AI is Loose: Is Bard Better?

The artificial intelligent search engine wars are starting. Microsoft has plans to use OpenAI and Chat GPT with Bing. I tried out that search engine with my Powerful Chat GPT Good?? post. As noted, it was not very accurate, though it did capture some good information.

To compare, I tried out Google’s Bard. You can try Bard and use Google’s AI by putting Bard.google.com as your URL. It notes all over the page that is experimental. They also encourage us to provide feedback on the information provided to improve their responses. I did a search by asking, Can you tell me about paneugenesis?

In the first few searches I did, others were given credit for the concept of paneugenesis. However, after providing feedback about the factual errors, new searches with the same query correctly attributed the concept of paneugenesis to me. It learned fast.

Is Feedback Considered Accurate?

I wonder about the feedback I provided. I saw it updated with the accurate information I provided, but does that mean it could update with incorrect information? I did not want to try it to find out. Although the responses by Bard to my query provided a lot of good information, some results made things up. For instance, some of the responses created indicated that there were books about paneugenesis and community groups that work on paneugenesis. All good ideas, but not factually incorrect.

Example Bard Search

Below is a picture of the top portion of my search asking Bard, “Can you tell me about paneugenesis?” The full output of Draft 2 from Bard is posted below. Although I would word things a bit differently, the responses were good. In Drafts 1 & 3 it incorrectly mentioned books or community groups about paneugenesis. If you do a query, users can export the full output to a Google Doc.

Bard’s Response Draft 2: Can you tell me about Paneugenesis?

As you can see, it incorrectly indicated I wrote a book, “The Positive Health Revolution.” That is just a post on this website. Other than that, the information seems good. What do you think?

Sure. Paneugenesis is a term coined by Craig Becker, a health promotion expert and author of the book “The Positive Health Revolution.” It is a process of creating comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Paneugenesis is based on the principle that doing good things enables good outcomes as it simultaneously crowds out bad actions.

There are five key principles of paneugenesis:

  1. Regenerative: Paneugenesis is about creating interactions that are regenerative, meaning that they produce more good than they consume.
  2. Net-positive: Paneugenesis is about creating interactions that are net-positive, meaning that they produce more benefits than they create harm.
  3. Pervasive: Paneugenesis is about creating interactions that are pervasive, meaning that they have a positive impact on a wide range of people and things.
  4. Reciprocal: Paneugenesis is about creating interactions that are reciprocal, meaning that they benefit everyone involved.
  5. Synergistic: Paneugenesis is about creating interactions that are synergistic, meaning that they create even greater benefits when combined with other positive interactions.

Paneugenesis can be applied to a wide range of areas, including health, education, business, and the environment. When applied effectively, paneugenesis can help to create a more positive and sustainable world.

Here are some examples of paneugenesis in action:

  • A company that creates a product that is both environmentally friendly and profitable is practicing paneugenesis.
  • A school that teaches students about the importance of health and wellness is practicing paneugenesis.
  • A community that comes together to clean up a polluted river is practicing paneugenesis.

Paneugenesis is a powerful concept that can be used to create a more positive and sustainable world. By following the five key principles of paneugenesis, we can all make a difference.

The feedback I provided was that this was mostly good, except cleaning up a polluted river would not be practicing paneugenesis because it can only result in less bad. If actions were taken to make the community better than it was before, even without a polluted river, then that would be paneugenesis. I also told them I had not written that book.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and how it will impact our world. Please try out these new AI search engines and provide feedback. It is a monumental project similar to how Wikipedia was created but on a much larger scale.

Please share your experiences with this new Artificial Intelligence (AI). It appears Bard and other new AI tools can help us generate comprehensive improvements if we use them well. For these to work well, we will need to help make sure these tools help enable regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you think we can help make that happen!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Hidden Gems Found

Like most people, I like finding great restaurants that serve what I want. I am a plant-based eater. Although I can generally get plant-based meals, meals prepared for plants rather than as a substitute are better.

