NYC’s Selfless, Selfless, Synergy

This post is of the the review I created for New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation by Thomas Dyja. I am also posting it here because from my reading and the data provided in this book, it suggests NYC practices paneugenesis. The book documents how NYC generates comprehensive improvements and how these improvements were caused to happen. Specifically, the book outlines how these improvements became more likely from fan environmental design to create pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions, so everyone and everything benefits. While this was the aim of must, it was interesting to learn about the interactive process required to make it work. Overall it is a great read and I encourage you to read his book. It documents how the findings of Glaeser play out in life (see Updated Review of Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City).

Here is the review I posted on Google Books and in Goodreads:

New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation by Thomas Dyja ©2021 provides a wonderful history of New York City’s roller coast ride it has taken over the last 40 Years. The book traces how the city evolved and or receded and how those changes related to who was mayor. The book takes off after Beame was mayor then Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Guiliani, Michael Bloomberg and finally the current mayor, Bill de Blasio. It was interesting to see how each mayor handled the diversity and needs of the city and how each responded to crises such as market crashes, police abuse of citizens, and 9-11. Overall, from my reading, the changes that worked supported Ed Glaeser’s research outlined in his research and book, “Triumph of the City: How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier”. As Dyja documents, people in NYC were richer, healthier and happier in large part because they lived in NYC. Glaeser also would support that NYC was greener and smarter due to the high density and continuous interactions of people in NYC.

I encourage you to read the many interesting parts of this book. I took special note of the value of having a clean city with good services, shared public spaces, good education and affordable housing. Time and again, those solutions are what appeared to make NYC a better place to live and work or everyone. He also continually noted the problem of police abuse. Policing was vital to helping NYC go from a very dangerous place to being a place that was very safe to live. He suggested, as is true throughout our country, a better solution must be found to maintain a low crime rate. His recommendations for the continued re-imagination of NYC after COVID is the development of more community, backyard and roof gardens, especially in underserved areas, more community functions that facilitate interactions and healthy foods, and police reform. He also suggested more support for transit, transportation and parks to help people feel good about the city. Overall, from my reading it seems he is suggesting the continued development of a built environment that Nudges people toward selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We need cities that help people be better versions of themselves and this book explains how that is possible.

In other words, practicing paneugenesis not only helps you, it can help a city thrive and that city can help a state, country and world improve, It is All about the Ripple… or how interactions impact others and the impact of those interactions. From reading this book, I thought of ways I can be a better citizen in my city and be more involved. If you read it and you take action in your city, please share how you have helped your city generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergsitic interactions that carry the potential to ripple out so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Being Paid in Multiple Ways

Everybody wants to get paid. It is also good to earn your pay, actually I recommend we always do more than we are being paid to do. I have also realized pay is not always monetary. Though money is vital, the best pay I get is not monetary. I say this, yet I am selfish. I want to live in a better world. To live in a better world I do things that evidence indicates make the world better. Although I will benefit, all of you also benefit. I also have come to realize that the much better world I want can only come about when all of us are the best versions of ourselves.

We all have greatness inside of us. This then means we have to enable all to develop and use competencies to create a better world. I tell my students, I ask you to work hard and develop competencies so you can go out and be great professionals. When you do great work, I get to live in a better world. It is all about me, but of course you also get to live in a better world that you helped create.

It is selfish for me to help you have a great and impactful life. For any of you following me, you know this is how to practice paneugenesis (see video and many examples on my blog including: Gaming to Learn how to Practice Paneugenesis, My Sister Practiced Paneugenesis and Everything Benefitted!, Example of How to Practice Selfish Selfless Synergy or Paneugenesis, Support for the Practice of Paneugenesis so Everything Benefits,The Opposite of Paneugenesis?? and others).

Beyond my teaching future professionals, sustainability uses the same concept. Being green seems to finally be the rage. However upon deeper review, it is not about being green, environmental or sustainable. Closer examination indicates it just a better way to do things, with regard to time, effort and financially…especially over the long term.

Deming preached that organizations should sell for the lowest price possible. He explained if they didn’t, any sales would not be long term because others would do it better for less and sales would move in that direction. In other words, we should always create the best thing possible, accounting for all impacts short and long term, while we also think about future impacts beyond the direct transaction.

