—“CURT, I’M SORRY I SAID…”—

Guess what. You didn’t offend me. I understand what it is to be a man, and you are being a man. You are trying to speak truth to power so to speak (not that I have much power). And this is what men do, what and cowards do not do. They shame, ridicule, gossip, rally, and undermine the person rather than defeat the argument.

My work is extremely complicated because what I produce is self organizing, and via-negativa, rather than deliberate – and self organizing systems are hard to understand. We express a series of limits, and all else is possible within them rather than proposing an ideal. This means that instead of tracing a single line of thought through it’s various conditions (like a software program), we have to learn all the systems of limits, and run cases through those limits until we understand how all those limits work together.

Criticism is good. Systematically trying to undermine me hurts my message, because it decreases the willingness of people to pay the high investment cost of learning a self organizing system – and therefore hurts our people. So by disagreeing with me we find a man’s way of learning – not by submission and obedience, but by demonstration of commitments to truth even to the powerful. Now, I prefer critical questions rather than attacks, but I can tell the difference between intellectually honest and moral criticism, and the opposite.

There is a very great difference between criticism because something doesn’t make sense to you, or you disagree with it, and undermining because it conflicts with a malinvestment that you have made, and are desperately trying to protect from the truth. In that case, it is me who must speak truth to your power (assuming I have the time and energy and you some degree of intellectual honesty.

-Cheers

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