The Happy Cow app has been fantastic. It has helped me find great restaurants anywhere I have been in the US. It is worth the $3.99 on the Apple App Store or Google Play. It is also available on a computer at https://www.happycow.net/. Another nice feature was the thank you letter I received after I wrote a review for Zizi’s Vegan at Berry Brook. This restaurant was one of the gems Happy Cow helped me find.

Gems Found

Recently I was in Charlotte, NC. I went to the Trader Joe’s and then was hungry for lunch. On my Happy Cow app, I found choices less than 1 mile from my location. I went to Zizi’s Vegan at Berry Brook. Although they also have a food truck, I visited their location in a health food store. It was hard to find because it was operated from a small kitchen inside a health food store.

The cook was very friendly and told me he developed the recipe for his burgers by trying it with his kids. The burgers were great, made with good things (Delish wholesome burger from lentils, wild rice, portobello, shiitake, beets, spinach & seasoning. Lettuce, tomato, onion, and veganaise. Served on an organic whole wheat bun). The burger was also quite filling. They were so good I got another for dinner and one for my daughter. She also thought it was great.

Other Gem

Another gem I found was when I was picking up my wife from the RDU airport. We wanted to stop at a close restaurant before driving home. Once again, I used my Happy Cow app, which showed me many good plant-based options. I generally also look at the ratings on the app, and they have proven to be very accurate. Again, the restaurant options were close by. We chose a highly-rated Thai restaurant, Champa. It also was great.

Happy Cow Practices Paneugenesis

The Happy Cow app has helped me generate comprehensive improvements by being able find a restaurant close to where I am, which means I don’t burn excess fossil fuels. The app enables me to make delicious, plant-based food choices which we all know improves personal and planetary health. I encourage you to use the Happy Cow app to help you engage in regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that benefit everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Kushner Created Meaning

I learned from the linked article in the Washington Post that Harold Kushner, a rabbi whose books brought solace to millions, died at 88. He was a hero of mine. I have read most of his over a dozen books and found them all helpful. I was especially touched by his most famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It meant a lot to me as I recovered from a near-fatal car accident in 1984 that killed the driver and the other 2 passengers in the car. I have re-read that book many times, each time learning more. His books helped me contemplate meaning and purpose.

Meaning & Purpose

Meaning and purpose in life are desires of most of us. Rabbi Kushner provides us with many clues on how to find it. I have contemplated questions about meaning and purpose in these posts: Meaning from Meaninglessness, Making Sense of Chaos, Meaninglessness, Disorientation, and Randomness & Creating Outcomes. Also, the post, Everything Happens for a Reason! Make it Good! relates to what I got from my many readings of Harold Kushner’s book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

Although the book became a bestseller, the obituary stated that Kushner wrote the book to “redeem my son’s death from meaninglessness” and to try to understand why the world is not fair. His son died as a teenager from progeria, the rapid aging disease. As he contemplated the bad things that happened to him, his conclusions were another example of an undoing of tradition. Kahneman and Tversky’s extensive scientific work demonstrated breakthroughs generally break with traditional practice. Michael Lewis reviewed their work in his book, “The Undoing Project,” and I discussed their work in my “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!” post.

Rabbi broke with traditions by giving up the belief that God was good, but not all-powerful. As he explained,

…“If I, walking through the wards of a hospital, have to face the fact that either God is all-powerful but not kind, or thoroughly kind and loving but not totally powerful, I would rather compromise God’s power and affirm his love,” Rabbi Kushner once told NPR.

…“The theological conclusion I came to is that God could have been all-powerful at the beginning, but he chose to designate two areas of life off-limits to his power,” he continued. “He would not arbitrarily interfere with laws of nature, and secondly, God would not take away our freedom to choose between good and evil.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2023/05/04/harold-kushner-bad-things-good-people/

Below is a short video summary of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People:”

I hope this helps in your search for meaning and purpose. If you have not read his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” I strongly recommend you do. It is a short book, just over 100 pages, but very powerful. It helped lay the foundation for how I work to create meaning and purpose in my life. I do this by working to generate comprehensive benefits by creating regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you generate meaning and purpose in your life.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

More Diversity Benefits

Science, Quickly

In a surprising way, the April 3, 2023 Science Quickly podcast from Scientific American, Open Offices Aren’t Working, so How Do We Design an Office That Does? highlights the benefits of variety. These benefits were also explained in George Musser’s article, Fixing the Hated Open-Design Office, in , .

