Making a Better (+3) New Normal

John Oliver convincingly suggests getting back to normal after the pandemic…

         …is just not going to cut it. And honestly, it shouldn’t have taken  pandemic to expose the need for a better system.

He is saying we can’t just make it Less Bad, we must Make it More Good! I encourage you to listen and share your thoughts.

The ideas discussed by John Oliver, an imagined better world, is the type of thinking I promote and ask of my students and myself. I continually suggest we stop focusing on the problem and imagine a better future. A better future will of course eliminate the problem, or it wouldn’t be better, but more importantly it must be better than it would have been had no problem happened. If we prepare for a disaster, the world should be better from those preparations even if the disaster doesn’t happen. To do this this better future must be clearly understood so we can figure out how to create it.

To guide this thought process I use the Paneugenesis Process that starts with an imagined picture of a better future that would be the Idealized Outcome, or what I call a new +3 reality. (video clarifies)

This +3 future would Exceed Expectations by incorporating the concepts discussed by John Oliver that should become our new normal. The new normal must include basic human right Precursors like education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets as Global Public Goods – FOR EVERYONE.

Global Public Goods can create an even better world because it means Maslow’s Hierarchy basic Physiological and Safety needs are met and humans can improve and move toward self-actualization. Really this is something you have heard every time you get on an airplane.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to “put your oxygen mask on first,” before helping others. This an important rule because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

If you die, you can’t help anyone else.  If people are fighting get their basic needs and just survive, this means they do not have the ability to contribute to society and thrive. Putting your oxygen mask on first is practicing paneugenesis by being selfish, selfless & synergistic.  It is Selfish – take care of self so you can be Selfless – take care of others, which creates Synergy – because all are better.


Making the basic needs of education, healthcare, retirement, income, and safety nets global public goods will improve man and society because they can.  It also will give us the to create a bette world  This “New Normal” could also enable the development of what Robert Green Ingersoll called the “Improved Man”. In his words…

The Improved Man will be satisfied that the supernatural does not exist – that behind every fact, every thought and dream is an efficient cause. He will know that every human action is a necessary product, and he will also know that men cannot be reformed by punishment, by degradation or by revenge. He will regard those who violate the laws of nature and the laws of States as victims of conditions, of circumstances, and he will do what he can for the well-being of his fellow-men.

The Improved Man will not give his life to the accumulation of wealth. He will find no happiness in exciting the envy of his neighbors. He will not care to live in a palace while others who are good, industrious and kind are compelled to huddle in huts and dens. He will know that great wealth is a great burden, and that to accumulate beyond the actual needs of a reasonable human being is to increase not wealth, but responsibility and trouble.

The Improved Man will find his greatest joy in the happiness of others and he will know that the home is the real temple. He will believe in the democracy of the fireside, and will reap his greatest reward in being loved by those whose lives he has enriched.

The Improved Man will be self-poised, independent, candid and free. He will be a scientist. He will observe, investigate, experiment and demonstrate. He will use his sense and his senses. He will keep his mind open as the day to the hints and suggestions of nature. He will always be a student, a learner and a listener – a believer in intellectual hospitality. In the world of his brain there will be continuous summer, perpetual seed-time and harvest. Facts will be the foundation of his faith. In one hand he will carry the torch of truth, and with the other raise the fallen.


Be strong, be smart and be safe as you work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact so everyone and everything benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

Creating a Positive Ripple from a COVID-19 Response

If we look at most of our actions, doesn’t seem like we spend a lot of time fixing what we broke? Accidents happen, however we should learn from them and do better next time. Issues like the environment, however, is something we know about. Instead of finding ways to make it better, we stop at fixing what we broke in the hopes it get back to how it was. As noted in, “Best Practices are Contraindicated for Improvement”, Dr. W. Edwards Deming explains that fixing what we broke is like putting out fires.

