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Everything posted by Rocky

  1. Very much so. And every human is subject to doing so.
  2. For anyone who might be interested. Edx, an online platform delivering MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, regularly sends me email listing course offerings. Both Edx and Coursera offer many (if not most or all) of their courses for free unless you'd like an official certificate for completing each course. Today I learned that the Rochester Institute of Technology, a world renowned engineering school, is offering one they call Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. The hitch is that the class is oriented to business applications rather than the Humanities. But I have to figure there'd be at least some overlap. About this course Skip About ts course In today's business environment, organizations have identified critical thinking and problem-solving as skills that are integral to an employee's--and their organization's--success. The most successful professionals can assess the environment, analyze a situation, design a solution, and ultimately win in a competitive scenario. This course, part of the Soft Skills Professional Certificate program, will demystify, discuss, and provide application techniques for critical thinking and problem-solving in a business context. Learners will draw connections to their work experience by analyzing and critiquing case studies. Best practices for problem-solving will be discussed and illustrated including how to weigh alternative solutions, incorporate feedback from stakeholders, and how and when to start over. This course may be audited free of charge. Learners also have the opportunity to earn a verified certificate of completion. Exclusive learning opportunities such as live events hosted by subject matter experts will be available for verified learners. Learning objectives include: How to perform strategic analysis and assessment How to perceive and assess a critical need and design a tailored solution How to identify key stakeholders and ensure their needs are met How to employ adaptive problem-solving How to work through obstacles collaboratively How to analyze failure to improve future performance
  3. Welcome back, John. I hope you've been well. Did you ever get any feedback on from your comment on the R&R website? Any idea how many people go there to listen to their ramblings?
  4. Btw, I don't watch commercial television either, but do watch YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime video and PBS online. I just ran into an Associated Press news story about this recently released (in France, and in French) book about an adult woman detailing her experience as a young teen (13-15 years old) having had a sexual relationship with a much older man who happens to be still alive and previously a celebrated literary star in that country. While twi excuses sexual misconduct by its clergy with adult (sometimes married) women, the interpersonal dynamics at work in the power relationships in twi weren't different from what this French author describes... at least according to what I've read in English. Here's one of the book reviews on Amazon translated into English: In 1993, Gabriel Matzneff published a book in which he recounts his adventures with young V., 13 years old when he was 50. V., this is Vanessa Springora, the very one who publishes today The Consent... The very one that, from 1986 to 1987, was Gabriel Matzneff's little victim under the complacent gaze of much of the intellectual world of the time. Bernard Pivot will shamelessly say to Matzneff during one of his shows: “You are still a kitty collector”... Here you go. Everyone knew very well that Matzneff only touched very young virgin girls or young boys aged 11 or 12... Here you go. Everyone knew he was a criminal pedo who went to Manila regularly to satisfy his little boy fantasies... Here you go. Everyone knew it, even the President of the Republic of the day... Even Vanessa Springora's own mother. Here you go. Yeah, but Gabriel Matzneff was an author, so it changed everything. Because Matzneff knew how to manipulate and seduce with words. Because he made young Vanessa believe that there was nothing wrong with the fact that a 50-year-old man had sex with a 13-year-old child. Springora uncomplacently recounts how Matzneff spotted her, seduced, isolated, submissive and ransacked her. That's the predator. Then she tells the story of how she tried to escape this grip. She tells the story of a 13-year-old girl, caught in the clutches of a most fearsome narcissistic pervert. She tells how this predator himself has carefully recounted in books published by major publishers his sexual adventures with minors... without shocking anyone, without justice interfering with them... without anyone worrying about the fate of the young victims... At my humble level, I thank Vanessa Springora for publishing this book. I thank her on behalf of all of us: the abused young girls, the hookers, the “who did not dare to speak”, the “who spoke but who were rebarred”, the “who survived”, the “who did not survive”, the “who drove away”, the “who were annihilated by a narcissistic pervert”, the “who believed” that it was all their fault ”... In short, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.
  5. I don't know why she left NBC, but certainly the harassment has been a significant factor overall in her decision processes.
