make choices and they’re pulling rank? This event is a stop rule. Don’t commit your efforts until you have done due diligence validating the assignment. Yes, you have to do something else first, right at first.

Whenever a man can get hold of numbers, they are invaluable: if correct, they assist in informing his own mind, but they are still more useful in deluding the minds of others. Numbers are the masters of the weak, but the slaves of the strong. CB

To attain your desired way of life involves work for your brain and your bod. No effort, no chance. The upfront work required is substantial and protracted. It takes sagacity and perseverance to get there and it takes intelligent husbandry to stay there. Meanwhile, society offers you a no-responsibility alternative with no upfront effort at all. The catch? You are committed to a life of dealing with the cumulative consequences of bad choices and it will endlessly consume all the efforts you control.

The standard of care for prudent choice-making, the theme of this page, maps the journey to Plan B. It is a frame of reference for choosing what’s best to do. We spent six decades learning the hard way how to get it right so you don’t need faith. The prudent ideology is generic, it always works, and we use it for everything social ourselves. We are in demonstration mode 24/7.

Recognize the issue presented as a project situation (novel, temporary), not routine operations. Until proven otherwise, treat the injunction as a high-stakes matter. Project experience tells the story. Workers have no clue as to the source and basis of their assignments. There is no choice but to start with ground truth. Get the goal right and the work context right and the project is half done.

  • Avoid wasting efforts on the wrong goal
  • Keep management at bay
  • Workforce release of Ca’canny
  • Restoration of inalienable rights
    • Instinct of workmanship
    • Instinct of fairness
Imprudence can only lead to bad choices.

Where does the standard of care come from?

The headwaters of choice originate in the non-routine parts of the operational reality. A non-routine occurrence sets up the stipulations of a project, defined as novel and temporary. That is, the choice to be made has no precedent and solving the non-routine problem it presented will end the particular need to choose. Until “what done looks like” is appropriately specified, a reference standard for success, prudent action is impossible.

As you may have realized by now, project world is our professional life. We developed copious knowledge about prudent project operations because at one time or another, we made every bad choice in the books. We console ourselves with the delusion that learning from the ugly experience was essential for the 2013 success with Plan B. Since then, no more failed projects, no bad choices.

Accordingly, the standard of care for prudent allocation of effort coincides with the standard of care for high stakes projects. The chief difference is that the choices in project navigation are all novel. The choices in most operations, not so much. When the choices are high stakes, the setting does not affect the paradigm. So far, we have found no logical basis for leaving steps out for “medium-stakes” problem solving, whatever that might be.

Before 2013, there was no way to measure the span of Plan A wreckage. While there was a huge list of grievances from Plan A functioning, and it was the basis for the Utopia books by the ancients, it was unable to point to the functionalities Plan B provided that Plan A couldn’t. It wasn’t until late 2014, after a year of living with Plan B that the survey of Plan A consequences was completed. Just resolving the manifest aggravations of Plan A is the lesser part of Plan B benefits. Demonstrable distinctions beyond the obvious productivity gains include:

  • Competitive advantage, automatic
  • Positive reciprocity, automatic expansion (network)
  • Psychological success, Maslow

That the state of knowledge in any country will exert a directive influence on the general system of instruction adopted in it, is a principle too obvious to require investigation. Charles Babbage

Competitive advantage

When Plan B kicks in, you have unleashed the creative, innovative capacities of the entire workforce. Whereas in Plan A you may have a handful of people thinking about advancement, in Plan B you have about 72% of the entire population switching from Ca’canny to innovation mode. And what a difference in performance that makes!

Nothing is more certain than Plan B delivering big competitive advantages. Competition mired in Plan A has no chance to compete. Reliably stuck in Plan A, competition can do nothing to close the growing gap. It would rather fold than change ideologies for the better.

Positive reciprocity

This particular benefit of Plan B takes several months to show up. Outsiders, familiar with the Plan A prior, are understandably cautious about trusting the suddenly happy, collaborative environment of Plan B. When experience with Plan B earns their trust, the transactions make a quantum leap in efficiency – and it is contagious to boot. The word gets around, making things better for cooperation in ways that could not be foreseen. Trust is very individual, personalized.

