The Nature of Rules: Conformity, compliance and innovation often do not get along

The project I am currently working on, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business is really an idea I’ve been exploring my entire life. It’s on my mind because I’ve spent the last week enjoying all the various Star Wars mythologies that are spawning out of Disney, the new Mandalorian tv series, the video game Jedi: Fallen Order, the new book Resistance Reborn which is setting up the new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. All while planning my trip to the Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World with my wife. I remember how it was in the beginning when I was just a young 20 something hanging out in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian with the Joseph Campbell Foundation for which George Lucas was on the board of directors and seeing the models from the films which had filled my imagination all during my youth. Joseph Campbell had done for mythology what I want to do for business, and after half a century of work, those mythic efforts are finally starting to shape our culture in a positive, and measurable way.

Campbell taught at the little maverick school Sarah Lawrence College where he was free to conduct his outside the box academics to his liking, and to be truthful, if he hadn’t, Star Wars likely would have never happened. But it was a slow go on an obscure topic that took a long time to form roots. And in many ways, I consider Joseph Campbell one of my primary influences growing up. I’ve read all his books many, many times and listened to his various lectures most of my life. And my plans for my own life have been similar, but very different from his. My subject matter goes many steps beyond his study of cultures and comparative religion, but to the source of all activity among the human species. That is why my focus is on business and why this book I’m working on is such a big step that keeps getting deeper and deeper the longer I work on it.

The theme of my two previously published books, The Symposium of Justice and The Tail of the Dragon explore the nature of rules in our society and what their usefulness is. Nobody would argue that having a society of rules is what keeps everything we build together and that is certainly true in business. But rules by their nature prevent innovation, which is the key to all business expansion. My pick of the gunfighter period of the American West, around the 1870s to the 1890s is due to the lawless period of the American experiment that brought forth so much upcoming economic activity, which then created so many opportunities for people who otherwise wouldn’t have had them. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald captured some of this very well, the idea of old money and new money. The old money was from the aristocratic class migrating from Europe while the new money was made in America by new innovations spawning from this Wild West period. While shortly after the Gatsby novel Ayn Rand wrote her classics, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged which did a good job of getting to the meat of the American experience as opposed to other influences around the world.

I grew up with a natural, and healthy hatred of rules. For as long as I have memories, I despised the limits others placed on me and dedicated myself to solitude and the treasures that could be found there. My best friend growing up was my books, especially the works of Joseph Campbell and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Once I figured out the nature of rules when I was still under ten years old, I stopped caring about them. Teachers and their homework assignments would take a back seat if I had something better to do. Society and their rules for going up and down escalators, speed limits, or not standing too close to a steep edge were all open invitations to me to break those rules to see what society was trying to keep me from. When I could drive a car, I routinely always drove 100 MPH everywhere. Functioning under the speed limit to me was forcing me to live by the averages of mundane people who weren’t interested in pushing any limits but confined to live within the limits of very average, and boring people. And yes, I was involved in several fiery crashes at those speeds. Not where I was driving, but other people, so I know what it feels like and after each one, I resolved to go even faster and defy death even more.

I could tell stories from here to some distant planet well outside our solar system about the many perilous adventures that have spawned off this tribute to pushing limits and questioning every rule that there is. I am far from an anarchist so I do like rules to a point, but I think a culture should always be pushing up against them and that insurance agents and politicians should not be limiting our intellects with stupid conformity to concepts invented by lazy minded losers. So putting all these thoughts together into this Gunfighter’s Guide to Business has turned out to be incredibly revelatory. I have gone back through all the education of the years that brought me to this point in my life, the rules based education of Lean thinking, of college MBA programs, of the kind of talking down that goes on in those endeavors and have crippled the scope of business to this very day, and am flipping all those concepts on their heads. But like all rules, you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. You don’t break all the rules only to have anarchy allowing for open theft of possessions by the destitute. There has to be some structure to it all that is conducive to risk-taking and risk mitigation.

Guns are the perfect combination of the two necessities so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are part of American culture the way they are. If you are reckless with a gun you can hurt lots of people, including yourself. But in shooting you unlock all kinds of gut instinct mechanisms that are obscure to the mind under any other condition, which is the nature of rule breaking so that innovation can flourish. By the time I’m done with this, I think it will have a very Joseph Campbell effect, not on mythology which was his thing, but on business, which is my thing. Looking at something differently than 5000 to 10,000 years of human evolution is a tough undertaking, but it takes being willing to break the very rules of assumptions by their very essence to get there. And that is what I am excited to see percolating out of obscurity in a very unique way. Rules are too often not put into place to help, but to hinder. The rule makers tend to be unenlightened and create the rules to keep challengers from dethroning them from some position of power they have acquired by learning the rules better than their competition. But rules in themselves don’t open the doors to the future, thinking outside of the rules does, so that new rules for new ways of thinking can then be applied. While we can’t have chaos, we can’t allow rules to hold us back from innovation. And that, once its understood has a marvelous potential that I am very, very excited about.