I thought about this today as I was putting my compost in my backyard bin. I realized doing so made me feel good for going good. I got some extra physical activity, I decreased my waste, will grow good soil and benefit with a better garden next season. Also benefits I paid include no trip to local garden store for compost or topsoil, less trucks deliver soil – meaning cleaner air, less plastic wrapping, less cost, less garbage, cleaner world, better vegetables and I can feel good about it all.

Like I said, being green, and sustainable is not just the right thing to do, it is the better thing to do for many reasons. Actually, in total being environmental is a time multiplier as explained by Rory Vaden in his great TED talk, “How to Multiply Your Time” (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…). He explains we can multiply time by investing time today to give us more time tomorrow and time today to focus on the future. His explanation indicates being environmental has a high ROTI (Return OTime Invested). 

So how do I get paid? I am paid in multiple ways, beyond it being a ROTI (Return on Time Invested). I get more fit from extra physical activity, intellectual growth from learning more, better food, save money, and as noted save time – over a longer term. Being environmental is a no brainer, or from another perspe

ctive, not being environmental is very wasteful with regard to time, health, well-being, and contributions. As Kahneman and Tversky documented, humans are loss averse so not being environmental is against our nature (see Build a Net Positive Life for ALL). An easy example is the environmental way I now enjoy my plant based milk, explained here: A Way to Practice Paneugenesis. Also don’t forget, as we are healthier our stronger immune system means we will also prevent more. Prevention however is a beneficial side-effect, a better life enjoyed is the main benefit.

To me the most rewarding part is I get to feel good about myself, I feel good for doing good. All the other reasons listed reinforce those feelings. It suggests to me I continually work to design my life in a way that generates comprehensive improvements by the creation of pervasive (it influences multiple areas of life and possibly others). It also allows me to be role model to my family, friends, and students, especially when it is understood actions speak louder than words.

These actions are also reciprocal (I benefit and others as much or more than I give). This also means these actions are selfish (I feel good for doing good) while also being selfless (the actions improve air, land, human rights, animal rights, human dignity, etc.). Overall being green is all about the ripple (see It is All about the Ripple…) because it is synergistic (all is connected so as improve the interactions this may improve the whole system) so everyone and everything benefits.

I hope this inspires you to take environmental actions, to not do this would be against you nature. What is the downside? How do you practice paneugenesis? Please share. Being environmental allows you to contribute to everyone and everything. Please share your environmental selfish, selfless, synergistic actions. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Freedom of Speech Has Evolved

How do you feel about freedom of speech? Should people be allowed to say whatever they want? What if what is said causes harm? How can that be regulated? Sometimes people say things they believe are true but are wrong. How can that be regulated? Should different people be held to different standards?

Sharing our thoughts with others and getting others thoughts is what helps everyone improve and develop their ideas. The sharing of thoughts and critical feedback is vital to generating better ideas. The ability to provide critical feedback is allowed by the first amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Interestingly, we can now say much more than we used to be able to say. Comedians were previously arrested for saying things they now say. We now take that as our right, however that is a fairly recent change. I often wondered why comedians used to get in trouble. I learned from the excellent “RadioLab” Podcast that much of what we now understand as our first amendment rights were formed from the work of the great Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. According to this accounting, Holmes went through a dramatic transformation. I encourage you to listen and share your thoughts about this podcast: What Up Holmes? on Radiolab

Description of What Up Holmes? Podcast: Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one guy: a Supreme Court justice named Oliver Wendell Holmes. Even weirder, you can trace it back to one seemingly ordinary 8-month period in Holmes’s life when he seems to have done a logical U-turn on what should be say-able.  Why he changed his mind during those 8 months is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the Supreme Court.  (Spoiler: the answer involves anarchists, a house of truth, and a cry for help from a dear friend.)  Join us as we investigate why he changed his mind, how that made the country change its mind, and whether it’s now time to change our minds again.

Henry Olsen’s May 5, 2021 Washington Post Column, Opinion: Mark Zuckerberg must decide the fate of Trump’s Facebook account. He should turn to the First Amendment suggested a good standard for First Amendment free speech rights. He suggested the standard to be adopted come from the US Supreme Courts decision in Brandenburg vs. Ohio. In this decision the court held that speech loses its constitutional protection only when “such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless actions and is likely to inciter produce such action”. This feedback provided by the Supreme Court is helpful in determine what should be protected speech.

On May 25, 2021, The NYTimes Daily Podcast presented this related episode about freedom of speech as it relates to students and schools, “A Cheerleader, a Snapchat Post and the Supreme Court“.

