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In this episode Joel & Antonia blend 3 frameworks together (general semantics, systems thinking and Graves Model) applying them to the recent Baltimore City riots of 2015.

In this podcast on the Baltimore City Riots 2015 you’ll find:

  • Albert Einstein said, “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution”.
  • Why did the riots happen if it started as a peaceful protest?
  • Far more people were protesting than rioting. People feel marginalized or mistreated often by police force.
  • When it comes to managing life, some people tend to take the faster route or shortcuts. For example, when trying to lose weight, some would prefer taking in pills instead of altering their diet or physical activities. Because we have this mentality that life is moving so fast, we become indifferent with finding high quality solutions. As a result, we end up in the same pattern over and over again.
  • We aren’t really spending time in thinking and arriving with the best solution for the problem.
  • How do we create sustainable solutions to the problems we’re facing?
  • There were 10K protesters. Why are so many people feeling unheard in Baltimore City? Why did peaceful protesting turn into rioting?
  • The first system was the concept of general semantics.
  • There are different classifications of people who are protesting and rioting.
  • Idea of systems thinking – the idea that there’s no such thing as direct cause and direct effect.
  • There’s still different nodes in the system. So what are the other things that are influencing the emergent of riots?
  • Riots are the symbol that the system is not right.
  • Baltimore’s Graves’ level. Being able to breakdown exactly where people fall in the Graves help make it no longer exclusively racial.
  • In both the black and white communities, you can see a strong Graves’ 2 and 3 culture represented which is unusual. There’s something about the city itself that encourages people to stay at Graves’ 2. New folks (Graves’ 5 or 6) who are moving in and establishing new and cool businesses are welcomed well. Anywhere you have a lot Graves’ 2s, you will see a lot of Graves 3s. Graves 3s are war leaders.
  • Graves’ 3s don’t have that long timeline and they also have that neighborhood mentality but it’s not about unconditional love, it’s about domination and control.
  • Hence, when riots occur, they’re mostly Graves’ 3s.
  • The resistance to go to Graves’ 4 is understandable.
  • When we are in a certain level of development, we tend to forget what it is like to be in the previous level. This results in clashes because we forget the other person’s world view.
  • Being able to understand these maps and models generates an ability to figure out what’s going on.
  • As you’re dealing with challenges, ask yourself these questions:
  • What reality are you creating with your words?
  • What words am I using?
  • How am I oversimplifying things?
  • What are the nodes of the systems that I’m not seeing?
  • What’s the Graves’ level that’s going on with people?
  • How are we dealing between clashes on Graves’ levels?
  • What personality types are we basing? What are they doing when they’re defensive?
  • What strategies are we implementing in order to run from our biggest fears?
  • Having all these models available around you, will make you understand what’s going on.

Life, death and demolition in Baltimore (Washington Post Article)

Exercises we recommend in this podcast:

Anytime you’re having challenges in life, ask yourself “what problem am I actually trying to solve here?”

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  • Erika
    • Erika
    • October 18, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Listening to you applying these different models to a current event was fascinating. It feels really satisfying to hear ideas and perspectives brought up that are not about good/bad, or who’s fault it is, but about “let’s try to think of what’s going on here, let’s discuss the different factors at play”. Because then, when someone suggests a solution, it can be vetted for effectiveness based on understanding the system on a more profound level.

    While you talked about the General Semantics part, I made a fun connection that I felt like writing out. For the first time in years, I’ve done a jigsaw puzzle, and have rediscovered how much I enjoy it. So I thought, doing a jigsaw puzzle could be a metaphor for General Semantics. Here goes:
    To get me started on the puzzle, I first sorted the pieces by colour as well as I could, sorting the edge pieces into a seperate pile. So I had the pile that looked like it would make up the sky of the finished image, the one that would be the castle, the one for the mountains, and the one for the forest (always leaving the question of where to put the pieces that have, for example, both sky and mountain on them). When I worked on the sky, I noticed that there were sections of a darker blue, and sections of a lighter blue, and some medium dark sections. So I sorted the pieces into those subcategories. This worked quite well for the sky, but when I got to the forest, sorting the pieces into colour-based subcategories didn’t seem to be enough anymore. So within the subcategories, I sorted the pieces by their shapes, which was very useful.
    It seems to me like doing a jigsaw puzzle can be a playful way of applying General Semantics ?

  • Katie
    • Katie
    • May 30, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    This was very helpful! Will you consider doing another similar application to the U.S. political climate/election? (2016)

  • Amber N.
    • Amber N.
    • May 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Another wisdom packed podcast. You gave me a lot to think about.

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