Rich Hoffman

No Outrage Toward College Sports Sexual Abuse: Yet Ambassador Yovanovitch feels threatened, Roger Stone was convicted and the NFL suspends the great Miles Garrett–explaining it all to you

Without question there is a lot going on, however people’s interpretation on it depends on how much they have been broken, like some horse due to their exposure to institutionalism. As an example, and you can see this in most any office environment where people proudly display their continued loyalty to the college they graduated from, and will put on their garments ahead of a big weekend football game with genuine excitement. In my part of the country it is common to see such references to many colleges, especially Purdue and Ohio State, whereas in the North East its Harvard, Princeton, MIT and other such listings. Yet when bad news comes out that the sports doctor for Ohio State had been molesting athletes for decades and people knew about it, nobody knew what to say. The same quandary occurred and still lingers over the Penn State sports program due to the massive amount of homosexual molestation that was going on in their sports program. And in so many ways the events of Friday November 15th 2019 were so earth shattering that the institutionalists who are so trained to think only in that fashion were completely lost.

I am of course referring to the impeachment trial of President Trump as given by Ambassador Yovanovitch, the guilty conviction against Roger Stone, the president’s first campaign manager and behind the scenes confidant, and the massive fight that took place between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Cleveland Browns where the Browns player, Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off the Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. The world watched in horror as if the entire event came straight out of Westworld where the robots revealed that they were aggressive and potentially dangerous. The trial and conviction of Roger Stone is that institutional way to pretend that all is safe, that the parameters of danger could be controlled by the processes put in place by the institutions and these occasional outbreaks of violence and rebellion, such as the election of President Trump, the fights that happen between NFL players on and off the field could be controlled. And when the evidence is so overwhelming in just how evil the institutions truly are, such as the sexual molestations of student athletes in college sports programs there are no thought processes to prepare them for that reality, so they just ignore the information and stare at their college swag, their coffee mugs dedicated to Ohio State, their photos of a Saturday game and pretend that all is well.

I didn’t see anything wrong with what Myles Garrett did. What does anybody expect? With the level of trash talking that goes on and the expectations to win, tempers are bound to flare up. I’m sure Myles and Rudolph will be friends again. In fact, if the event didn’t happen on television in front of millions of people, they likely would have gone to dinner together an hour later and made up. They are guys, and that’s how guys are with each other. But this window into a primal world for which the NFL has placed itself where safety and good social conduct are supposed to take place over a priority on winning, the fans are noticeably not happy with that direction of the business model. Even though these kids playing football all come from these institutional colleges and were the best that came from those sports programs even knowing all the bad things that go on behind the scenes, fans in the stands are never supposed to see the inmates rebel with such examples of blood letting as was seen in that Pittsburg/Cleveland game. I have seen fights like that in the stands of a Pittsburg/Bengal game between the fans. Football is a violent game and fans love it. Why the NFL or anybody else is so outraged is a bit of a mystery, unless you understand the dysfunction of institutionalism itself.

Such a dysfunctional understanding about the way the world works was obvious during Ambassador Yovanovitch’s testimony against her experience with President Trump. Here was a career bureaucrat that had been released of her duty by Trump for being an Obama era holdover that he didn’t want in the position and the crux of the entire questioning revolved on the termination of government employees from one administration to another. Most people in the position of the President have been broken into thinking that the system is greater than their opinions so that they don’t go and try to change that system. Trump has shown that he doesn’t need any of them to help him make a decision which is just reprehensible to the institutionalist. They are aghast about the entire process and the lack of respect that Trump and his supporters have shown for their value. They are so upset about it that they have been attacking anybody close to Trump, such as Roger Stone as a warning. Stone’s conviction isn’t about doing anything wrong, its about being close to the President and daring to work against the established system of institutional control.

The behavior traces back to any average public education high school environment where peer pressure is used to control all participants so long as the objective is agreed upon by the institutional rules and regulations. For example, molesting children, labor union activism, and transgender bathrooms are outside the scope of institutional instruction as progressive society is establishing those issues as part of their greater agenda of destroying the American family, or families in general so that borders between homes are lowered and the parental aims of government can then replace such sentiments of tradition. However, if an individual wears the wrong shirt to school or shows anger toward some established norm, like gun possession, the enjoyment of a non-establishment form of music, or does not like the local college sports team, then the institution supports violence of any kind to apply peer pressure toward those individuals. They will either be destroyed or converted, but they are not allowed to have their own thoughts for things. Even the most robust anarchist plays their part in the process, they are used most by the institutional to drive peer pressure, they are supported as the threat of enforcement from being socially castigated. They are used in the same way that the government used ISIS and terrorism in general, to say, “see, you need our protection from those bandits, (that we helped to create) join us, or die.” And that is what the institutional told Trump, “follow us or we will put all your friends and even you out on the street. We control the courts, we control the rules and regulations, and we ultimately control you, not some measly election by a bunch of NFL lovers who would rather see a fight than a good old handshake at the end of a game between rivals.