The insight is hinted at in his subtitle, Open-office designs create productivity and health problems. New insights from Deaf and autistic communities could fix them. As was discussed on the podcast, “…(we) design better for the center when you learn from the margins.” He suggests we flip the script because:

 Normally, accommodations are thought to be well, we’re gonna kind of tweak the office so that this particular person or this particular class of people does better, but we’re giving something up. And I think we need to invert that entire narrative, that designing for variety actually improves the office for everybody.

George Musser on 4/3/2023 Science Quickly Podcast

Understanding this design principle means that designing at the margins provides a method to benefit everyone and everything. These beneficial concepts were also explained in Architecture Creating All Good and Its the Environment Stu*?#!

This means these designs at the margins are a way to Practice Paneugenesis because it generates comprehensive improvements. These designs create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits.

To better understand the possibility of all inclusive design, I recommend you listen to Science Quickly podcast from Scientific American, Open Offices Aren’t Working, so How Do We Design an Office That Does? I also recommend a reading of Greg Musser’s article, Fixing the Hated Open-Design Office, in , . Please share how you can use these ideas to improve your environment.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Amazing Impossible Science

Impossible Science, as designed, developed, and presented by Jason Latimer, is something we all need to see. It is incredible and wonderful. It helped me realize our potential. As he explained,

“The only thing separating the possible from the impossible was the individual wondering about the right question…Wonder changes the world.”

Jason Latimer

Incredible Opportunity

I was amazed, awed, and grateful for the opportunity to Jason Latimer at the Arizona Science Museum in March 2023. I can’t put into words the awe-inspiring feelings generated by watching his amazing presentation. What impressed me was his continual message that he did not want to trick us like a magician; rather, he wanted us to wonder and…ask the right question. As he noted often, “It’s the right question that changes everything.”

Girl Scouts

DESCRIPTION PROVIDED FOR ARIZONA SCIENCE MUSEUM SHOW:

Jason Latimer, World Champion of Magic and the Curator of Impossible Science, will change your understanding of what is possible!

Impossible Science LIVE’s unique blend of science and magic takes audiences on the journey of making the impossible possible through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. From the foundation of all science and discovery to the leading edge of technology and innovation, this live performance demonstrates how the right question changes everything. Latimer integrates all fields of science into mind-blowing illusions that will inspire your sense of wonder.

Learn how to see beyond the illusion! Challenge your understanding of engineering and physics as Latimer walks through solid objects. Discover the power of curiosity and chemistry as Jason forms water into objects. From bending light with his hands to drawings that come to life, you will not want to miss this wonderful science experience.

“Our next cure, next technology, or next revolutionary change will come from a question that has never been asked. It’s a wonder that changes the world. It’s the right question that changes everything.” —Jason Latimer

AZ SCIENCE MUSEUM

When I went to visit the Arizona Science Museum to see, Dogs! A Science Tail, I noticed a poster for “Impossible Science.” Their response was that it was a great show and I should attend. Surprisingly, we had not seen it advertised previously. It seems they have improved the advertisements now – which is great!

The show was great because it was LIVE. Jason Latimer himself performed for 45 minutes. I strongly recommend you see him live if possible and if not review his many YouTube videos and subscribe to his channel.

The “tricks,” which were actually science, were amazing. While you can see him push balls through glasses on the YouTube video below, I saw him do it LIVE – WOW!

l also saw the airplane that flies forever, an amazing card trick, bending light, shaping water without a container, and so much more. Many are shown in the TED talk and more below.

GREAT TED TALK by Jason Latimer

If you do nothing else, watch and be amazed by his TED Talk. As you will see, he asked the right questions, and that made all the difference.

