REVIEW: 21st Century Enlightenment

21st Century Enlightenment has bought us insight into individualism. We know more about how we function than any time prior.

As a society we create dications of life based on economic circumstance and social convention. Rather than on the empathic capacity of the person.

While the Utilitarian notion is to maximise human happiness. Research tells us that we are not good at predicting our own happiness.  And we are even worse at descripting past happiness.

Research also demonstrates that people tend to respond automatically. That conscious decision making is infrequently deployed in short-term decision making. We are no better at long-term decisions than we are with short-term decisions.

When it comes to making a decision we tend to turn to one of two options: 

  1. Right / True = Familiar.
  2. Wrong / False = Strange.

What went wrong with 21st Century Enlightenment?

As a society we have moved forward. Progress in evident in every area of life. People live longer. We experience an improved quality of life. As a society we have had a revolution in social attitudes toward civil rights including race, gender, and sexuality.

Until recently people have felt self-aware and socially embedded within our modern model of autonomy and progress. Until recently no-one raising substantive and ethical questions on how the three main Society Logics obtain progress.

The three main Society Logics

  1. Logics of Science & Technological. 
  2. Logics of the Markets.
  3. Logics of the Bureaucracy. 

The three deciding Society Logics answer only to their own objective. They are indifference to a substantive concern for the general good.

  • Bureaucracy –  Rationality of rules above the rationality of events.
  • Markets – If it can be sold, it should be sold.
  • Science & Technological  – Everything should be discovered and developed.

The short-term national concerns are superior than the long-term sustainable needs of the planet and it’s people.

Developing Ideals of Cultural Consciousness

Fostering communal, interpersonal, and global empathic capacity is essential for cultural consciousness. Media coverage and foreign travel have expanded global knowledge on the suffering of people, immigration and emigration.

Out interpersonal empathy sought answers to:

  • Who we are as human beings?
  • Political debates about who we need to be?
  • Philosophical and spiritual exploration we might aspire to be.

Our ideals of Cultural Consciousness require change. 

To move forward and progress with consciousness and self-awareness our ideals of cultural consciousness should include the following.

  • Reasoning – the laws of nature fail to conform to religious doctrine and intuitions.
  • Popular Government.
  • Centrality of Economics in Policies.
  • Consciousness is universal.
  • Secularism.
  • Human Autonomy.
  • Diverse Values 
    • Norms.
    • Lifestyles.
    • Cultural Psychotherapy.
    • Traditions.

MAPPING: 21st Century Enlightenment

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: Network Thinking

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey
Tree Illustration by Gary Crossey

Mapping Complexity

Aristotle is credited as the first person to use the tree method as a classification system. Where information and knowledge are represented with branches that do not touch.

Tree Metaphor

Entire systems of Religious Symbols and Classification System all depend on the symmetry of the tree metaphor. The tree creates a hierarchy, balance, order, and unity for the collective.

Tree of Enlightenment & Life


1751 French Encyclopedia published The Tree of Enlightenment. Created by Chrétien Frederic Guillaume Roth. 

Tree of Life




100 years later in 1859 Darwin published his diagram Tree of Life.  Cataloging the species.

By the millennium the Tree of Life diagram has evolved to include more categories.

Organized Complexity

1948 the paradigm shift begins with the publication of Warren Weaver article Organized Complexity.

A social paradigm shifts is a fundamental change often born from simplicity.

Warren Weaver introduced one fundamental difference. That knowledge is interconnected.

That classification at its most fundamental state, should represent “how one element influences the other”.

Modern Science became aware that elements have a bigger relationship to one another than a hierarchy system could represent.

Universal Structure

2000 Millennium Simulation published the mapping system of millions of galaxies.


Six year later, Neural Networks of a Mouse was published.  The visual representation of the patterns of a mouse brain.


Network Thinking

Both mapping systems look very similar. The galaxies represent the largest scale of the Network Thinking mapping system. While the mouse brain represents the smallest scale of the same Network Thinking mapping system.

Network Thinking 

  • Collective Intelligence.
  • Innovation Partnerships.
  • Shared Ethical and Moral Principles.

Non-Structured Leadership

Knowledge is interconnected. Examples of collaboration are everywhere. With  the arrival of Wikipedia rhizomatic (multiple, non-hierarchical) structure. And the many successful open source programming projects that have been successful based on the contribution of the individuals to the good of the collective.

Mind Map of Network Thinking

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

Resources Mapping Systems

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW The Secret Powers of Time

A child drops out of an American school every 9 seconds. I understand that child. I did everything to avoid attending high-school. But, here I am talking about higher-education. And like many of the kids in today’s education system – lack of interest is not due to poor performance.

The youth of today is different. Research suggests that most 21 year old males have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. That is the same as working a 40 hour job for 250 weeks. Or, working of 40 hours a week for almost 5 years. Most young adults have spent more time playing video games, than it takes to earn a four-year degree. Current research does not include the time spent on pron, and social networking.