Rather than be upset about it though, it is fascinating to watch and I’m intrigued to watch this social monstrosity, known as intuitionalism die this death of the ages. These are not new thoughts, they’ve have been around since the city states of Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the long history of ancient Egypt. But America was born with all the nationalities of the world to rise against that trend, not to preserve it. And that is beyond the scope of their learning, the “institutionalists.” They are process driven due to their natural timidity exacerbated by their life-long journey toward institutional instruction and in this modern age of rebellion, by people not so broken that they know enough to vote for President Trump, the impact of that resolution is far beyond them. They only know that they should punish Myles Garrett and throw Roger Stone in jail and hope that institutional controls will outlast this rebellion as it has for many, many centuries. But I don’t think so. Rather what I think is that I am going to go out and buy myself a Myles Garrett jersey. Because after that game the other night, I think I am more of a fan of the Cleveland Browns as a result.

Rich Hoffman

How to Kill a Bear: Disney+, Congressional Impeachment, and a Metrosexual invasion caused by our education system

I was reminded of something while watching the old Davy Crockett shows on Disney+. While its obvious that Disney has been part of the problem lately regarding social justice, and that disclaimer certainly comes with their views on some of their older products, like Crockett, they do have a vast body of work that has been very good and now that they are all in one place, its been very enjoyable for me. I have been able to go back and watch the old Zorro television shows and other wonderful, old fashioned stories from a one stop shop reconnecting me to many of the good memories of my childhood. Yet even then, as a child, my thoughts were out of step with the rest of the world. Not that they were wrong, just out of step. In Sunday school, which I attended most of my youth along with church most Sundays, I always skipped the line about Jesus Christ, “we are weak, but he is strong” because that was never my plan, even as a five-year-old. But in the first episode of Davy Crockett from the Disney television show where he single handedly wrestled a bear and turned it into “table meat” with his bare hands—well that was something I could admire. And I did as many young people did.

My thoughts about public education go back to the very beginning. I hated it from day one of my very first hour in kindergarten and I never warmed up to it. I would describe my experience as a kind of Papillion complex where I felt imprisoned and intent to wait out my enemies with sheer endurance. But conversion over to their way of thinking was never on my radar, nor was compliance to their stupid rules and modes of thinking. I can’t say that my parents did anything to me to make me think this way. I’ve always been a very private thinker with a lot on my mind and the very first hour of public school with a bunch of other lazy minded kids was not pleasant. Nor being told that I was expected to limit my own growth to their parameters. The result of that was that I grew up always in trouble because compliance to a norm was the parameters of success and honor, which I never accepted.

My parents ground me from everything I enjoyed which only made matters worse. From their point of view they had to get me compliant to the social norms of kids my age so I spent most of my youth grounded from television and other things kids do, because of all the trouble I had at school. I was allowed to read books so that was what I did. But when I wasn’t grounded and could watch television with the family, shows like Davy Crockett and other great old westerns were things I soaked up for all I could get before my teachers would call my parents again over some disciplinary action that would put me back into solitary confinement again. When I could drive a car and get away from all those restrictions I did, and in a big way. I’ve told the stories elsewhere, but I drove everywhere very fast. I got into a lot more trouble legally by almost every county in southern Ohio but I had no regrets. I’m proud to have survived it all with my mind intact. I would say my situation is very unusual, but the sentiment is not uncommon. Most people have thoughts of such a preservation of their intellect, but along the way they get broken by the compliance track. And now as adults they know of nothing else and it is destroying the world in ways that I’ve been warning about my entire life.

Watching the impeachment hearings has brought all this up in a raw form because of my ruthless dedication to the cause. I joke about an invasion of metrosexuals but even so, it is clear that they are numerous and were raised to think the way they do from our very deficient education system. Some get out of it alive, but most don’t and it’s getting worse. You get a stable measure when something like Disney+ comes out and you can see what people used to value as opposed to what they value today, and the cause of that difference is the influences kids get as a youth. If the entertainment culture and education system are all saying to conform to some rules and regulations that were created by bureaucrats to impose order as opposed to freedom of thought, then the result will be obvious, and we are seeing it during the impeachment trial.

Women have always had it in their DNA to be something of a compliant figure. Their biological job has been to give birth, and nurture that family. Anything away from that is a matter of human invention created by political movements, not aligned with human biological need. They’d look to their husband, their social network, and their larger regional identification for the rules to raise their family within for the sake of their children’s safety. Even now they are the helicopter moms that are putting pillows next to their kids to break their every move from the possibility of danger. With that being said, men were the dynamic influences that balanced out danger from safety. Danger is always a good learning opportunity especially if the goal is to become more individually independent, which all minds yearn to be in some way or another.

