Episode-2681- The Problem is the Solution if you Correctly Define the Problem — 6 Comments

  1. The terms white privilege and black lives matter are racist or groupist.  The messages that I hear are these groups need to be elevated above another.

    What was wrong with the colorblindness approach of the 80s-90s? A human is a human; I suppose I am a species-ist and prejudice against aliens, fauna, and flora.

  2. Great podcast Jack.  I found it educative.  Many of us fall into the trap of being a pawn of those who sow divisiveness.   The puppet masters.   Ready made answers without really defining the problem (s).   Group think.  False advertising.   I hope all will listen to this podcast.

  3. This concept reminds me of one my teacher started teaching in 1953 if not earlier.

    But, he first gave the anatomy of a problem: purpose – counter-purpose.

    He taught that if you fully confront a problem, it will, basically, dissolve. Take the counter-intention out of a problem and it becomes a flow.

    White privilege: For me, locating the source of this impulse is key. I believe it comes from long, long ago when certain groups wanted control over others to automatically devolve to them on the basis of inheritance. As the only way to show inheritance was outward appearance, (and the “white” trait being recessive), these groups decided to make it “illegal” to intermarry, etc. And that concept eroded into a general teaching that white was “better.” Oddly, in India they have had a caste system for thousands of years, and it persists to this day, even though you can’t tell a person’s caste from his outward appearance – you have to ask. This system, though, still preserves the control privileges of the upper caste.

    Feeding the World: You have a good idea here. The ideal would be that everyone grows their own food. This has been done in many places. You are well aware of some of them. However, I don’t have the resources to grow my own food, yet I eat well. So there is more than one way to attack this one.

    Health Insurance: For me, the big problem here is that “health care” doesn’t make more people healthy! So, this is a specialized case of privilege. And that feeds into the problem that people don’t know about nutrition basics, because the people who want to be the only ones privileged to deliver health care in this society see that knowledge as a threat to their privilege.

    Income or wealth differences: There will always be these differences. Some people will push themselves harder “to succeed” than others. That’s just the way that is. There will probably always be some people in poverty because they have chosen that as their favorite disability. There are lots of ways to keep people out of total poverty, but the privileged want to keep the threat of poverty alive in order to maintain their control over the rest of us.

    Failing schools: Yes, we don’t know the difference between schooling and learning. The important thing to learn is how to learn, not how to survive in a school. But, hiding behind the problem of schools, is again the problem of privilege. The people with privilege (about 10%) have figured out how to survive schooling a long time ago. Many of the rest of us worship schooling because “it works so well” for the privileged! That’s silly, but those of privilege would prefer that we continue to believe that.

    What I see as a central pattern is: What I need to have a better life is to act like, look like, be like the people who I think have a better life than I do. But to the extent that those people got there or are there because they are actually taking more responsible, “high-risk” or “high-powered” roles in society, then that solution to getting a “better life” won’t work, because society doesn’t need to be filled with leaders and upper-level managers. The fact that the 10%, generally speaking, earn so much more and have so much better financial security than the rest of us I think has to do with the fears and tensions associated with privilege. The solution then becomes, essentially, making those people more sane. I have actually seen that approach work.

    Problems: One thing we have to realize about this concept is that not all “problems” are undesirable. The fact that no sports team has won the season until the last game is a useful problem. The fact that I can’t tear a piece of paper in a perfectly straight line is a problem that we have already solved with several tools. Engineering is full of “problems” that aren’t solved yet, and so is life. You need some problems to have a game. The only problem problems are the ones that make life so difficult it seems not worth playing. All problems “solve” the same way (by finding the true cause, actually). But we only need to solve the ones that are too undesirable to live with.


  4. Jack, do you find the traditional root cause analysis methods are useful for thinking about problems and solutions with a permaculture mindset? Or do they often miss the mark still?

  5. Larry Cox: Interesting, but I’m not sure about your “making those people more sane” part.  How is this gone about?   Who defines  sanity?

  6. Dang…even the trolls come here to downvote comments?  Wow!  Their lives must be so miserable to waste time on that.  I come here for education and community.  If I didn’t like what I heard, I would tune into something else.  I wouldn’t try to voice my disagreements with downvotes or negative comments/emails.  I would just invest my time elsewhere.  If the downvotes came with a well-thought out reply, then that would be different. People are strange….