The world exists in dichomoties and intellectual triumvirates. Great men generally come in threes. Like Socrates inspiring Plato and Aristotle, who, in turn inspired Western civilization.
I see Plato as describing Socrates’ virtue, while Aristotle codified it. Freud believed in rationalism, but Jung believed mythology and dreams to be foundational to psychology . Freud is akin to Aristotle and modernism (physical objects precede intellectual forms , the melding of function and form, atheism and the denial of mysticism), and Jungian psychology links up with post-modernism (communitas, acephalous power structures, and the immaterial plane where Platonic forms exist).
I’ve recently read three men who have changed my ideal of a perfect society. Or production in a perfect society as I see it.
Malcolm Gladwell believes children should not get summer vacations. He shows that the biggest difference between rich and poor kids, is that rich kids are exposed to intellectual stimuli during the summer and forget less when they come back to school in September; whereas poor kids nearly forget all their math and reading skills because they getting soaked by fire hydrants. A school in the Bronx has opened up, where children start school at 7AM, end school at 6PM (including three hours of heavy math instruction), and homework usually ends at 10PM. They have no summer vacations. These children go on to Harvard, despite largely coming from poor Hispanic families in the Bronx.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes, as a former stockbroker, that our mathematical models for economics and politics use the standard bell curve, when events are shaped by outliers outside the bell curve. The attacks on 9/11, the victory of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, and the revolution in Egypt never fit into any manual or prediction offered by government advisors and academic experts. Neither life nor the global economy should proceed with standard bell curve models without considering that the we live in an unpredictable world.
Fidel Castro said:
“I began this revolution with 82 men. If I had to do it again, I would do it with only 10 or 15 who had absolute faith. It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action.”
Frederick Brooks, Jr., a computer operating system developer, shows you how to hustle ten men to do a better job than 100.
All these men try to figure out why capitalism leaves some people in the dust, and at some point conclude that profits have to be controlled, and human nature has to be accounted for. If people are only valued by their bank accounts, then the waste of human capital, and frustrations of white collar society as it disintegrates leads to widespread macroeconomic shocks.
Malcolm Gladwell also says if you spend 10,000 hours on anything, and you achieve mastery with it.
Taleb insists that we secure whatever gains are made in profitable times, as the profit will not last. Cash out after earning enough profit. If you don’t, the economy will at some point crash, and you will lose everything.
Brooks – how to organize people and projects, where each person does an assignment task