The trend of public education was always to built compliant people, not necessarily thinking ones, and that is most obvious by the actions of this current congress and the media dialogue that is spawning off it. People not broken by their pasts are not buying into it, but for those who have yielded to the pressures of their youth, they are obviously lost as to how a president like Trump could act so easily on his own and think so confidently in his own thoughts. That bewilderment is the root of their entire case and it really goes back to the kind of thinking where Davy Crockett killed a bear with his hands all by himself. Today’s metrosexual male trained in the ways of the tyrannical public education system would have to get a group of people to build a concession plan as to whether or not to kill the bear, and while doing so, they’d have to plan how to do it. By the time they would get to actually killing the bear the creature would die of old age. And that is the expectation of our education system. To destroy the ambition to kill bears with one’s own ambition and skill, and turn all individuals into a compliant blob where nobody can do anything without anybody elses’ permission. It is the same kind of thinking that went into building the United Nations. Nobody goes ahead of any others. Nobody has more or less and in that way, there will never be any conflict. But at the expense of progress.

Young people no longer have such influences of Davy Crockett to tell them that maybe they could grow up to kill a bear with their hands alone, but the message is that they are chained to their neighbors and community members and their limits. And that we should be happy to reside there unquestioning. That is why congress thinks they can turn the message of the impeachment attempt against President Trump, because they trust that system so much that they assume it will work. But what they fail to realize is that even though many people have been intellectually broken they still have that deep fantasy as people of being free of that burden and Trump offers through his brand a release from that prison. And that is what our modern political movement is based on. People are rejecting that education system of compliance. While some have found success in learning the rules and being nice compliant shrimps such as these metrosexual types, most are resentful of the intrusion and they escape from the rigors of life to their televisions where Disney+ now has so many offerings. But among them are not the progressive garbage of our modern age, but of the traditions that made Disney such a great company to begin with. And that is something that can only be good for the vast amount of minds imprisoned otherwise to faulty modes of thinking, and providing an option they have desperately been in need of.

Rich Hoffman

The Professional Nerds: They want impeachment to hide their uselessness

One thing that everyone must deal with if you achieve any level of success at life are the professional nerds who ride the coat tails of previous achievement and always establish some kind of coup to claim ownership from the bold who came before them. That was certainly on display in Washington D.C. during the so-called impeachment hearings led by the former prosecutor Adam Schiff. Now prosecutors have never scared me, nor do depositions. In times past when pressed I have done my own legal work and quite enjoy tearing to shreds losers like Adam Schiff who are the very embodiment of that professional nerd culture that has essentially taken over in the Beltway and everywhere else where performance is measured by the layers of bureaucracy established. They are the modern metrosexuals who are afraid of flies and mosquitos and would let Rome burn to the ground while they come up with some consensus driven procedure to save it. Getting rid of them from our government is exactly what we mean when we say “drain the swamp.” If that is the best that Adam Schiff can do given all the resources he has extracted from taxpayers to do it, its pretty pathetic.

I mention the legal scenario of acting as one’s own attorney because I’ve seen this kind of arrogance plenty of times from this class of loser people. They think they have some information that they’ve read from a book, some boon like Prometheus might have obtained in gaining fire from the sun to return it back to earth after Zeus had hid it away. They don’t expect to encounter someone who can read more than them, experience more than them and is smarter than them. Their understanding of the law is formed within the Bar Association and the rules of conduct that they utilize. So anyone outside of that little clan they think of as ignorant, leaving them baseless to deal with reality when confronted. I find it enjoyable to stumble such arrogant people within their professional efforts because their intent is always malicious, even if they hide them behind good deeds. Their malice for effort is easy to exploit because their true philosophy in life isn’t a joy in intellect, it is through group association that doesn’t raise the bar for their personal performance, it just lowers it to uncover a laziness that they are so good at hiding that they don’t even see it in themselves.

Bureaucrats are the creation of this social veil because as timid souls they must conceal their lack of achievement by looting off people who do things so that they can share ownership. That is the entire root of their entire existence. They think that by getting some degree in college and reading a few books here and there that they can have the right to make important decisions, yet when they find out that they aren’t the smartest people in the room, it destroys their basic grip on reality. So long as they belong to some unique guild, like the Bar Association, they can hide behind that veil and they can trick people into respecting them. But once you learn its all a farce, as I learned very young by getting into so much trouble that I had gone to court more times than years on my age by double, the patterns of deceit are clear to see. And it was easy to see at that impeachment hearing by the dubious Adam Schiff. You would think that an attempted coup by a Democrat in congress would have smarter people involved, some ultimate movie villain that we see often on the silver screen. But much to our disappointment, in reality, these villains are just stupid professional nerds who gained their notoriety in life by boot licking and claim jumping. And while under pressure, they fold every time.