While kids may be clocking in hours on gaming. Adults are now equally likely binge watching the new sensational TV show. Hasn’t anyone noticed – a TV show went from 20-45 minutes, to running the entire season in one viewing. We are all digitally rewired. It’s foolish to think that the kids are experiencing this reality alone.

How does any of this new media involvement fit into a traditional classroom? 

FIRST – We need to change the teaching approach. Provide the lesson plans that provide people with the learning experience they deserve.

  • People today want to have control.
  • People do not appreciate being passive.
  • People believe they have a voice.
  • People believe what they say holds value.

The Secret of Powers of Time video does have some awesome and insightful aspects. While, the idea that the young are engaging differently that the adults simply is not true. While the kids may not have other frames of reference to old tech – the high levels of engagement by adults with computer interfaces is often higher than that of the youth.

  • Highest percent of gamer population are women over 40 (Farmville, Scrabble, Bingo).
  • Amazon highest increased customer base are the 65 years plus age group.

While Amazon may be boosting increased sales from the elderly. The youth today seem to be happy enough settling in a night with the streaming TV shows, while saving for a Facebook ready holiday.


RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: Infrastructure, Culture, and Process

How to develop a happy team

How to develop a happy teamRecent research shows that 70% of people are unhappy at work. With being “too busy” as the number one reason for their lack of personal fulfillment. People are too busy being busy. Sure, the workplace has changed. The tools are different. The expectations are not the same.

Today’s successful business needs three working components:

  1. Infrastructure.
  2. Culture.
  3. Process.

The components are simple enough in concept. However, in the real business the practice can be a different matter.

What is work?

The first step to building a strong infrastructure is understanding what you and your team do.

Here are a few questions that will help begin building that foundation.

What does work mean to you?

  • How do you work?
  • What tools do you use?
  • Where do you work?

What does work mean to your employee?

  • How do your employees work?
  • What tools do your employees use?
  • Where do your employees work?

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: SAMR Model for Teaching

Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition 

The SAMR Model was developed by Ruben Puentedura with the objective to provide educators with a framework to integrate technology into  the modern workflow. Puentedura understood the shift has happened. We are now working with tech tools that do different tasks than we did before computers.

Many of the first computer app made our tasks either easier or faster. With filing and storing data being the top objective. For many experienced Office user, and the few past Word-prefect users – Saving and Storage was one of the most important operator functions.

With my Google Drive Professional Development sessions many experienced users love the auto save feature. The easy search and find makes losing a document even more difficult.

Like me, some of the adults I work with began keyboarding on a manual typewriter. Typing is one skill that I acquire when I was young that I use everyday. For computer power users – it is important not having to look at your keyboard and that all your fingers work equally.

My typewriting skills transferred directly to the computer. My typesetting skills transferred too, making the Word easy to grasp. Word mirrored the typewriter – right to the paper. Now, with Google Docs the working environment makes another shift.

  • Typewriter
  • Word
  • Google Docs

For experienced computer users  (and typist) Google Docs appears to be the same. However there are difference.

Google have resolved some of the basic challenges using the computer.

  • Auto Save – no more losing important data.
  • Auto Backup – retrieve past data.
  • Auto Cloud Storage – no more losing files or misplacing files.

No More having to Save Documents

Save SAVE SAVE save – yes we have all lost a document from not saving. Now with Google Doc, its automatic saving. And now rather than spending time figuring out how to save, and where to save to. Google Drive offers a different approach – just use the app – let the app take care of the storage and saving.

Google Documents are living Documents

Another BIG shift with document creation. The document now lives. The document is accessible, changeable, and developing. Unlike the objective that both the typewriter and Word took – a document was created – then sent out to the world. And that message was normally sent out to the world on some form of (you got it) paper! The out come is final. Sure you can recycle the paper – but the message remains the same.

Google Docs has changes this idea that documents are complete. But rather that documents are never done. That the information on the document can be updated. And the people who have access to the document will have the most current version.

It actually sounds more difficult than it is. Think of it this way:

  • You have a club website.
  • You want to post the rules and conditions of your club on the website.
  • You have a Google Doc with the rules and conditions.
  • You embed the Google Doc to your website – to populate the Rules and Conditions.
  • Amendments to the Rules and Conditions are made to the Google Doc – website automatically updates.

Having Google Docs populate content to a website is only one example of how live content can be used. The amount of time that is saved when important information can be updated in one document and the different sources using the content are automatically updated. That’s one interesting feature of Google Doc that makes it different from what Word Processing give us the ability to do.

Google As a Group

The Google as a Group part of Google docs has been the most difficult for me to get people to adopt. Personally, I love some of the editing tools. So, I do wish the interface was more interesting, and I could format like I could in Office. Office did have awesome document styles.

Google Comments

What Google Docs does have are COMMENTS – may not seem like a big deal, but it is. For the experienced Word Processor – this is the time you might change your typeset to red and start editing a document. This is where you need to STOP.

Live documents need fast edits, with comments as the development area. Yes COMMENTS are king for all Google Doc editing.

  • Comments can be notes to yourself.
  • Comments can be notes to research a word.
  • Comment to Proof Check.
  • Comments could be a question to your team – Who is a vegan on staff?  Whatever!

I like to use comments as my document to do list. As I compose an outline I use the comments to plot out areas that I need to research, or may need help with. Like I said, my Document To Do List. 

Document To Do List

Even if I am working alone the comments provide a quick method to highlight a task – without having to leave the document. When writing, I use the comments a great deal. Firstly, I use the comments to take quick notes (typically questions) that I can come back to. Comments are easy to add, without losing your pace.

At the beginning of the a writing project my Google doc tends to be full of comments. Most of the comments require some fact checking and research. For me the comments represent my unresolved concerns for the document. My goal is to publish the document – when all of my comments have been resolved. The resolving of the comments tells me my document has been worked correctly and to my satisfaction. Saying that – you got to firm on your questions – do add tasks to your comments that you know you will not do. Or add comments to information you already know.

How Comments Impact Other

When using Comments as your Document To Do List it makes it easy for other team members to help. No more having to email to “EVERYONE” when you can simply add a comment to the shared document that anyone (who has the information) can update, and resolve the comment.

EXAMPLE: Notice for a Staff Meeting – Comment: Room Number?
Any one with the information can update the document and resolve the comment.

Again, this is a simple example of how to use comment to resolve simple questions. However the transaction is actually more complex. In the past, to confirm the room number of an event you would have to email, “someone” or “everyone” for the information. While there are a few different methods in email, for most people needing to discover a simple bit of information it normally plays out something like:

  • Email one personal directly. Wait on replay. Mostly able to resolve.
  • Email one personal directly. They don’t reply.
  • Email everyone – everyone replies – with many “out of office notices”

In all of those responses I am provided with the information I need. However, by the time I sent the email and the time the response was received I may have moved onto another task. GUILTY! This is where the problem becomes recognizable. Transferring that “small” amount of data from one place to another has now become a TASK!

STOP THERE! Google Docs has changes all of that. You need to know “anything” – select the word that your question is about an right-click > Add Comment.

EXAMPLE: Comment: What is the Room Number?

Be an Active User

Another difference with live documents – you need to be AN ACTIVE USER. Using the Comments system – we are faced with the Room Number Question. The same question when handled via email requires the exchange of information, followed with the processing, collecting and distributing of the received information. In our example, that information or data is the Room number.

The Old Information Workflow

Email Request for Room Number > Reply from Email has Room Number > Copy Room Number > Locate Document that needs the information > Paste the information into the document > Save the document.

The New Information Workflow

The active user understands that today workflow requires everyone’s involvement. For our simple example of obtaining the correct room number. The Workflow simply requires a comment to be posted that anyone with access to the document can resolve and update the document. The key to the success of the active user is the updating of the document directly and in doing sure is able to resolve the concern posed by the comment.

EXAMPLE: Comment: What is the Room Number? > Active User updates the document with the correct room number and resolves the comment, adding any additional information to the comment to support the comment being resolved.

SAMR Model for Teaching

The SAMR Model for Teaching is certainly a method that I support. I do believe that skills need to be transferable. And that people learn best when they can relate digital skills with their real world skills. While also understanding that the digital shift has happened in that the digital apps are not simply a mirror of past tools. Digital tools are now available that reshape the way we work and play.

Live documents are real. Working in teams – real too. Being able to adapt your skills in a every changing workflow and work requirements? The SAMR Model can help adult learners make a deeper connection with digital tools. Providing useful new approaches on how to work with and understand data and design.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: Changing Education Paradigms

Sir Ken Robinson.
Changing Eduction Paradigms. 

Education in the 21st Century is not fast enough. With the quick pace of developing technologies it is difficult to teach children the skills needed for an unknown future economy. The idea that doing well at school will lead to successful employment has become more a nostalgic notion. While a degree may be a requirement in some professionals, it certainly doesn’t guarantee employment.

Research has shown that with increased testing students lose interest. Tests are boring. Professional Adult Development does not have to boring. Everyone learns more when they are focused and engaged.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: What Motivates

Do you love your job? I do.

I understand what motivates me. And which tasks that do not. In the following speech by Dan Pink (author) the idea that people can be motivated by more than money. So, to be motivated everyone has to be paid fairly. When people approach a project without having to think about the money aspect. The performance level is increased. New and better results are achieved. Production levels are improved.

Asheville Computer Training what motivates.

"Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table." - Dan Pink (speech)

As Dan Pink shared in his presentation (speech). When people are encouraged to be creative – they may experience autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  1. Autonomy. The desire to be self directed.
  2. Mastery. Challenge to master a task.
  3. Purpose. Make a Contribution.

People want to do something interesting. To create. To build. To take an idea and develop it into a tangible project.

As people we create – that is something we all do (in our own way) we all create. Everyone has a task that they are simply very good at. Within this task there will always be a presence of your own creativity.  For our creativity to be of worth it has to contribute.

Hidden creativity serves no purpose. Hidden creativity does nothing to make us a better person. To be creative is to accept the challenge to master a task that directly contributes back to your community (to whatever your community may be).

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.