TED Takeaways

For me, there are multiple takeaways from his talk, and below are a few I found especially important:

At about 2:45 minutes: “…What are these new rules and what is ultimately possible?…”

For me, this is the mindset needed to generate Idealized Outcomes, the first step of the Paneugenesis Process. For this, we must wonder what could be but is not possible now. He did this later in the presentation when he controlled and shaped water. Which we thought could never be done??

At about 4:35: “…The right question changes everything…”

For me, this means we must constantly use and develop critical thinking skills.

About 9 minutes: “…The internet is incredible. The accessibility to information is undermining wonder…we gave the internet its answers…despite all its information, despite all its answers, (it) doesn’t think. It doesn’t wonder where the information came from and it does not challenge what it knows. Search engines do not determine what is right or wrong, just what is relevant…”

at about 10:50 minutes: “…most of the wrong ideas were true at one time…”

at about 12 minutes: “…the world was not shaped but its answers, it was shjaped by its questions…”

For me, he was promoting that we all can do good.

Creating All Good

From my perspective and understanding, he is the ultimate producer of all good. He teaches us how to continually improve the process to generate better results. He helps all of us be better versions of ourselves. He helps us rediscover wonder by asking the right questions. His work can help us redefine what is possible. Right now, a new version of better, beyond the absence of problems, must be created. By using what Jason Latimer teaches us with Impossible Science, these methods can help us imagine how to create a better future and how to generate idealized outcomes.

New Idealized Outcomes will generate comprehensive improvements that will be created through net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Jason Latimer helps us understand how we can Practice Paneugenesis!

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Why is it “Health” Care?

I have always been confused by the term “Health” care. We get care when we are sick, not when we are healthy. It is “sick” care.

I am also confused because it suggests we have health if we eliminate a disease or problem. The absence of illness is not the presence of health. Health is the presence of physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not just the absence of problems. The presence of well-being, not the absence of disease and infirmity, is precisely how the World Health Organization defines health:

Of course, they may also learn ways to decrease incidents of the same problem, but they have not learned how to be better.

As I write this, I realize this idea bleeds into so much else. On May 19, 2021, in the NYT’s Daily Podcast, “Nine Days in Gaza,” the host Michael Barbaro asked Rahf Hallaq about how it was to live in Gaza. He said, “It seems absolutely horrible due to terror and the unknown about the destruction that may come at any moment.” Despite these terrible circumstances, Michael Barbaro asked her about her dreams. Her dreams?

Is this approach wrong? Could we be backward, upside down, and confused about how we attempt to help? Could this be the best way to help? Without question, we need to help people in crisis. The crisis, however, must, by its nature, be short-term and acute. Evidence suggests dreaming about a better future beyond just not bad motivates solutions. Visualizing an inspiring future may be necessary to get beyond the emotional pain and anger of the situation.

What do you think? What are your dreams? How will you generate comprehensive improvements? What motivates you to want to create a better tomorrow? What will inspire you to develop net-positive, pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits? 

For me, an “Idealized Outcome,” something better than is possible now, would motivate me to generate all good – something that we can all work together toward achieving. I look forward to hearing how you are working to generate all good through the practice of paneugenesis.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Powerful Chat GPT Good??

For those of us that have an interest, Chat GPT has become a hot topic. It undoubtedly has potential, however, it is also quite scary. I recommend the 2 recent NYTimes Daily Podcasts below to learn more:

The Online Search Wars

Microsoft released a version of Bing powered with artificial intelligence. Did it just revolutionize how we search the internet?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023

The Online Search Wars Got Scary. Fast.

Our technology columnist encounters the darker side of Bing’s A.I. chatbot.

February 17, 2023  •  32:39

I encourage you to listen to both. I have used Chat GPT some. You can access and use ChatGPT on this site. I encourage you to try it and see what you think.