It was always clear to me, but now it should be clear to everyone else that the hatred of President Trump spawns from his competency in rooting out losers like Adam Schiff. Not that it was a malicious deed by the president but it always happens when a competent person of experience meets a professional nerd who are the come lately thieves who steal away the achievement of those who came before them and actually build a career off that effort by putting rules and regulations between them and their targets. A guy like Trump who has spent a lifetime taking risks and enjoying the winnings has exploited this ruse just by his election, and his actions throughout the years he’s been in office have further confirmed that all along it wasn’t some special sauce of leadership coming out of West Point, or the most elite Ivy League schools that makes a great president, its guts, and experience that do, which has shattered the world of the professional nerd. Anytime you want to see it and some lawyer demands action from you within a court of law, you’ll see them melt when they learn that you know their secret language meant to hide their incompetence—and that you aren’t a member of the Bar Association, or of congress.

Much of the testimony provided in the hearing on impeachment was of the nature of dissidents who were upset that Trump did not need them to perform his job. Normally, consultants are brought in to advise a president, but being a man of action, Trump doesn’t need them, so they have played along with this Adam Schiff attack willingly in hopes that the professional nerds could resume their ruse through impeachment. Their hatred for Trump is the same hatred that their type always has for people of achievement. While they need such people more than they need food and water, they secretly resent them because the dependence is so one sided, especially when it is put on trial. They need their victims to thank them for looting them with big words and obscure terminology that they have studied all their lives. What the professional nerds are terrified of is that the people they deal with don’t seek their counsel or interpretations but act anyway on their own such has Trump has. He hasn’t needed the generals, the advisors, and all the other professional nerds which has left them standing around waiting for someone to acknowledge them. And before people learn how useless they truly are they are trying to impeach President Trump so to preserve themselves for the future.

But its too late. It has been for me for many years now. I learned early in my life thankfully just how useless these people are. And now everyone can see it. Yet even I am a little disappointed that Adam Schiff couldn’t put on a better show than what he did. As a looter he clearly depends 100% off others for his sustenance and when he is forced to do anything on his own merit, he fails. He certainly did fail on the impeachment trial, which was clear on day one. Its not just a partisan interpretation of the events, it’s the accurate observation, and reminder that professional nerds have built up a scandal that was concealed so long as people never asked questions of them. They needed the exchange to be one sided only and when it wasn’t, they fail every single time.

Rich Hoffman

A Review of The Mandalorian: Boys never wanted the girls to invade their tree house.

There is no impeachment, even though that is the news of the day. All there is or ever was regarding the attempts of the Democrat controlled congress to attempt to get rid of President Trump is a frustrated attempt to manipulate the law in an effort to avoid their perilous fate of a 2020 loss even more embarrassing than over the past two elections. And my resolve is not to care too much about it unless they try to remove my president from his elected office, where I will then grab whatever volunteers are needed to defend him with the Second Amendment from those villains that have infected our government. Its that simple. No further commentary needed. Meanwhile, and I was glad for the options, Disney+ opened this week and we were all finally able to watch the new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian and let me just say this, it was fantastic.

I also say that for me visiting any story within the Star Wars experience is like a vacation for me. To understand that I’d refer to a recent article I wrote on the value of thinking like a 12-year-old. Children think in big, broad terms with solutions in focus and are not restricted on how to create the questions that might complete such a journey, so I see great value in it. The adult world would say that such a way of thinking is immature, but then look at their lives. They are heavy on burdens with limited options to deal with them, and their lives are most of the time a complete disaster. Nobody should listen to them under the best of circumstances. Star Wars was never meant for adults, but specifically for boys between the ages of 7 to 12. Of course, Disney wants to reach out to girls and older audiences if it can get them, but Star Wars as we have always known it was geared toward the problems of young boys. Visiting that way of thinking has always been fun for me because I like to explore lots of options with infinite optimism, and when everything fails in the real world, Star Wars has always been a place that values those sentiments.

As I have pointed out the new Disney owned Star Wars has not been as good. It’s been like that moment when all the young boys had a boys only tree house and the girls found out about it and wanted to join in. To be nice the boys let them but started grumbling when the girls brought with them dolls, cooking utensils and brooms to replace the guns, knives and acts of war of the boys. And instead of play fighting the boys found themselves talking about raising families and the difficulties of getting to the store, and they were noticeably upset about it. Under Disney, Star Wars became less about war and more about social justice and the skin color of the actors, and it became just boring. The Mandalorian much to my delight was made for the boys. Girls of course are invited, but the show was certainly an attempt to put Star Wars back to what it does best, and I think it exceeded at that.