A Cheerleader, a Snapchat Post and the Supreme CourtInside the unusual sequence of events behind one of the most important student free speech cases for 50 years.Open now

Use of speech and conversations are valuable because providing helpful critical feedback and engaging with others in scholarly debate is a way to Practice Paneugenesis. Giving feedback enables us to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish (you share your thoughts), selfless (others learn from you), synergistic (a better idea is generated) interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Please share how you use your first amendment rights to generate comprehensive improvements.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Progress, Not Problem Focus Essential

As I listened to the April 30th 2021 Friday Morning, NYT Daily Podcast,”Odessa, Part 4: Wellness Check“, I was stunned at their focus and how it seemed to relate to life. At the end of April 2021 there is hope that we are coming out of the pandemic. This 4 part NYT Daily Podcast has described the experience of a High School in Odessa Texas during the last half of 2020 as they attempted to have in person classes during the pandemic.

I enjoyed the podcasts focus on the progress they made to have school despite difficult times. I was then confused when their ending question was, “What is the permanent damage that has been done?”. They also stated they were asking this question about the impact on these 17 year old students.

I stopped walking as I was listening because I realized it related to me and my story. At 17 years of age I was the passenger of a car that collided head on with another. Despite difficult times because of the accident, I carried on. What was my option? In my incident, the driver and the other 2 passengers were killed and I suffered a severe head trauma that left me comatose. The Odessa podcast shocked me because I wondered why they were asking about the permanent damage being done instead of how and why some did well and how how they can do better.

The same question was asked in an April 8, 2021 NYT article, “Does It Hurt Children to Measure Pandemic Learning Loss?” This article questions if we are stigmatizing a generation. I encourage you to read this linked article and share your thoughts.

If you are interested, more about my accident and its impact on me, it is described in the linked Positive Health tab here and at the top of the page. The link opens to the essay: The Power of Positive Health: Why I am so passionate about Wellness.

In my recovery, I also wondered, “What is the permanent damage done?” I am sure there is some, however it it is not where I focus. I focused then and still do, on discovering how I could make progress. This focus was possible because of the significant positive help from family and friends, most especially my parents. Can you have this type of influence on your family friends and or organizations.

A progress, not problem focus is helpful because my success, and the triumphs of anyone, come about by finding ways to do better or more good. Progress cannot develop evolve or happen, unless by accident, by only learning how to experience less bad. Bad or difficult things will happen, they are inevitable, however we will only be capable of overcoming those difficulties if we have a capacity that enables us to adapt and “carry on” in a better way. Searching for permanent damage will not enable us to do better or have more capacity. To move forward we must develop our capacities and enhance our collaborations. It is also valuable to remember the self-worth reinforcing feelings accomplishment generates, especially through trying experiences, by focusing on progress, not problems.

As noted often on this blog, research from my work and that of many scientists has documented how it is more effective and powerful to generate more good, or comprehensive improvements, than it is to diminish bad. Even though less bad may not be the focus, it is often the complementary side effect. For instance higher quality products and services generated by quality management methods also result less bad in the form of in lower costs and less waste.

The most notable proponent and promoter of quality management methods can be seen from the work of world changing quality management Dr. W. Edwards Deming. His promoted quality methods provides a processes to generate more good and as a secondary benefit, less bad. His quality management methods are relevant and useful everywhere because as he stated, by doing things this way, “everyone wins”. I prefer everyone benefits because if someone wins, it suggests there are also losers. Quality management methods like paneugenesis helps everyone and everything benefit. If it does not, it is not being done correctly.

Dr. Deming’s work is certainly foundational to what I do. A foundational principle of quality management is continual process improvement. I have translated these quality management techniques to wellness and lifestyle process improvement. My work has also shown the most effective way to generate more good and practice paneugenesis is to work toward creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Shakespeare provides another related perspective when he explains that there’s not good and bad, it is just what we label it. For this situation, we should choose progress, not problems

The labeling perspective is also shared by Ben Saunders who trekked the South Pole. At the end of his Ted Talk, “To the South Pole and Back – the hardest 105 days of my life”, he suggests we focus on progress

“Happiness is not about finish lines…If we can’t feel content here, today, now, on our journeys, amidst the mess and the striving that we all inhabit, the open loops, the half finished to-do lists, the could-do-better-next-times, then we might never feel it.”

Ben Saunders

If we truly want to make progress and overcome problems as necessary side effect, our focus has to be on progress, not just problems. Please share how you focus on progress and how this has helped. Thank you for all you do to help all of us make progress!

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.