Here is what ChatGPT inaccurately wrote in response to:

Write an essay about salutogenesis citing Craig Becker’s work

The concept of salutogenesis, which refers to the origins of health and well-being, was first introduced by Aaron Antonovsky in the 1970s. Since then, this concept has been widely studied and discussed by various scholars in the field of public health. One of the key contributors to this field is Craig Becker, whose work has greatly expanded our understanding of the salutogenic model of health.

The past paragraph is ok…

Craig Becker’s work on salutogenesis builds on Antonovsky’s ideas, but also expands upon them. Becker emphasizes the importance of the social determinants of health, which are the economic, social, and environmental conditions that influence health outcomes. He argues that understanding the social determinants of health is crucial for promoting health and well-being.

The past paragraph is not accurate.

Becker also highlights the importance of resilience in the salutogenic model. Resilience refers to an individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity and maintain their sense of well-being. Becker argues that resilience is a key component of salutogenesis because it helps individuals to cope with the challenges they face and maintain their health and well-being.

This is also not accurate.

One of the key contributions of Becker’s work on salutogenesis is his emphasis on the role of agency in promoting health and well-being. Agency refers to an individual’s ability to take action and make choices that promote their health and well-being. Becker argues that agency is a crucial component of salutogenesis because it allows individuals to take control of their lives and make choices that promote their health and well-being.

Again, the past paragraph is not accurate

Another important contribution of Becker’s work is his emphasis on the importance of social support in promoting health and well-being. Social support refers to the resources and assistance that individuals receive from their social networks. Becker argues that social support is essential for promoting health and well-being because it helps individuals to cope with stress and maintain their sense of well-being.

This is ok but not emphasized…

Overall, Craig Becker’s work on salutogenesis has greatly expanded our understanding of the origins of health and well-being. By emphasizing the importance of the social determinants of health, resilience, agency, and social support, Becker’s work provides a comprehensive framework for understanding how individuals can promote their own health and well-being. His work highlights the importance of empowering individuals to take control of their lives and make choices that promote their health and well-being, while also recognizing the crucial role that social support and resilience play in achieving these goals.

Inaccurate summary of my work

This is not accurate. You can see it wrote some general things about salutogenesis but it was not very accurate to my work. I do not emphasize social determinants, agency, or reslience in my work. It was even less accurate when I asked:

What research has Craig M. Becker, Ph.D. done related to salutogenesis?

It pulled incorrect resesarch citations.

I then asked about paneugenesis, the term I generated, published, and use in my work. It gave credit to another researcher. UGH!

Please try ChatGPT here and share your thoughts on your experience. Good, bad, scary, damaging, liberating????

Please help. I work to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, The practice of paneugenesis. It appears ChatGPT does not. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Need More Good Progress(DD#1)

I am reading Austin Kleon’s short book, “Show Your Work.” His book recommends a daily dispatch that shows your work and documents progress. For years, I have been developing techniques, strategies, and practices to generate more good, not just less bad. I need to do more, so I am adopting his strategy of posting regular work dispatches. Here is an overview of my progress to date.

More Good Progress…so far

I have been working on this task for over 30 years. My mission is to emphasize more good focus for the long term. Less bad is essential in short-term, acute situations. I have yet to hear that people disagree with this effort, but the idea has not diffused or circulated as needed. The focus on less bad or less pathology dominates our world. Therefore, I will use Austin Kleon’s advice and post my work to hold myself accountable.

During my efforts to date, I have been working as a professor since 2001 and have a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. I have about 100 national and international publications and presentations about how to create or cause good health, which, as research has also demonstrated, effectively prevents or ends bad health…as a by-product. This work is summarized in the linked publication about the paneugenesis model, “Going on Offense to Promote Health Promotion Gains.” Additionally, the linked 2019 article by colleague Dr. Michael Stellefson discusses this idea by categorizing these efforts as a promotion of “Chronic Wellness.” For more, see the article, Planting a Tree Model for Public Health: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Chronic Wellness

If you are interested and have time, below are some links to presentations, papers, and online resources to my work. The best way to learn about my work is the 17-minute linked presentation, Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad. I gave this talk to the sustainability committee at East Carolina University (ECU).  