The key to understanding big issues, such as this impeachment fiasco is in thinking without all the constraints that most adults learn to live with, and within Star Wars stories where big concepts are always at the front of discussion as we are talking essentially about the problems of a type 3 civilization, one that can use the power and resources of an entire galaxy yet have all the challenges of our present condition, it helps put the mind at play to behold the concepts. While most adults scratch their heads and attempt to put whatever the context of the modern problem is, such as the perplexity of the current congress to even attempt impeachment. That is because the reality of the present circumstances do not fit the adult assumptions of our understanding, which is precisely what the villains of modern government are counting on. To understand their game, you have to pull back your vision enough to play with various thoughts so that the true intention can only then be seen.

Such lofty thoughts are certainly at play in The Mandalorian, which was a nice science fiction/spaghetti western platform to tell some very interesting stories from. It was energetic and reminded me a lot of many Clint Eastwood westerns, everything from For A Few Dollars More to The Outlaw Josey Wales. It was fun and remarkably girl free. Not that girls are a problem. But the focus of The Mandalorian is being faster on the draw, not whether or not he cooks breakfast for his wife. I was a little shocked reading the most recent Star Wars book Resistance Reborn, which sets up directly the events of the next Star Wars film Rise of Skywalker, that the old hero Wedge Antilles was cooking breakfast when pilots arrive to recruit him back into the fight. Its not that cooking is a big deal, but the book was written by a woman and women think differently about things than boys. Wedge was a great warrior of the rebellion, yet the focus of his efforts was on cooking. Not something boys are naturally concerned with. That’s what I have been talking about with Star Wars with girls inviting the tree house of thought the boys would otherwise prefer to be in.

This is also why women are so easily tricked in politics, because their concerns are so quickly trapped by political theater and their natural predilection is not to fight, but to conform. When you can fight back against oppression, you tend not to find ways to live with it, and at the heart of Star Wars is that premise. Girls are invited, but its clearly a boy concept, and with The Mandalorian, that is clearly what is happening and its good to see that Lucasfilm can still reach that place even after so many progressive missteps toward social justice. Yet in other reviews about The Mandalorian the value of the largely female reviewers was that they thought it was great that the male leads in the show were from diverse backgrounds, one black, one Latino. I personally don’t care as long as somebody is shooting someone else. Its not about being white male that attracts me to a plot line, it’s the body count and the kind of guns they used. To get to the big ideas of anything the main character needs to be over the primal fears of a herd, and with women, they typically are trying to live with the world, not trying to change it.

Concerns about cooking, and feelings about things are not the natural state of boys. But overcoming problems and oppression are, and The Mandalorian certainly put its focus on those items. So, it’s the perfect entertainment to divert too while in real life congress is attempting to perform the worst scandal in human history. The goal is not to live with the consequences of that endeavor but to fight back against it. Star Wars was always about saying no to complacency and endeavoring for real change, not concerns of docile domestication, but in saving the galaxy from itself in spite of itself. And watching The Mandalorian it showed that the makers of Star Wars still understand what that looks like, and I’m looking forward to a lot more.

Rich HoffmanRich Hoffman

The Louisville Toll Bridge Scam: Who it really hurts and why bringing it to Cincinnati would be a disaster

There is a bridge extending from Louisville over into Indiana that is part of the 1-65 highway system managed by RiverLink, which is a toll collector that has been very controversial. I was quite surprised to learn after going across that bridge a few times to visit destinations on both sides of the Ohio River that I received a bill in the mail after cameras photographed my license plate demanding payment for a bridge that did not have the traditional toll signs that we have all come to expect from such toll collecting activities. I wrote an article about it which continues to be one of my most popular. It has many tens of thousands of impressions since I wrote it a few years ago, including from RiverLink which attempted to defend their poor signage and toll collecting practices. That article can be found at the link below along with the many comments from people inspired to contribute their thoughts.

https://overmanwarrior.blog/2018/01/21/the-river-link-scam-louisvilles-theft-of-the-innocent-through-a-toll-bridge-to-depraved-economic-activity-in-clarksville/#comment-63440

I don’t get many comments, not because people aren’t reading, but usually because the nature of my content is not conducive to it, and just like in any classroom setting, the audience does not feel comfortable raising their hand first. Once a few people do string together some thoughts, more join in, but most of the time, reader engagement is low due to the nature of my content. But occasionally a contributor like Christina chimes in, seen below, and the true scope of the issue comes into focus. I present it here as she wrote it. She is obviously upset and the sentence structure and emphasis show that. Essentially she represents why RiverLink is a massive scam created by stupid politicians who wasted the money we gave them on everything but what they should have, and they’ve passed on their incompetence onto this bridge for people like Christina to fund out of desperation and massive amounts of inconvenience. In her case, such as many other stories of people who move onto one side of the river and may not know about the toll bridge, but simply need to get to the other side to get to a job, they could unknowingly rack up many hundreds if not thousands of dollars before they get their first bill in the mail. And it does cause them a lot of pain, which is the nature of her comment.

