Journal

Simple Advice–Problem Solving


  I could see myself setting this up for failure by saying “Sundays will be Simple Advice Sundays!” But after this particular one I fear we might run out of advice. We’ll see, if an idea pops into my head or if I see a problem that could be solved seemingly easy I’ll give it a go. Today I want to talk about the overall concept of problem solving and the source of most of my life philosophy.

  Try your best to not treat the symptoms exclusively, being retroactive is a poor choice in life and means the problem will be more destructive than it needs to be. Each problem should be dissected down to its component parts. Which part of the action or incident do you find negative? Once you have established this you will then look at the source of the issue (to the best of your abilities).

  The source is the trickiest part of problem solving. There is the what you want the problem to be caused by and then there is what is the cause. If a problem lasts for any extended period of time the likely reason is that you have incorrectly diagnosed the cause. This is usually a fundamental issue, people place their own personal beliefs on how people act or how the world works ahead of actual data. If you find yourself making this error it is imperative that you reshape your view, at the very least for the process of problem solving.

  I won’t get deep into detail (because I have before) but look at the drug war. This is a retroactive problem solving situation that has nothing but negative effects on the real world. Hundreds of Thousands of people imprisoned, hundreds of thousands (or millions more) living in subpar life environments for no reason beyond the war, and a condescending and improper education system in place failing to prevent people from taking up the hobby.

  Then the dissonance of heavily marketing over the counter drugs and two recreational drugs with some of the worst withdrawal symptoms and longest addiction cycles (quitting alcoholism cold turkey can very likely kill you).

  This whole system is built upon a foundation of what people want to be the problem (namely drugs being evil) and what is the problem: Illegalization of drugs makes them rare immediately increasing interest (we are all Sméagol), slanted and condescending education about drugs leaves people not trusting the advice of their elders (there are positives to drug use), and ironically the war itself.

  If you want to see the only outcome of making a drug illegal, look at prohibition, if you want to see how someone would live with nearly any drug if it were legal look at Cigarettes. How many people do you see struggling to hold a job, robbing banks, or killing people in their homes to pay for Tobacco? Not very many I would imagine.

  So once you have the source, to the best of your abilities, worked out you want to then try and find positive solutions to resolve the problem. This is critical, it must be positive. Negativity is met with resistance, positivity is met with acceptance. This isn’t a matter of being a hippie or some kind of pacifistic obnoxious soap box preacher. Almost no issue needs to be handed militarily. Because by the time you need to handle it violently it has already gotten too far.

  Think minority report without the exaggeration, we want to find the source of the action. Why do people murder, why do people steal, why do they do nearly anything destructive? More often than not the answer is one of two things, poverty or mental illness. Are these always the case? Goodness no. But in terms of the most popular problems we attempt to solve it is often the case.

  You can predict with remarkable accuracy how bad the crime in a certain area by just looking at the poverty levels there. Poverty is something with so many heads it is hard to truly comprehend. A lack of money means a lack of medical care, of food, of support, and of education. People look for an escape, we all want to feel good. What simpler way than drugs?

  Drug dealers hang out in impoverished areas for the same reason military recruiters do. People in the depths will turn to any chance for salvation.

  We look at this and we then try and find a fix. Access to a good (genuine) education, healthcare, and food become the immediate and obvious choice. In the end the cost of supplying these three is always cheaper than leaving people on their own. Once you work in debt, disease, destruction of property, and dozens of other unseen costs that the entire country (and invariably the species) suffer.

  What about murder? This one is harder. You could very well fall on your head tomorrow and become a sociopath. The brain is a very fragile organ that can be irreparably broken leaving you a husk of your former self. You cannot stop all murder, in fact you can’t stop all of anything. The universe is evolving with every passing microsecond on both the macro and the micro level. This is a reality that people must accept and just try to do their best to resolve an issue.

  In the case of murder you want to keep that initial poverty advice in step, keep all areas under your control in harmony as best you can. Supply them well and if you cannot then you shouldn’t be governing them. Next you should make it well aware that you provide counseling to anyone who is having trouble in their life. Stigmatizing this sort of thing is an extremely bad idea.

  Once people see that having dark thoughts is not something to hide they can be more easily reached. At one point or another every single person thinks they are the lowest rung on the social totem pole. The US at the very least is a nation of people understating their lot in life. I’d be surprised if this was not true across most of the world. The people who achieve greatness likely either are born into it or don’t fall victim to self doubt.

Ponder  Each nation, state, city, and even county likely has hundreds if not thousands of problems they wish to attend to. Destructive habits that they’d wish to end. The key is finding the ones that are truly destructive and creating a supportive (and genuine) environment to curb it. This requires the delegates in question open their minds to views separate from their own. While it would be nice to live in a world where everyone agreed, there is nothing positive to gain from thrusting ones own view of the world upon others.

  Open your mouth, your arms, and your eyes. If what you have to say is genuine and people see you care then the likelihood of them supporting you and of your advice having power is greatest.

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