A short linked paper, “Creating Positive Health: It is More than Risk Reduction,” describes my approach to generating positive outcomes and not just avoiding bad results. Another published linked paper, “Salutogenesis 30 Years Later: Where do we go from here?”,  is about salutogenesis and describes how using this health-causing or creating framework/theory could help. A comparison of the traditional pathogenesis approach and salutogenesis is available in the often viewed (over 35k views) YouTube video: Pathogenesis & Salutogenesis with this 2021 update. I have also posted this video, Exceeding Expectations, about how to do better than not bad.

My work has resulted in developing the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale for Young Adults, Adults, Older Adults, and Arabic populations. I have also worked on a childhood version for schools to improve health and education. If you are interested, see this article, Pilot Assessment of the Scholar Checklist: A Tool for Early Childhood Health & Education.

If you are interested in learning more about these scales, I linked an article validating my positive health scale, “Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).” I have also linked an article about how focusing on generating more good helped us understand what helps students thrive. The study used the SWPS to measure the process, and what we learned about the student’s lifestyle process and it relates to doing well is described in the”What Helps Students Thrive” article.

Other videos about my work are available on my YouTube channel. In addition, this is a link to this blog on Positive Health Leadership, where I explore many related topics in over 400 posts. This blog also can be reached at www.bewellr.com. Please contact me if you have any ideas, thoughts, concerns, complaints, suggestions, or questions or are interested in learning more. 

Now What??

Unfortunately, I have not made desired progress in transforming society toward more good, not just less bad. However, I will forge ahead, and I hope you will help. My current efforts focus on disseminating these positive health ideas and practices and assisting people in adopting these practices. I will use the Diffusion of Innovations Theory to guide my future work. I hope to publish a related article soon.

Please share any advice and contact me if you want to help at bewellr@gmail.com, beckerc@ecu.edu, 252-328-5312, or on this blog. I look forward to hearing from you about how we can work together to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Need to Bring the Cradle Home

We need laws that encourage, support, and reinforce organizational behaviors requiring corporations to take care of their products through their full lifecycle.

I have written about the “Cradle to Cradle” rather than “Cradle to Grave” care discussed by McDonough and Braungart in Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle. Their books discuss the life cycle of products from the beginning, Cradle, until they are not used anymore and disposed of, Grave. Their concept was to use products until the end of their useful life. When products cannot be used anymore, the products should be “upcycled”, not trashed, so the materials from the product can be used again. See Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad.

Overall they are referring to the organizations that extract material, then manufacture a product to sell, which eventually ends up as waste. Their concept was for organizations to be responsible for the products and all it took to make them until the end. The end, however, should be an “upcycle” where it is used for a greater purpose or at least where it is used as recycled material for new products, so more virgin material does not get extracted. While I understood this intellectually, I did not understand what it meant until I picked up garbage on our beautiful Greenways in Greenville, NC.

While picking up garbage on the Greenway, I realized there was no way to trace back these waste materials. Of course, many would suggest we should just more severely restrict people from dumping their garbage. That solution, however, is unlikely to work. Penalizing people is a day late and a dollar short. After all, nobody likes being told what to do to cause less bad. They want to be responsible for more good.

Hard to See Financial Benefits

At first glance, the benefits of being responsible for products from the cradle to the grave are hard to see. These benefits are what Kahneman & Tversky would call mental illusions. In reality, with effort, having organizations be responsible for their products through their lifecycle can be financially beneficial for them as it also benefits society, as a by-product. In a Karma-like fashion, organizations that do good for society get more business due to the good feelings generated by their efforts. This is true and has been documented by Interface, Inc., a modular carpet company (see We Must Make It Better – Saving the Planet not Enough!)

Action Needed

Right now, we only have cradle-to-grave legislation for hazardous materials. Why don’t we do it for all materials? People are supposed to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and since corporations are considered people, they should be held to the same standard. Upon reflection, however, this would not be a problem but a benefit. Being a better steward of their business and the materials used would yield less expensive operations, better processes, better use of resources, and a cleaner world.