This approach of fixing things to make it like it was is also unrealistic because it assumes things are static, they are not. Our world is dynamic and when anything changes, everything changes because as John Muir observed, everything is interconnected:

Understanding our interconnectedness means that when we throw a rock in a body of water and it creates waves and ripples that spread and impact all that surrounds it. COVID-19 has demonstrated, in stark terms, how we are all connected and interdependent. Our interdependence and the interconnectedness of everyone and everything provides a solution that can provide not just a powerful ripple, but a powerful tsunami of future pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything can benefit in a way that would exceed expectations.

To exceed expectations, the solution to the COVID crisis should build a better future that as a by-product also treats COVID-19 and prevents future similar events. If the event is not prevented, actions taken should leave us more prepared for anything similar. The actions we take are more than just the interaction, it is all the related ripple effects.

      Sometimes the power of the secondary benefit can change the world.                                                                  –        Colin Vaughan

In other words, we need to aim to  create more good, not just less bad or what I call +3.

Creating more good, not just less bad also means we can be what Rory Vaden calls a time multiplier. This means we do things that create more time. Rory Vaden explains this in his powerful TED Talk “How to Multiply Your Time”(for more see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…).

Creating a Greener Future for a better tomorrow that also ends COVID means we are time multipliers. Taking this type of actions means we complete tasks in ways that gives us more time in the future because our time what be spent fixing things that we break.

Rhiana Gunn-Wright’s, Director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, (@rgunns) April 15, 2020 New York Times Opinion piece,”Think This Pandemic Is Bad? We Have Another Crisis Coming: addressing climate change is a big-enough idea to revive the economy” explains how we can be time a time multiplier by addressing COVID-19  and Climate Change together. She explains…

Addressing climate change doesn’t have to slow down the economic recovery…it can push it forward. No one knows the depth of the recession, (and)….rebounding from an economic disruption this large requires an equally large spike in demand and production.

Understanding this, she sugggests…

Now is the time to create policies that provide immediate relief to communities, such as federal assistance to transition homes and businesses to renewable energy; give “green” fiscal aid to states; and fuel economic recovery with the creation of federally funded green jobs.

We are already spending the money – lets use it wisely by creating a better, more sustainable world. It would be idiotic to put things back the way they were. Focusing on Climate Change and COVID-19 lets us use the funds in ways that helps us now with jobs and meaning as we builds a better future for all. This can happen by making the solution a…

…climate-focused economic recovery 

As most will agree, we don’t want to just survive to struggle, we want to thrive! The Green New Deal, provides a framework for actions that can provide useful and productive jobs that also help all of earth’s inhabitants live and do better.

Of course, for us to thrive we need to get past this pandemic. However to not just jump from the frying pan to the fryer, we must build for a better tomorrow. A thoughtful COVID response will begin to restore and revitalize our natural world while we overcome this pandemic. A climate focused recovery’s beneficial by-product should also leave us more protected against future problems.

Be strong, be smart and be safe as you work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact so everyone and everything benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:

We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative

Umair Haque is one of my favorite authors. He wrote Betterness and The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He now writes thought provoking essays on Medium and Eudaimonia & Co. On March 23, 2020 he wrote, “Why We Need to Rethink Economics for the 21st Century, Now“. He ended his essay be explaining,

We are all in it together. I am better off when you are healthy, not ill. Intelligent, not ignorant. Educated, not uneducated. Well fed, not starved. Happy, not anxious and desperate. Full of meaning and grace and purpose and worth — not beaten into submission and despair and hatred.

We get a better life, when every body has a better life. Earlier, on February 18, 2020 he wrote the essay, “Are Our Societies Dying?: What if This Isn’t a Phase — But a Permanent Change?” .

I was disappointed because the tone was so much different than his previous work. I encourage you to read his essay. The response I wrote, posted below, focusing on the need for a better alternative, builds on many of my posts, including: Honoring Justice Scalia – Dare to DisagreeConcept: Create More Good, Not Just Less BadCreate More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

I encourage you to read Umair Haque’s work, it is thought provoking and I believe offers the third alternative we need.  Here was my response to his essay, “Are Our Societies Dying?: What if This Isn’t a Phase — But a Permanent Change?”

My response to “Are Our Societies Dying?”, by Umair Haque, Feb 18:

As always, be safe doing what you can to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone you can safely interact with benefits.

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me: