Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


So Stoopid, Given What's Possible

Exertec, Napa, California, USA

September 30, 2014



This essay, So Stoopid, Given What's Possible, is the companion piece to Watching The News.

It is also the eighth in an open group on Possibility: It is also the sequel to Everyone's In Love With Everyone.




I support an elderly friend with her computer. Although she only uses it for e-mail, there are the things which invariably need attention for which she doesn't have the technical skills to manage: once a computer is connected to the internet (and whose isn't?), it's not a matter of if  viruses, spyware, adware, and malware etc if they're unchecked, will start choking it, but when. Even the best virus scanners and firewalls won't stop them completely. You can purge them, but only those you can locate.

Using a virus scanner, a virus scraper, and the registry editor, I remove as many of them as I can locate. Some bounce right back until I hunt them down and delete them. For a while, things will go faster. Then inevitably I'll get a call from her saying her computer's slow again, and I'll go by and spend two hours cleaning it again.

One day I suggested to her "Would you consider resetting your computer to factory condition? It'll be as fast as it was when you first bought it. You'll gain five years of speed back. We'll still keep an eye on it - just as we're doing now. But it'll be like keeping an eye on a brand new computer rather than on a five year old infested computer with which we're futzing  endlessly. Given the speed the factory reset would make available, and the hassles it would get rid of, you'd be stoopid  not to.".

After determining she won't lose anything by resetting her computer (her e-mail being available as webmail), I pressed the [FACTORY RESET]  button ... and soon she had her brand new computer back - bullet processing speed, lightning fast window refresh rate, virus / spyware / adware / malware free, a pleasure to work with.

Life itself also has a [FACTORY RESET] button. It's called transformation. When I look at the issues and concerns which proliferate in our world today (it's hard not  to notice them, it's hard to look away: they're all around us), two things become paramount. The first is every age, every era has had (their own version of) issues and concerns. In this way, ours are neither more unique nor more important. But the second is today we do have something other ages, other eras, didn't have: we have a factory reset button: we have transformation. On considering our age's, our era's issues and concerns, the truth is many of them are so stoopid, given what's possible.

"You started it". "No I didn't". "Did too". "Didn't". "Did". "Didn't". Sounds familiar? Is it two four year olds in the school yard? Or is it the entire Middle East?  At some point you can't help but notice how stoopid conflicts really are. And that's all they would be: stoopid - except their level of stoopid comes with terrible consequences.

If you're listening this conversation for transformation like I'm suggesting changing the world, that's a slippery slope to be careful of. The shape of the world as it is today, reflects / is the result of, our ongoing preoccupation with changing things - and "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose":  the more things change, the more they stay the same, yes? In terms of resolving conflict, face it: change has never worked. Transformation isn't change - to the contrary, transformation is the space in which all things are exactly the way they are, and exactly the way they aren't. That being a given, transformation is the ground of being for inventing new possibilities.

Like a computer's [FACTORY RESET] button, transformation doesn't change any situations and circumstances by futzing with them. Things are the way they are, and they aren't the way they aren't. Rather, it provides a completely new start to the way we hold / consider / know / regard all situations and circumstances. In particular, it makes available the power of who we're being in, and what we bring to, all situations and circumstances. Given what then becomes possible, it's stoopid to ignore it.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2014 through 2017 Permission