  6. WW, you nailed it. Penworks' book, Undertow provides great insight on her experience in twi. She has made it her mission to shed light on the cult experience. She could do that only because of her 17 years in twi. I wrote this (which Penworks included at the beginning of the book), “Undertow is a gift to young people and their families who want to understand the inner workings of fundamentalist cults. Charlene Edge’s experience parallels much of my own twelve years as a follower of Victor Paul Wierwille’s ministry. Undertow sheds light on the decisions, questions, and longings that she encountered, and ultimately worked her way through. In the words of Canadian author Matshona Dhliwayo, ‘Books are kinder teachers than experience.’ May Undertow be a kinder teacher to you than Charlene’s seventeen years in The Way International were to her.” —Steve Muratore I'm now reading Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He makes the same point about learning from others' mistakes (that I did when I said that about Undertow). Mattis also poignantly demonstrates numerous examples of learning the hard way, through one's own experience. He doesn't call it regrets, but does powerfully make the case that learning from others' mistakes is quicker and often less painful.
  7. This video is NOT about the political spectrum, in either direction. The value of this Megyn Kelly moderated discussion is expanding on the dynamics of workplace power that leads to sexual harassment/abuse. I believe it also illuminates points WordWolf made in the quote I cited in this comment. Though Kelly's interview doesn't suggest Ailes drugged anyone to commit rape or obtain sexual favors. But she and the others do dramatically show how power dynamics can play out... and much of that kind of thing DID happen in twi with vpw and lcm. A key difference between what Kelly and her colleagues experienced is that what happened in twi was self-justifying rationalizations twisting bible verses and claiming it was "God's will." It probably took a long time for a woman who submitted to figure out that it wasn't necessarily in harmony with what God really intended for her... I don't think God ever told women to be thankful that they got emotionally manipulated and sexually abused as a matter of course.
  8. I understand. There are several first hand records on this forum. I suspect there are multiple topics about which adults in twi didn't tell you the whole story... one reason likely was that they didn't get the whole story from "leadership."
  9. Hi Memeand... Yes, that's ONE way it happened for some of them. Not necessarily the only way. Glad you got locked into your mind not to even get started messing around with married men.
  10. Ruminate on! Or gestate or gesticulate, whatever suits your fancy. I believe you're on the right track. Christakis' book is more about how societies form without necessarily any conscious intent. And yes, Maslov's hierarchy does seem to correlate closely with the Social Suite as articulated in Blueprint. But you nailed a couple of key sociological issues we lived through in our time in Wierwille's society/subculture. Consciously or not, VPW (and every other cult leader, because in this regard twi was far from unique) established a method for giving people a sense of belonging and then controlling their behavior (to a degree) based on threat to withdraw that sense of belonging.
  11. Interesting thing that occurred to me this evening. It seems spookily Orwellian that (or how) twi changed names of holidays and words to songs. Each instance was clearly intended to mark/enhance the image of twi as better or more correct or more right than anyone else. In that regard, it just elevated the narcissistic nature of wierwille's subculture.
  12. I understand how twi labeled them all as pagan. But twi's interpretation of culture wasn't necessarily the most rational much of the time.
  13. Wierwille may have heard of B.F. Skinner, but a good bit of what's in Christakis' book hadn't been figured out before Vic died. Totally agree with you that twi was largely about group dynamics and groupthink. When one realizes what kind of commune activism had taken place prior to twi, it can make one wonder how we weren't able to see it all before we got involved. Alas, I'm now old enough for Medicare and it has taken me a lifetime of reading to learn about.
  14. FWIW, Bill Gates (THAT Bill Gates) reviewed Blueprint on Goodreads.com He closed his review with this paragraph: "I didn’t expect to finish a book about behavior feeling more hopeful, but Christakis surprised me. It’s easy to feel down reading news headlines every day about how polarized we’re becoming. Blueprint is a refreshing reminder that, when people say we’re all in this together, it’s not just a platitude—it’s evolution."
  15. This is NOT a book about politics. Rather, it's about sociology (among other disciplines) and provides insight on social structure of TWI, the WOW Ambassador program (and whatever succeeded it... Way Disciples?) and the Way Corpse. The book examines and synthesizes history of group dynamics similarly to how Sapiens (by Harari) synthesized human history. To me, the perspective examining groups all over the world and throughout history gives perspective on the experience we had in TWI far more than exclusively using the Scriptures to understand the subject(s). Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of Good Society is available for purchase on line and at bookstores. But it's also available in some public libraries. The author (Nicholas Christakis) offers insight on what he calls the Social Suite. These eight traits form what he calls the “social suite”: 1. Individual identity 2. Love for partners and children 3. Friendship 4. Social networks 5. Cooperation 6. Preference for your own group 7. mild hierarchy 8. Social learning and teaching We, who participated in TWI's regimented programs can see just by looking at this list some of the reasons why Wierwille's model society didn't work. But you can get much more insight by reading the book.
