This tribute series started with a tribute to Eli Goldratt, founder of the Theory of Constraints, who passed away in June of this year. Afterwards, I wondered why one waits until after a person passes away to express gratitude - concretely - on how a person's work has influenced their own work. Rather than ponder on that question, I simply said to myself: Don't wait!
A second tribute followed, to Robert Pirsig ...
Buckminster Fuller came next.
I've had many comments. Several pointed out minor errors. Thanks. Several pointed out I wasn't properly expressing the person / philosophy I was paying tribute to. Thanks also. I not only didn't agree with you, but often I didn't agree with your interpretation of main ideas.
And that's OK, too!
You see, these tributes aren't merely a regurgitation of the philosophies of the individual people. Why do that? They've already done that! Rather, the focus here is what it is has meant to me - literally.
This may mean pulling particular ideas out of the entire philosophical bag. This may even mean applying them differently than was intended. It may even mean interpreting the ideas differently than the authors themselves! As I said, these are tributes to people - and the impact - literally - on me.
Who am I to pick and choose what "looks good" to me? That "works" for me?
First off, I didn't say I picked and chose. If I understand an entire block of a philosophy - can make sense of it - then I'll work to include as much as possible into a tribute. But even this is a task, because there are many, many ideas incorporated into one's philosophy. In other words ...
You've got to research your own experience.
As I said, there's a lot out there - even within a given philosophical system. For the longest time, to me, Dr. Deming was "Operational Definitions" and Theory of Constraints was "Thinking Processes". These "worked" for me. They made sense. I could apply them - every day - all day!
Absorb what is useful.
Of course, for any particular philosophy, one may not agree with a particular aspect of it. So what? They're them and you're you! If it helps you, great, if not, move on!
Reject what is useless.
Is that it? Do your own research? Absorb what is useful? Reject what is useless? There's something missing. ME! Where's room for "me"?
For example, the Theory of Constraints has a "Strategy and Tactics" tree. I've never liked it, mostly because it took an easily understandable topic, and made it less understandable - to me. Those are recurring words, you might notice, throughout these tributes: TO ME. Everything is personal.
But not liking the TOC S&T tree doesn't mean there wasn't value. There was huge value - and from the essence of the tool came this gem I call "The Audible Ready Tree" I use all the time, here on how to properly communicate a graphic regarding the presentation of oil and gas prices:
Teachers of logic have traditionally broke things into deduction and induction. From specifics to a general conclusion, or starting with a general premise and drawing a specific conclusion. Just typing this is awful. Why subjects kids to such idiocy? "Because that's the way it's always been done?"
Why not unite the two in a single image - deduction and induction together - as they should be! Conduction!
There are many such examples: the operational and contextual syllogism and the bi-directional cloud are a couple. And simple modifications of things, I've found, can contextually come in handy. If one is including TOC-type logic in a narrative, and if the narrative flows top-to-bottom, it helps to have the logic tree flow in a similar direction. In other words:.
Add what is specifically yours.
You've got to research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is specifically yours. Powerful thoughts. And what is their origin? You may recognize some of the movies below. They're all great!
But underneath the movies is a philosophy ...
A Common Origin
More Quotes of Bruce Lee
All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.
It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. LEARN, MASTER AND ACHIEVE!!!
In Jeet Kune Do, one does not accumulate but eliminates. It is not daily increase, but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. It is the half way cultivation that runs to ornamentation.
So as we move on, tribute to tribute, borrowing from here, changing from there, modifying, deleting, and distorting along the way, keep in mind this is good! You've got to research your own experience. Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is specifically yours.
And walk on ...
And I notice a recurring theme. Often times, it's long after first reading something I truly begin to understand it's meaning - and power. This was true of Buckminster Fuller. This is true here, too.
post-script: I quickly moved from "Jeet Kune Do" to "Jeet Kune Do Concepts". Why? For fear students, in studying JKD, would consider themselves "done" when a "certain number of skills" were mastered. What are skills if not fixed set patterns? And if the truth is outside all fixed patterns, but one needs to call their "program" something, what do they call it? THE CONCEPTS!