SCHOOL – 1957 vs. 2010: How stupid we have become?

Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.
2010 –
Police called, arrests Johnny and Mark.. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. Both children go to anger management programs for 3 months. School board hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programmes

Robbie won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 –
Robbie sent to office and given 6 of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2010 –
Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD. Robbie’s parents get fortnightly disability payments and School gets extra funding from government because Robbie has a disability.

Scenario :
Billy breaks a window in his neighbour’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 –
Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2010 –
Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison.

Scenario :
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 –
Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with.
2010 –
Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario :
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from Guy Fawkes, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a bull ant nest.
1957 –
Ants die.
Police & Anti-Terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism,  investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario :
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary . Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 –
In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2010 –
Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

What is a “paraprosdokian”?

A paraprosdokian (from the Greek meaning ‘beyond expectation’) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

1.   I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

2.   Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

3.   The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

4.   Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

5.   If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong. Read more of this post

Economist Intelligence Unit: New complexity research


The complexity bandwagon just keeps rolling along. Hard on the heels of a report on Complexity from KPMG here are the latest findings – see Executive Summary below.

If you find the video and summary interesting but, perhaps, “woolly” or a bit light on practical, quantitative, solutions we will be delighted to help.

At Ontonix we offer a clear, concise, definition and rigorously tested scientific solutions to this important topic that others appear content to approach from a qualitative angle. It certainly gives the impression of being more about marketing based upon COMPLEXITY, quite rightly, being identified as a major issue for modern business in an inter-connected global society.

Alternatively, if this is your preferred version of complexity or you are content to read about it rather than take decisive action, I will provide you with a full copy of this report along with those of KPMG, IBM, McKinsey and AT Kearney. Just drop me an Hopefully I can be more of a help than that!

Executive Summary

How severely is increasing complexity affecting businesses? The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey of 300 senior executives to ascertain the level of this challenge, as well as the causes and impact of it. This report also looks at what firms are doing to tackle the complexity.

The main findings from the research are as follows.

Doing business has become more complex since the global financial crisis. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents (86%) think that business has become more complex in the past three years. While 28% say doing business has become “substantially” more complex in this period, 58% say complexity has “somewhat” increased. Among sectors, complexity seems to be of greatest concern in technology and telecommunications, with 41% of respondents from this sector flagging it as a clear and present challenge.

Firms are finding it increasingly hard to cope with the rise in complexity. Just over a quarter of respondents (26%) describe their firm as “complex and chaotic” but just one in five say they would have described their firms this Read more of this post

Is the "fire" taking hold in the Arab world? Tunisian “burning man revolution” a lesson in Complexity Theory

For obvious reasons this and other blogs that talk about the threat of contagion and systemic risk have focussed, almost exclusively, upon financial and ecological inter-connectedness.

HOWEVER, once again we see a “pattern from nature” in these Geo-Political events. The institutional model is and will continue to be under extreme pressure to change as it is the vehicle of the “elites” and in uncertain or turbulent economic times scrutiny and criticism will only increase. Only those that are “structurally resilient” can withstand the heat of a fire that started in Tunisia with a spark and is gathering in intensity as it spreads through peoples inter-connected on numerous levels. People unified by a common purpose…to bring about a cultural paradigm shift.

I would urge you to read: “Disaster myopia”: Failing to learn the lessons of increased uncertainty

A Fruit seller, whose cart was impounded, and complaints ignored, by authorities, set himself on fire in a desperate act of protest. His actions have since been mirrored across the Arab World. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This is a measure of how disenfranchised the citizens of these countries feel. Whether fuelled by Political or Religious oppression, an increasing gulf between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, corruption, crumbling infrastructure, a lack of jobs or food the message is the same. The “elites” who preside over institutions that have given them power Read more of this post