Sunday, March 21, 2010

Third Side Philosophy

There are three sides to every coin.

Think about it. If you are confused, that's okay. That is why so many problems arise in society today. It is very easy to get drawn into either/or debates when nothing is ever that black and white. Give up? The third side of the coin is the edge of the coin. It may not enter your mind because it is seemingly insignificant, but it is an alternative to heads or tails.

Third side philosophy is not any one specific philosophy, as far as I'm concerned, but an open-minded attitude toward all political and philosophical thought. The lack of such open-mindedness is most evident (but by no means exclusive to or 100% defining of) partisan politics and well-established big business. Both of these represent big institutions with strong central powers which have been doing what they are doing for far longer than current innovations have been around. That is to say, the game is changing but the players are not.

The reason is because a coin mostly lands on heads or tails. So often, in fact, that any other occurrence is likely man made and not a matter of chance. This is a telling analogy of current societal issues. First, most people leave these large matters up to chance (or at least feel they have little control over them). Second, nearly all change is man made. Major societal and technological shifts are the product of a few people working hard to stand that coin on its edge. Naturally, that requires balance. It also requires a different approach than a standard flip.

For as often as corporation mavens are cited as saying "think outside the box," their ability to actually do so is very limited. Inherently, big institutions are the box. Anything outside that box is actually a threat to the comfortable bureaucrats at the top and the security-minded employees in the middle and toward the bottom. The only way to fix the problems with society is ask (and genuinely seek to answer) dangerous questions.

Media, of course, is a linchpin in this problem. It can either agree with the status quo (the populists' approach), or take a risk in asking the dangerous questions (the truthful approach). If these questions are asked consistently, there will most certainly be a measure of creative destruction, which will wain with time as the truthful form of media is revealed. However, once media creators find their fit, the reinvention of business and political structure will gain an exponential pace.

So it is up to free-thinking individuals to develop media that breaks the stranglehold of reactionary thought and chance-based thought. Those who are proactive, must encourage others to be proactive as well, and equip them with the tools necessary to do so.

Make no mistake: Standing the coin on its edge is a game changer.
FEATURED MEDIA: Leadership and Self-Deception - An excellent book about changing the way people think. A must read for anyone who wants to think different or help other to do so.

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