christina
November 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm Edit

are you SERIOUS? i ONLY went across the bridge to go to work to feed my family!!!!!!!! yes i know that i owe them money and i was paying them what i could but then the charges got bigger and BIGGER! i was charged a total of $170 in fines just to send me a BILL!!!!!! now they have a lean on my car because i can not afford to pay them $511.40 that i KNOW I DO NOT OWE! THEY HAVE SENT ME OTHER PEOPLES BILLS AND HAVE CHARGED ME WHEN I WAS HOME AND NEVER WENT ACROSS THE BRIDGE!!!!!! not only that but i find out that you not only get charged when you go across the bridge but if you take exit 0 you are charged TWICE BECAUSE RIVER LINK “SAY’S” THAT IS ANOTHER BRIDGE!!!!!! HOW IS THE HELL IS AND EXIT A BRIDGE????? now i am screwed because i can not get tags on my car because they out a lean on it, and when i called to ask to make payments they said quote “MUST BE PAID IN FULL” then when i called a few months later i was told that i could have been making payment’s and when i asked why the other person said that i could not make payments she said IT IS NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO LET US KNOW THAT! IF WE DON’T ASK THEY DON’T TELL. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TOLD BY THE SUPERVISOR!!! THIS IS WRONG!!!!! PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT WORK PAY CHECK TO PAY CHECK AND DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE PAY THE BILLS TAKE CARE OF THEIR KIDS SHOULD NOT BE DONE THIS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this bridge was paid off a long time ago and we SHOULD NOT HAVE TO KEEP PAYING TO CROSS IT! AND THEN YOU GET CHARGED NOT ONCE BUT TWICE BECAUSE YOU TAKE EXIT 0????? THIS NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH AND FAST! NOW I HAVE TO DRIVE ILLEGAL UNTIL I CAN PAY OFF RIVER LINK SO I CAN GET TAGS ON THE CAR I WORKED SO HARD FOR AND IS PAID OFF JUST TO GET TAGS AND INSURANCE!!!!!!!!

THEY NEED TO HELP PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT WAS JUST GOING TO WORK TO FEED THEIR FAMILY AND NOT OVER CHARGE ME SEND ME LATE FEES THEN PUT A LEAN ON MY CAR! AND I TRIED TO PAY THEM IN PAYMENTS AND WAS TOLD “NO” THEN WHEN I CALLED A FEW MONTHS LATER WAS TOLD I COULD HAVE MADE PAYMENTS AND WHEN I ASKED WHY THE PREVIOUS LADY SAID THAT I COULD NOT MAKE PAYMENTS THE “SUPERVISOR” SAID I QUOTE “IT’S NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TELL YOU, YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I was upset in a similar way over a $19 charge, much less than what she has gone through. It wasn’t the money; it was the silent intrusion into my mailbox that really pissed me off. That some cowardly collection agency just took a picture of my license plate and could bill me from behind some computer somewhere was revolting. It makes me wonder how many Christians are out there going through the same thing for the same reasons. RiverLink will say that they have up signs and that people should know that they are using a toll bridge. But for people unfamiliar with the area just trying to make sure they are on the right road, it would be easy to make the mistake of staying on that road until you cross over into the other side of the river, where it would then be too late. I think it represents the worst of the mismanagement of highway funds and politics in general, and just like Chicago, the tolls will likely continue far into the future as a money racket that is intended for oversized union pensions and other wasted dollars spend on worthless government employees.

It concerned me because I do travel to Louisville a lot and it bothers me that something so corrupt is so close to my home in Cincinnati. But even worse, politicians on both sides of the Ohio River in Cincinnati are looking to do the same thing to pay for the I-75 bridge replacement that is projected there. The corruption is migrating, and politicians are intent to provide the same type of RiverLInk scam in Cincinnati. I remember in the 90s when Cincinnati was building more bridges than they needed just to use up highway funds that were in the bank, yet 30 years later nobody can come up with the money to provide a badly needed bridge replacement on one of the busiest highway arteries in the nation. With the amount of money that we do pay in taxes, the money for a new bridge should be there, we shouldn’t have to fund bridges with these toll roads. If government wants to lower taxes, then maybe we can talk about tolls, but at this level of taxation, its just another tax on us all collected in a different way, behind some cowardly camera by lazy trolls. And the cost of that stupidity isn’t just economic, it hurts people like Christina much more than anybody, and that pain comes straight out of political mismanagement and bad fiscal planning. It certainly isn’t fair to the population in general.

Rich Hoffman

The Value of Thinking like a 12-Year-Old: How we should improve our education system

Every time I do a bunch of education articles, such as I did recently for the election of 2019 critics write me and ask me for what solution I would support since I think that the current public education system is so screwed up. I often say these days that I think kids would be better off living in the woods without a public education classroom if the goal for them was to get smarter rather than sticking with what we have now. Government schools are so dysfunctional that they really should be considered a menace. For as much time and money that we put into the education of children too many of them enter adulthood ill prepared for the reality which should tell us everything we need to know. Therefore, people who are critical of me are only upset that I bring it up. But to answer their question, lets get to the basic foundation of the problem.