  16. I agree with Raf. Atheism ≠ nihilism even though there may be some overlap. Why you should help others. (From the Daily Stoic) “Though pagan,” Wyatt-Brown writes, “the Stoics recognized the brotherhood of man. The greatest virtue was helping others for one’s own sake and peace of mind as well as theirs. Justice, goodness of heart, duty, courage, and fidelity to fellow creatures, great and lowly, were abstractions requiring no divine authority to sustain them; they were worth pursuing on their own.” [...] what does he mean by pagan or divine authority? The author is making an important point about Stoicism. Most religions tell us to be good because God said so. Or they tell us not to be bad because God will punish us. Stoicism is different. While not incompatible with religion, it makes a different case for virtue: A person who lives selfishly will not go to hell. They will live in hell. And both these points are related to the final and most important part: We are all connected to each other, and to help others is to help ourselves. We are obligated to serve and to be of service.
  17. I don't understand how that relates to this discussion.
  18. Hi Alan, All of that is completely understandable. The 1990s are a couple of decades behind us. How did you cope or adapt to that loneliness? Rocky
  19. Thank goodness that's not what we're doing now, eh?
  20. JALvis wasn't coordinating the 9th corpse its first year in res... the first and only year I was there. But we called it ho-ho relo that year too.
  21. Indeed, the chains cults put their members in are invisible and largely enforced by way of the meaning/understanding of the language/terminology they use. Wonderful insight T-Bone. Thanks.
  22. Bumping this topic up. Today I received an email from the Daily Stoic that asked the question, "What is gratitude?" On this day of American Thanksgiving, we’re supposed to make time for thanks, to actively think about that word that has become almost cliché in wellness circles: gratitude. But what is gratitude? Some people think of it as being thankful for all the good things you have in your life. Others see it as the act of acknowledging what people have done for you or what you appreciate about others. While the Stoics would have agreed that was all important, they practiced a slightly different form of gratitude. It was more inclusive and counterintuitive. It wasn’t just about being grateful for the good, but for all of life. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” was how Marcus Aurelius put it, “that things are good and always will be.” The first key word there is everything. The other key word is convince. Meaning: you have to tell yourself that it’s all good, even the so-called “bad stuff.” Is it possible to be grateful for that nine-hour travel delay that has you sleeping on a bench in the airport? Is it possible to be grateful for your father’s affair that tore your family apart, and which now means you’re celebrating two Thanksgivings in two houses because your parents can’t be in the same room together? Or that dark period you went through in college, when your grades fell to pieces and you thought about killing yourself? It’s not easy to be grateful for any of this, but it is possible. In the Discourses, Epictetus says, “It is easy to praise providence for anything that may happen if you have two qualities: a complete view of what has actually happened in each instance, and a sense of gratitude.” On the surface, much of what we’re upset about or wish hadn’t occurred is so objectionable that gratitude seems impossible. But if we can zoom out for that more complete view, understanding and appreciation can emerge. First off, you’re alive. That’s the silver lining of every s h i t t y situation and should not be forgotten. But second, everything that has happened and is happening is bringing you to where you are. It’s contributing to the person you have become. And that’s a good thing. This understanding, Epictetus said, helps you see the world in full color—in the color of gratitude. The Stoics believed that we should feel gratitude for all the people and events that form our lives. We shouldn’t just be thankful for the gifts we receive, and our relationships with friends and family. We should also be aware of and grateful for the setbacks and annoyances. For the difficult coworkers and the nagging in-laws, for the stress they put on us and whatever other difficulties we might be experiencing. Why? Because it’s all of those things, interconnected and dependent on each other, that made you who and what you are today. It is only by seeing the totality of things, good and bad, that you gain the understanding necessary to be truly grateful. It could be that terrible relationship that imploded spectacularly, but which led to you meeting the love of your life. It could even be the passing of a relative, something that caused you great sadness but which also spurred you to build stronger relationships with your loved ones. All of these things are sad, and they may not even lead to a happy ending—but they still define the course of your life, and it wouldn’t be you sitting there right now without them. As you gather around your family and friends this Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other celebration you might partake in, take the time to appreciate the moment and give thanks for all the obvious and bountiful gifts that moment presents. But also, be sure to be thankful for everything in your life, both the good and the bad. Because it’s in seeing all of those things, and understanding their impact, that you gain the ability to express true gratitude.
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