Plan B and the COVID-19 Invasion
Although fading out, the ongoing global attack on humanity by COVID-19 was a threat to species survival. It called for an all-hands-on-deck response to effectively neutralize the menace to our society. This threat-response scenario is on display in every social species, not just Homo sapiens, and individuals are expected to cooperate and collaborate with their collective at large to engage and defeat the invasion. Only then can social life securely return to individual variety in behavior. To fail to contribute towards the mobilization when the call comes, defeats a primary purpose of society formation in the first place – security.
A frontal attack on our species by invisible COVID-19 puts everything about the prime movers of social behavior on display. The virus explosion is testing every possible concept of leadership, management, and social functioning of the Establishment at the same time. It provides an extraordinarily rare opportunity to benchmark your mental models of social dynamics reality so as to get them congruent. It is a proving ground for testing your notions about social behavior. Those costly laboratories for measuring behavior are now everywhere, all in operation at the same time. The pandemic test opportunity will soon be gone.
Invariant human nature transmits the moral obligation of everyone to man the parapets as a coordinated force against the alien invaders. It is part of the social contract our genome signed at birth. It answers the question: “Of what value is a member of our species who does not join the fray when the enemy assault comes?” In the social species of the animal kingdom, such betrayal of cultural obligation is quickly and harshly met.
The basic obligation is to join together to defeat a threat bigger than any one of us, but not bigger than all of us. It reminds:
- If your ideology about leadership and social behavior is not proving effective in neutralizing the current pandemic in global society, what, exactly, is it good for? If this isn’t an occasion for leadership to lead, what is?
- If you don’t actively benchmark your mental models of social reality during this extraordinary social experiment, a duty everyone owes their society, so much for the trustworthiness and utility of your concepts and value systems.
- Bystander passivity is dereliction of duty. The debating societies are to close shop and report for anti-virus duty until the peril is resolved. Your scorecard is public property.
The demand to give up the illusions about its (social) condition is the demand to give up a defensive condition that needs illusions. Karl Marx
Social system dynamics on parade
To echo the preamble, every human social system on earth, both independent and hierarchically nested, is being challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak that originated in and was immediately covered up by China. This global attack on humanity has created an unprecedented opportunity to validate or controvert any and all theories of leadership, of social behavior, of species survival. There’s no place for the ruling class to hide. It’s “Stand and Deliver” time.
Note those who make positive contributions to mitigating the pandemic and those who add to the consequences. All bystanders, all those who do not volunteer their talents, are magnifying the pandemic. Your mental models of behavior of the social hierarchy, and ours, are being tested for utility and effectiveness, a test you can not avoid taking. It’s a rare opportunity to amass ground truth about the entangled entrails of social behavior. There is only good or bad. There is no middle.
Since the virus defeated all “business as usual” preparations and responses and is still exploding in densely populated areas over the globe, it has already proved that nothing in the responses exhibited and maintained by contemporary Establishments has any mitigating effect on the exponential trajectory of COVID-19 growth. Anticipatory control, prevention, is the essence of Coronavirus management. Damage control needs must also be anticipated before cases surge, otherwise health care providing damage control will be and is being overwhelmed.
This rampaging plague destabilized society so quickly, it answered all questions about the competency of business as usual to handle global-class disturbances. All the so-called safeguards against social trauma built into the system by the ruling classes, failed. Societal governance, worldwide, threw its subservient masses under the virus bus. In performance, the facts of wholesale top-down incompetence of the hierarchy in disturbances like the COVID-19 pandemic are beyond dispute. Psychotherapists call the mental impact to the masses SAD – social anxiety disorder.
As if the pandemic was not enough of a test of social culture in disturbance, a bonus experiment was run in the 2020 Mardi Gras attempt to defy Nature’s virus growth laws. One could hardly create a more fertile soil for transmitting COVID-19 than the New Orleans Mardi Gras. The experiment tested the efficacy of social distancing on a grand scale.
How would you sell a state government on the idea of ignoring the facts of pandemics to keep a tradition that will impair the health of thousands of celebrants and those they contact after going back home? Louisiana ran the experiment for our study on their own.
