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Feedback • Posted: Jan 20, 2018 13:04:26Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Feedback? Yeah, we know what that is.

Well, maybe. At least some of us do. Unfortunately, it seems, most of us conflate feedback, and all its attended processes, with cause and effect. We turn on a switch and the light comes on. We raise our voice and others turn to listen. Kick the dog and it either bites us or cowers in the corner. We like that. It feels like power, makes us feel effective, less inconsequential, less confused as to what life is all about. Within our minds, it centers us, puts our feet on the floor, gives us strength and assurance to stand our ground and endure.

All well and good, but there is more to feedback than simple cause and effect. And we are not the measure of all we set in motion with our conscious decisions to act or not to act. In fact, we live in a world where literally everything and everyone is connected to everything and everyone else. In waves, our every motion propagates and radiates across the entire surface of our planet. At distance, sure, the direct effect is minuscule. But it is not inconsequential. Waves have the potential to combine with each other, multiplying or cancelling their effects at distances we can hardly imagine influencing, both now and in times long hence.

Yeah, so. What’s that to me? I’m right here, right now. This is my life. Why should I care what happens somewhere else at some later time? Fate and God. That’s who controls all that, not me. I control what happens to me. That’s all.

Perhaps. But what if you could reliably control or influence things that might happen, especially to others and to the world they will inhabit? Would you?

Like I said, what’s that to me? It’s no skin off my nose what happens to others, to succeeding generations, and especially to foreigners on down the line. There is no gain to me, no positive feedback. It’s a bad deal.

Tell me, do you subscribe to the notion of a superordinate threat, a threat to you that is bigger than anything you can handle? You do, I’m sure. And in response, what do you do? You try to convince others they should throw their energies in with yours to counter that threat. Correct? But why? Why should they? It’s no skin off their noses if you feel threatened. And why should you feel threatened, in the first place, if it’s all fate and God’s doing?

No, I think you do believe that thinking ahead and coordinating with others is actually to your personal advantage. It widens your footing and multiplies your power and effectiveness. But because your sense of threat doesn’t recognize or address our sense of threat, coordinating with you is not a good deal for us. In our eyes, you are the threat, you and your selfishness and shortsightedness. From our point of view, there is no good deal to be had with you.

And that is feedback beyond simple cause and effect.

Monday, January 20th, 2014