Of course, the new “attitude” of Plan B is automatically taken home from work and applied. Feedback from the spouses answers all doubts and questions about the changes for the better. When the breadwinner’s angst is vented, family angst is vented.

We enjoy the fruits of positive reciprocity all day every day. The COVID interruption experience indicates a generous half-life. We continue to mutter the same question to ourselves. “Why doesn’t everyone do this?” Any ideas?

Psychological success

Plan B, restoring inalienable rights across the board, encourages all contributors to seek their personal, psychological success. Prosperity, security, and a happy work life are all within reach by personal effort. This direct control over destiny does wonders for self-image. The subconscious mind acknowledges the new way of life by ramping down the hormones of battle and surging up the happy hormones of oxytocin and dopamine.

Nothing prevents the MitM from reaching the top rung on Maslow’s ladder – transcendence. We can vouch for the addictive surge of oxytocin that transcendence delivers. When you get there, you know you’re at paramount humanity.


The Laws of Making Prudent Choices

The use of the word Prudent to describe fruitful choice-making goes back to Pharaoh Akhenaton and the early days of Greek “civilization” over three thousand years ago. From the first, prudent meant being practical, effective, and positive in the operational reality of now. The big fuss made over who was the wisest man in Greece for directing the best way to live for society in 650 BC, was handed off from sage to sage until it landed on Apollo. Intrinsic to prudence, sagacity was associated with humility.

The fuss over intelligence, sagacity, and probity in the abstraction of prudence did nothing to alter the rise and fall of civilizations. The lesson from total failure is that, to matter to history, prudence must be defined in particulars of what you can actually do – now and measurable. You have to know you are being prudent as-you-go, by a set of measured variables, not opinions. It is a give-away to make up your definition of prudence after the fact.

The amount at stake determines which of the two approaches to prudent allocation to pursue. The paradigm for low-stakes choices is one “system”, invoked mostly by your subconscious mind. The paradigm for high-stakes choices is a very different system, managed exclusively by your conscious mind. Since you have only two minds, there cannot be a third approach. To use a low-stakes approach for a high-stakes situation is a crime against humanity. Seldom do you find people applying the high-stakes paradigm to a low-stakes issue. Too much work is involved.

If the stakes assessment is not clear cut, stop and do due diligence with ground truth to find out. There is no such thing as “medium,” or amalgams. Any part that’s high stakes is all high stakes.

The default choice of intuition.

Since the stakes select the paradigm, it is necessary to use ground truth to make the call. In keeping with the mantra of prudence, it is necessary to do something else first. In this case, assemble material evidence until your confidence in the call is over 99%. Is your choice paradigm consistent with the trigger condition that called for remedial action?

Considerable experience with high-stakes project conditions has made it clear the echelon calling for action never expresses the goal that, if attained, would succeed the mission. That is why the first action everyone takes after the kickoff meeting is setting up their CYA files. Technical accomplishment, schedule, and cost budgets are headed to catastrophe, hidden and covered up until the money runs out.

Instincts are unlearned, inherited fixed action patterns of responses or reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. Innate emotions, which can be expressed in more flexible ways and learned patterns of responses, not instincts, form a basis for majority of responses to external stimuli in evolutionary higher species, while in case of highest evolved species both of them are overridden by actions based on cognitive processes with more or less intelligence and creativity, or even trans-intellectual intuition. Sociotechnology Science

Low Stakes prudence

Before releasing intuition to make your choice, have your fast-acting error-detection scheme in place. Follow that up with a quick redo of process. As long as you have early detection of bad choices and fast turnaround of the revised attempt, using effortless intuition is prudent. This procedure, called RBF (Run, Break, and Fix) will compensate for any bad choices made by your subconscious on autopilot before serious damage is registered.

Using short-cycle RBF relieves the need to model the future for risk assessment. You’re basically flying by the seat of your pants in clear weather.

Run, Break, and Fix (RBF).

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