Recently I was reviewing some 3P techniques for a project I’m working on, its one of those Lean applications that are part of the long evolution of the Toyota systems research that has been going on for a long time yet has had lots of trouble taking root in the United States. That is actually the subject of a new book I’m working on called The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater like many might be willing to do, but we do need to understand why these things tend to work in Japan and China and not in the United States. Or do they really work at all, or is the key really just naturally engaged employees. And if so, then why are they engaged while others aren’t? I have it all worked out, but explaining it to people who are functioning from the wrong definitions of things is a bit more of a challenge. To be blunt, our public educations have taught our entire society all the wrong things and now we have a mess to clean up that will take centuries. So we might as well start somewhere.

The meaning of life is not to be born, learn how to read, write and perform rational thought only to throw all that out the window at puberty to get a mate, have sex, pop out a few kids then gradually die as the flower of our bodies wilt away into old age where even the universe spits at us once we’ve passed the years of reproduction. All that is wrong—and that is the basic pattern of understanding around the world of the cycles of life. Rather, we are born, we are given the opportunity to learn all we can before we are on the clock of responsibility, and we spend the rest of our lives functioning from what is left of that perfect period of childhood that we all have an opportunity to experience. However, most people don’t get such great childhoods and they grow up and into bitter adults who can’t problem solve their way out of a paper bag and end up intellectually crippled for life.

We should look at childhood as one of our highest states of consciousness and figure out why we are trying so hard as a civilization to grow up and away from this outlook. On that recent 3P investigation one of the key takeaways was that the classroom participants were told that they needed to reconnect with their 12-year-old self, because it was at this time that most of us were still open minded about problem solving and generally thinking outside the box. And that is the case with most children, they all start off pretty equal. As open books on brain development they all learn along a similar path and with great optimism. Just look at the kind of books that we provide to children seen at any bookstore. They are full of colors and positive images meant to inspire next step learning, to lure them to good new things to think about rather than boring, stagnant images. Then kids hit puberty, public schools are trying to teach sex in the fourth grade and earlier these days, and once kids are told that sex is their primary function and their social status within the classroom culture will determine who they get to mate with, that person begins a long decline that lasts the rest of their lives, and it is very tragic.

The 3P people observed from the Toyota culture in Japan that they are a playful people, and this is obvious while at the Tokyo airport. The billboard colors there are very positive and even their television in Japan is very childlike, meaning its experimental and positive about most everything. It has taken the Lean community many years of western thinking to get close to unlocking the real secrets of the Toyota culture. Its not just that they are organized and engaged in Japan, but that they don’t get hung up on silly stuff, they are much more like children than what we’d call adults in America. Children will try things and play with ideas where adults usually try to bend reality to their mode of thinking. Whatever it is that they learned and whoever they learned it from tends to limit the western mind rather than unleash it toward continued growth or at least sustaining what they were when they were children.

This is why I see so much positive growth in the geek culture in America where adults go to science fiction conventions dressed in cosplay and have fun going to midnight movies and making amusement parks part of their lifestyles. It’s the Peter Pan lesson of the approach that Tom Hanks showed in the movie Big where an actual kid was very successful in business because he thought like a child. We have been thinking about this problem for a long time, but still what holds us back is this assumption that by growing up we are supposed to get rid of our childhoods rather than trying to have the best one possible then carrying those memories throughout our entire life with the fuel to sustain us. The way we approach things now we empty ourselves of everything we built until puberty then seek to throw it all away so we can join some lifecycle mating custom that essentially ends by the time we are all aged 30. There is a lot of life to live after that age but most of us just don’t know what to do with ourselves so the gradual decline begins and we find ourselves stagnant and ineffective for the rest of our lives.

Our education system should be looking to make an Einstein out of every young mind. By the time kids leave the 12th grade if they maintained the rate of learning that they did up until around age 10, we should have lots of geniuses running around doing great things. Instead we end up with a bunch of flat thinkers who have to be told as 40 and 50 year olds that they need to reconnect with their 12-year-old selves so they can be effective at their jobs. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to grow up, I’d have a lot of nickels. Many millions worth. But I’ve always bulked at that notion and am very happy to say that I never stopped thinking like a 12-year-old. Ever. I have always viewed the typical definition of adulthood as a loss of something valuable that we had as children but lost too soon in a premature death. So I’ve held onto mine as a treasure and that has certainly helped me in life be much more effective than in embracing the traditional trajectory of the aging process. And we do need to fix that notion. If our education system started looking at children as the highest level of thought out of the starting gate and could harness that energy instead of seeking to destroy it, I would feel differently. Until then, I’m dead set against the modern concepts of education, because they are not sufficient enough, and do not teach the right things.

Rich Hoffman