Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Tired and busy. I'll be teaching six classes in the next two weeks from a custom lesson plan just for these guys. Have spent the last two days re-writing old lesson plans and designing new ones. Won't talk about that, much.

Maybe a little. I have this little situation that can only be described as INTJ hell. The world actually does make sense and is really pretty simple. People desperately want to be complicated and they aren't. There are a lot of issues and as the scope of what you are exploring grows, the variables increase. More importantly the unknowns increase. This is why I don't have much of an opinion on political situations that I'm not personally involved in... I've been in situations where I was given a pretty full brief and then watched what was presented to the media, and what the media presented to the people and talked to some of the people who drew their conclusions from partial information. In essence, I'm too aware of how much I don't know to rabidly defend some opinion.

However, people imagine a complexity that they then create. This is INTJ hell: Something needs to happen. It is obvious what needs to happen... and someone with power but without information decides that the right thing would look bad. Or MIGHT look bad. Or could incur some liability. So the obvious right thing isn't done and real people get hurt to protect imaginary perception.

"Perception is reality"... but it isn't, not when you are the one who is really bleeding. Not when you are the widow or the orphan of the one sacrificed for appearances.

One officer did exactly what he was taught and was able to take down a knife-wielding psych who ambushed him without using deadly force. Dozens have told us it was the most useful program yet. A few (mostly rookies but one senior) have said it gave them a confidence that they could do the job.

I'm being asked to rewrite the class that made those stories possible.

It's possibly the most effective DT class we've ever had. But it's too violent, according to some. It looks that way on paper- at least to some... and "perception is reality" to some people. The ones not in a position to bleed. Have any of the people complaining been through the class? Has there been ANY increase in excessive force claims? Have officer hospitalizations gone down by a third?

That's what INTJs do- they design systems that work, and it is hell to change a working system, especially if the cost might be in the pain or blood of friends.

Maybe, maybe if I can make the changes with enough skill, the cost will be less. Maybe.

C'mon, Sisyphus. Time to push that rock up the hill. One more time, partner. Don't feel alone.

I'm very, very tired.


Mike said...

"It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law.”

Quote from "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered", published Lippincott's Magazine (March 1896).

"By honestly applying ‘form follows function’, industrial designers had the potential to advance their clients right out of business. Some objects made too durable would prevent sales of replacements. From the standpoint of functionality some products are flatly unnecessary, and through the eyes of an electric carving knife maker that’s quite unacceptable."

I've ripped those comments straight out of Wikipedia, but I studied Design and Design history at Uni. My thought is this... could you "re-design" the system and soften its appearance, without changing core techniques or principles?

Its just a thought mind you and I don't know the whole context...


Patrick Parker said...

Or hows about another perspective - from an INTP -

If it's not broken, you'd better break it and re-buiild it before some other numbskull does.

I've found that tearing a system (i.e a martial arts system) apart and putting it back together is endlessly educational. I'm in a constant state of re-building my aikido and judo syllabi - not because they dont work. I often end up with the same results inthe end. But because I learn more about the assumptions underlying the system every time I have to rebuild it.