In other words, seeing all the garbage in greenways showed me what happens to the cradle if it is not brought home. (ok, not a perfect analogy) I know there is more to be done – such as advocating for new laws. However, we could begin to generate comprehensive improvements by moving toward a default standard that helps organizations be responsible for their goods from the cradle to the grave or, ideally, cradle to cradle. This means we should push for legislation, laws, studies, and more that document the benefits to organizations, people, environments, and more when actions upcycle used goods, not just cause less waste.

In other words, “nudging” organizations, with better regulations, to be more responsible for their products, so they do not become garbage like I saw on the greenways could help generate comprehensive improvements. These new laws would push organizations to work like Interface, Inc, which has been able to create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, and profitable synergistic processes from which everyone and everything would benefit.

Please share information about other organizations that have learned how to bring the cradle home by following a path to generate more good and how it has made them more profitable and better contributing members of society. I look forward to hearing from you.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Creating a Better Tomorrow

I talk and often post about designing for MORE GOOD, not just less bad. To enable this, I use and require my students to use the Paneugenesis Process. As noted in many posts, including Less Bad ≠ More Good – We Must Create Good, Make 2020 Your Best Decade Yet… and many other posts, I describe the 4 step Panueugenesis Process this way:

Practice Paneugenesis using this 4 Step Process

  1. Operationalize Desired Idealized Outcome
    • Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
    • Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
  2. Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
    • Research to discover what must come before the idealized outcome, what must be true for the desired outcome to occur
    • Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
    • These Precursors are goals that must be achieved before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
  3. Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, it’s designing a process to help the grass grow)
    • Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
    • Update unneeded, outdated, or inappropriate actions to ones that created an idealized vision,
    • Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
  4. Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
    • Measure and document progress forward toward the idealized outcome
    • Plan and develop the next steps to enable continual improvement

Experience has documented that the hardest part is also the most important. This is step 1 which requires Creating and Operationalizing an Idealized Outcome. To operationalize means all parties understand the goals and aims.

People often avoid generating an idealized outcome and fall back on the default of noting problems that explain why things are not ideal. That is easier, and most importantly, if improvement beyond the status quo is desired, doesn’t actually make things better. It can’t be better than the status quo because Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!

I noted all this because Damon Gameau and his team appear to have created 2 films that Operationalize Idealized outcomes. These 2 movies are 2040 (I ordered and watched them)

And Regenerating Australia. Right now information suggests this movie is not available in the US yet, but I am trying to get a copy. Please advise if you know how I can get a copy.

I encourage you to learn more about his work so you also can be inspired to use the Paneugenesis Process to generate and create idealized outcomes. I look forward to learning about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions 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.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Trust but Verify

Hurricane “Ian” ravaged Florida and the east coast in September 2022. Some were fatally trapped because they stayed in their houses when the storm hit land. Although most would “trust” weather forecasts, they could not “verify” it would be that bad until it was too late. That is often the issue. Timing delays our ability to “verify”.

“Trust but verify” became famous, according to Wikipedia, when Ronald Reagan used it during nuclear disarmament talks with the Soviet Union. Ironically, at least according to Wikipedia, it s a Russian Proverb. This saying has become relevant in my life, can be related to actions with hurricane Ian, and may benefit your life.

At least for me, it seems the universe can talk to me. This time it was about the Russian proverb, “Trust but verify”. Of course, it became relevant because I also read Malcolm Gladwell’s provocative 2019 book, “Talking to Strangers“.

Talking to Strangers

Transparency, Understanding

Gladwell’s book was very enlightening (I recommend the book and summary). With research, “Talking to Strangers”, in Gladwell’s trademark neutral method, documents how we are good at understanding others when they act as expected, but bad at discerning the truth when they do not act as we think they should. He even suggests it could be because of the “Friends” effect. In the sitcom “Friends”, the actor’s emotions, expressions, and actions are all consistent and support what they will do.

