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{ Monthly Archives } January 2008

The Fourth Great Truth: How to Wake Up

Our story so far: Gautama, the World-Honored One, Sage of the Shakya clan, drop out, has devoted years to understanding the source of frustration, unsatisfactoriness, suffering, dukkha; one morning, upon seeing the Morning Star, he saw through suffering to the source of suffering, realized that suffering is something that comes about through our own thoughts, […]

The SNAFU Principle

Back a good long while ago, I was closely involved with The Intelligence Community, which contrary to popular belief isn’t really named by opposites. It is, however, a massive multiple-agency bureaucracy with roots in all the individual services, the Justice Department, and the Executive branch of FDR and Harry Truman. (And yes, the actual administration […]

Statement of Policy

Since this comes up as an issue every so often, I wanted to let everyone know what to expect about corrections and modifications. My policy will be to be as transparent as reasonably useful. So, if I make a substantial change above the level of rewording an infelicitous sentence or correcting a typo, I’ll call […]

Maxim: The SNAFU Principle

“In any social hierarchy, the noise added to a communication between individuals in that hierarchy is directly proportional to the distance between them, and the factor of proportionality will be proportional to the perceived risk to them.” ( Yes, I know I just put this in an article.  I want it accessible as a separate […]

Business and Organization

I’m getting close to my fortieth year in the IT business. Frighteningly enough. A lot of that time, I’ve spent as a consultant.  Being a consultant means three things: you’re always an outsider, which probably fits my personality anyway;  you see a lot of different companies; and you hardly ever go to a consulting client […]

The Third Great Truth: You Can Escape the Trap

When Gautama left home and became a sramana, he had dedicated himself to the notion of finding the answer to dukkha: what could be done? Living at home had taught him that no matter how pleasant things might have been, the painful sense of “unsatisfactoriness” remained. Becoming a sramana and an ascetic had taught him […]


“The fact that we can become accustomed to anything, however disgusting at first, makes it necessary to examine carefully everything we have become accustomed to.”          — George Bernard Shaw

The Law of Rewards

People do what is rewarded.  What people are doing is what has been rewarded.

The Second Great Truth: You Do It Yourself

Of course, the First Great Truth wasn’t the source of Gautama’s realization; it was just the hint that got him started, the pebble in his shoe. He left home determined to find a way to solve the problem of suffering, for himself and for everyone around him. In the -5 century[1], in India, there were […]


It is impossible to solve a problem with the consciousness that created it.