The opportunity here is to use the ongoing drama of Plan A society impaled by a massive unavoidable disturbance, to quality-control our paradigms of organizational behavior, A and B. As the occasion puts all theories, hypotheses, principles, norms, and rules about social behavior to the test of validity, it benchmarks all assumptions. Validation of theory requires prediction of outcomes in quantitative terms before the pandemic runs its course. Analysis after the fact is too rife with cognitive bias to be trustworthy for high-stakes events. Getting ground truth on sociological theory is now.
For us rabid students of hierarchical social behavior, this occasion is like Halley’s Comet. You get one chance per lifetime, if that, to study a global impact to Plan As and Plan Bs at the same time. The unavoidable novel disturbance of COVID-19 to human society, unlike familiar war, provides an opportunity for enlightenment about “leadership” and social value systems not to be missed. Massive explosive social disturbance allows gaining advanced knowledge about the characteristic equation of social operations. It is a black box test of social system dynamics that no nation could afford to run during stable times. Everything regarding an effective fix for the menace of disturbance is treated in depth on Plan B’s website.
The operational reality
The vector of the ongoing invisible pandemic operates oblivious to the conjectures and delusions about social leadership and the management of operations held by its victims. As stated above, whatever your mental models of social behavior, they are being tested now in real time by the virus plague in a way beyond your ability to fudge either with the drama or the results. There is a species-wide moral obligation to engage and learn from the drama while it is playing out. You will not encounter this learning opportunity again.
The report card on your mental models of governance is simply the pandemic’s trajectory of cases. If you really trust your mental models of social reality, you’ll be plotting their performance to prove or controvert your case. Knowing that interpretation is not change, your task is design and implementation of a fix. Since fixes are being developed, its an opportunity to learn from the developments and their implementations. Society at large is finding out that proclamations from their potentates and delivery of effective outcomes are separate subjects.
There are over 50 million potentates of society in various leadership roles around the planet – all now strapped to the examination table. If you don’t benchmark your hypotheses of social leadership during this rare opportunity, where all the theories of man are concurrently being tested on the same proving ground, whatever they are, so much for the value of your hypotheses. We have no better definition of leadership than anyone else, but the quantification of leadership itself is beyond dispute. Leaders are measured by the attainments of those led.
It’s obvious that the engine of society runs on fuel generated by its economy and when its revenue stream stops, social instability ensues. If your hypotheses work, the trajectory of ruination flattens out. If not, the trajectory of consequences soars. When the surge has subsided, our society will fail to return to its pre-virus state. The fields of trust and allegiance have been transformed.
Just like grading management by turnover, no judgement is involved in the grading of Establishment effectiveness. For the individuals caught up in the pandemic and its consequences, a virus that mutates, the only parameter that matters is the trajectory of the new cases. If your strategy fails, the explosion continues. If your strategy is effective, the trajectory “flattens out.” No discussion is necessary.
Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity. Karl Marx
The many agencies put in place for the express purpose of dealing with disturbances to status quo steady state, all Plan As, failed the COVID-19 test big time. Everything the ruling class does makes things worse. Some of those organizations that betrayed their trust include:
- Business round table
- Government Departments
- Regulatory agencies
- Think tanks
The reasons for the causes of the universal failure of Establishment institutions and their norms to meet the purposes stated in their charters are embedded in the comparison of societal norms of action (algorithms thought to work to control massive runaway disturbances). Both Plan A and Plan B examples of disturbance-resolving competency are ongoing right now.
A social system is a networked aggregation of entangled subconscious minds. Since its operational system has no mass, social behavior has no inertia. Since all social behavior emanates from the unknowable subconscious mind, it is indeterminate. Every organization can choose, at any time, to be Plan A or Plan B. In the virus crisis, some organizations are running Plan A in the upper part of the hierarchy while its keystones of prosperity and their workforce are running plan B. Comparing Plan A failure modes to Plan B practices highlights the distinctions between their approaches to disturbance of the exponential growth kind.
The people who consider the virus pandemic as a psycho-sociology matter and not as a control engineering matter have no chance to be effective. In process control engineering terms, the virus spreads and damages its victims faster than Establishment norms can respond in an effective manner. The lag of social response is far out of sync with the rate at which the virus cases can grow. That’s why supplies for damage mitigation are not available in necessary quantity where it counts when the explosion comes.
