On 10/4/2004, I had an epiphany. I taught problem solving as a high school math teacher. After the vision, I moved to Portland to get a PhD in systems science, and in two years when I finish my dissertation, I’ll be traveling the country to foment a (r)evolution.
I was teaching the students a basic four part problem solving method:
HAVE a problem.
IDENTIFY what you KNOW
IDENTIFY what is NEEDED
STRATEGIZE what to do
SOLVE (act on the problem)
VERIFY that the problem is correct.
Then I noticed something interesting – these items form a set of recursive domains, ‘meta’ if you will. People move smoothly from having a problem, to filtering it towards a goal, towards planning and then acting, and after acting, reflecting.
Then I noticed that this is a fundamental relationship in the processing of groups – whether we talk of group identity (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing) or the way in which Portland, OR has processed through the building of a new I-5 bridge (ODOT declares a problem, neighborhood mtgs, design meetings, construction meetings, construction!)
This basic pattern is nothing less than the operating of the hivemind, a prosaic and yet fundamental relationship in how humans compute. I believe that change in possible in my lifetime, and that I’ll be the one to foment that change. Look for me traveling the country under the Dead Letter brand knitting people together into a shared network, under Meta, with personal motivation and interesting projects for all.