There is nothing new or exotic in the behavioral dynamics of the virus-human system. From the control engineering perspective, there are many industrial processes that feature the exact same characteristics. The nuclear power plant, for one example, contains a fission process that can grow catastrophically out of control in a split second. Chemical factories have many such exponential reactions to control. It is beyond dispute that such pandemic-like systems can be brought under intelligent control.
The success of Maxwell’s control theory (1868) sets the benchmarks for how the virus pandemic can be managed. Excellent dynamic simulations of the process have matured over time that fully apply to the current attack on humanity.
Mathematical physics also directs that the social system enabling this mismatch of cycle times to persist cannot also be the agent of its fix. Social functioning rendered paranoid by novel disturbances cannot fix itself (Einstein, Gödel). This means that the Plan A ideology cannot be the agent for addressing this plague. It doesn’t work for COVID-19 because it can’t work for any disturbance having pandemic growth dynamics. The lag of hindsight management is a killer of crisis-response effectiveness.
The only frame of reference that makes sense of the virus pandemic behavior is mathematical physics, the laws of the universe. These laws of system, systems of metal and systems of flesh, determine what works in dealing with disturbances of any kind to any system and there’s not an ounce of opinion in the lot.These generic laws of system control are respected and leveraged in Plan B. Meanwhile what all Plan A organizations do, business as usual, is attempt to defy them. For exponential growth processes, hindsight-driven crisis management does not work.
The problem with theories is that they’re theoretical. Yogi Berra
Relevant historical background
The current pandemic scenario echoes the response of American industry during WWI. Ill-prepared for war in Europe, the US military had to build itself up from scratch in a big hurry. When the call came from government to deliver, as a massive disturbance, money no object, industrial leaders knew it was time for getting seriously wealthy and that meant activating Plan B.
Top management knows full well it can’t do anything positive for productivity. It also knows the keystone for Plan B, the man who can, is in total charge of the revenue crew. Supporting the keystones and getting out of their way, works. After the war was over, when management reverted to their monstrous pre-war treatment of their workforce, it shook up a large number of influential people who had witnessed the whole A to B to A scenario first hand. It was the first proof positive that organizational prosperity is nowhere near the apex of management’s value system.
People of all stripes, including engineer Herbert Hoover, documented the nation-wide workforce atrocity at great length. While they did their best to bring common sense to the head sheds of industry, they failed. The scenario repeated in WWII and the surge in productivity it nurtured was killed afterwards by the Taft-Hartley Act. Plan A, the ideology of the ruling class, has been the unchallenged top dog since 1948. Think the ruling class will take responsibility for encouraging the pandemic?
Your concept-validation task is to examine those ongoing cases which exemplify your hypotheses and determine their activity fit to what must take place
to be effective. If your leader profile is valid, for example, the performance of his followers will affirm the conditions on your profile.
The approach here is to show how Plan B applies them, so you know what to look for. You can take the same laws and see for yourself where they are being accorded due respect and where they are being ignored. Plan B people are learned on these laws. Plan A people don’t even know what they are.
The success of Plan B in dealing with massive, novel disturbances to its social system is determined by how faithfully it implements the requisites of control that apply to any social system. The workforce does not need head-shed approval to implement Plan B.
Overview of the mechanisms of action of Plan B
The principal benchmarks of Plan B that account for its success with pandemic-grade disturbances include the following:
- Ackoff’s system process control design framework
- James Maxwell’s control theory
- Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety
- Conant’s Law: control design must include a model of the system to be controlled – to be at one with the system
- Turing infallible intelligent
- Gödel on cause and effect
- The Nash Equilibrium
- Starkermann’s 2½ rule
- The conservation laws
- Leak, lag and friction
- Plan B keystone empowerment
- High-stakes trust
- Entropy extraction
The fact that the operational Plan B social systems are the only groups making a measurable impact on the pandemic validates that the above practices have taken place in some form.
How can we claim these principles are being implemented by the pandemic Plan B successes? Because that level of performance in productivity can be attained in no other way than through fully-empowered keystone foremen and high-stakes trust. It’s the only way disturbances of this magnitude are resolved. You can see the proof of that claim for yourself by visiting an application. Active examples of Plan B, in this transient period of intense global crisis, are everywhere.
Management is not making a step boost in productivity by being in the factory directing workers. Management is doing its part by dealing with the POTUS and approving every purchase order the workforce prepares, sight unseen. You will not encounter a success story that was not done on high-stakes trust in the workforce, led by cognizant and competent Plan B keystones. Every command by the head shed to double production comes to the workforce with its promise not to meddle.
Some factors of natural law impinging on social behavior as Plan B implements them:
Plan B groups use the Ackoff framework up front for every goal-seeking project.
- Understand your starting condition in detail. Build a dynamic model of the transactions taking place
- Specify the desired goal state in detail. Build a dynamic model of the procedures necessary to attain and perpetuate the goal condition
- Plan out a process of transformation that can move the situation from state One to state Two. Plan to replan as experience accumulates.
If you don’t know the start scene in depth, the odds that you are starting off way below a level playing field approach certainty. If you don’t know what “done” looks like, you’re navigating by blind drift. If you don’t have a tight feedback loop to make timely mid-course corrections, your plan will fail. If the case at hand has done Ackoff, its findings and progress will be widely publicized. It shows that you are goal-seeking in an intelligent manner, reducing the risk of failure and anxiety.
- Conant’s theorem is basic to advanced industrial process control and explains why good regulators of pandemic dynamics must contain models of the pandemic dynamics. System performance is the parameter that measures validity.
- Rudolf Starkermann’s principles of social behavior, derived from control theory, form the platform that supports Plan B action. His laws cover system stability, trust building, and productivity. Starkermann’s principles of social behavior are standard Plan B practice and discussed as such.
- The control of any system in disturbance is a function of the properties of the disturbance (control theory). There are industrial processes which exactly match the characteristics of COVID-19 that direct the design, application, and operation of control techniques that work. As you can determine from the NYC graphs, the increase in cases went from negligible to catastrophic in less than a week. For the pandemic, control by hindsight cannot deliver at any speed of response.
This Law states that the cause of the manifest consequences is always at a level above the level where damage takes place. This law explains why hindsight, crisis response, and damage control can never quell the new-cases trajectory. While business as usual may eventually find a cure, it will only come long after serious damage has been done. Effective pandemic control requires prevention and avoidance.
Check if your case is operating in crisis-response mode. If so, they’ll never address the cause. When planners discuss the pandemic problem, they assume the context is distrust. When they discuss their solution, they assume a context of trust. It is a miscarriage of planning.
John Nash’s Nobel Prize winning theorem about social behavior states that social systems in business-as-usual mode will reverse any success of a system element getting better on its own. In Plan A, transactions are distrust-based and are loaded with extra protections and defenses that trust-based systems don’t require. Accordingly, Plan A has to cope with sabotage and irresistible social pressure to revert back. Nash does not apply to Plan B.
The extraction of entropy in any system requires the imposition of structure on the disorder, an action that requires doing physical work (Force x Distance). The Second Law is the enemy of infallibility. The structure to be imposed on the disorder can only come from human ingenuity. Rule-based behavior can never extract entropy.
Keystone, Trust, Conservation Laws
The Plan B keystone must be trained and empowered to lead his workforce, without sabotage from his Plan A keystone counterpart. Asking Establishment potentates, Plan A keystones, to deal with the current pandemic is asking them to do what they can’t (Warfield’s Dictum). Effective handling of a pandemic can only take place in high-stakes trust circumstances. Trust is a very easy condition to measure. It’s either there, obvious, or it’s not, obvious.
Track the ongoing Plan B efforts and learn the lesson about how quickly they are extinguished by the Establishment when the crises is over (Nash Equilibrium). When it does, measure the differences brought by relapsing back to Plan A behavior.
Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand. Karl Marx
How the pandemic shaped our own strategy
Until quite recently, we were inviting people to examine and evaluate Plan B implementations in situ that resulted from our program for prosperity keystones, called the FLLP. It also seemed necessary to alert everyone about the limitations of Plan A, presented on several levels, that have a significant deleterious effect on mental and physical health. With the pandemic, the ineptitude of Plan A is in everyone’s face and altering the way of life. Not everything will rebound when it’s over. As for Plan B implementations, if you look for them you will find examples everywhere the anti-virus war is being successfully engaged. Remember, the effective control of the pandemic cannot be attained by the same Establishment that let the pandemic spread beyond Plan A control in the first place (Einstein -Gödel).