In “Friends”, if they are smiling, they are happy. If they are trying to cheat or trick someone, they act suspiciously. In real life, that is not always the case. Only sometimes are we transparent such that our actions match our intentions. Gladwell explains the “Friend’s” effect to Jimmy Kimmel for about 2 minutes in the interview below. He also summarizes so much more. I strongly encourage you to listen to this 8-minute interview and read his book.

To demonstrate this conundrum, Gladwell documents other experiences in the book. One story discusses how Penn State’s University President, Graham B. Spanier, was fired for endangering children when Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of child abuse. He contrasts this to parents who were in the room when Larry Nassar abused their kids, and yet they were not thought to be negligent. Life is ambiguous…

Default to Truth

Gladwell suggests and suspects this happens because people will automatically default to the truth, or believe what is best when people act as expected. In other words, we default to “Trust”. It is hard not to, and it takes extreme risk and difficulty to go against the tide when others trust. The second part of the proverb, “Verify”, is what we should do, but it is complicated by timing and effort.

This is a proverb because we want colleagues and supervisors to think the best of us, or to Trust us. Think how horrible it would be if people automatically assumed the worst in each situation. In other words, we should “Trust”. If we didn’t trust, Gladwell seems to justifiably suggest without implicit trust, the world would be a less desirable place for us all.

Verification takes extra effort, and those steps may also cause us to discover things we do not want to know. This happened during the pandemic when people stole funds, as highlighted in this NYTimes Daily Podcast, Why Was Pandemic Fraud So Easy?

During the pandemic, an enormous amount of money — about $5 trillion in total — was spent to help support the newly unemployed and to prop up the U.S. economy while it was forced into suspension. But the funds came with few strings and minimal oversight. The result: one of the largest frauds in American history, with billions of dollars stolen by thousands of people. Guest: David A. Fahrenthold, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, focused on nonprofits.

Summary of 9/27/2022 NYTimes Daily Podcast

It got Personal…

Recently, I did not adequately “Verify”. The “Friends” effect impacted me. I didn’t adequately verify people because I could not imagine why a group I was working with would not be telling the truth. Unfortunately, my “default to truth” and failure to adequately “verify” has slowed and damaged progress on plans I had to Practice Paneugenesis on a much bigger level.

Though this attempt to “Optimize the process” did not work, I am finding a better way to reach my idealized outcome so we can generate comprehensive improvements by being nudged to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefit.

We want to provide people with a GPS for life that will nudge them to efficiently use resources to lead a fulfilling, regenerative life that will also create regenerative communities. This BeWell’r Web will work like a forest’s mycelium in the roots of plants and trees, enabling plants to be healthier through efficiently using the forest’s resources.

This function of nature through the root network in a forest was dubbed to be the “Wood Wide Web” by “Nature”(August 1997). The “Wood Wide Web” is a communication network that shares information through its fungi with all in the forest about how to best use its resources so the forest can thrive. The video below shares the vision for our BeWell’r Web that will help create healthier people and thriving communities:

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Amazing People, 2nd edition

In 2014 I wrote this post, Dad Our House is on Fire!…People are Amazing! I wrote this because I was in awe of the amazing generosity we experienced after our house burned down and we lost most of our belongings. As I noted in that post, despite the awful news we hear 24/7, I believe most people are good. I also believe people want to help others. Scientifically this makes sense because it makes us feel good.

To my delight, I once again was in awe of amazing generosity of others. As I noted in 2014,

“… my belief that people are amazing has been confirmed.” Again!

My belief that people are good has been confirmed again – people are amazing! This time it was confirmed when my wife and I went Lowes to pick up some lattice for our yard.

Lattice punchased at Lowes

I have a Prius which has a hatchback and almost everything fits. This time however we were about 2 inches shy of being able to get the lattice into the hatch. As we picked up the lattice to return it to the store. a gentleman, with broken English gets our attention and says, “do you need help?” We explained we did and he then offered to carry the lattice pieces in his truck to our house. People are amazing!

We loaded the lattice in the back of his truck and asked him to follow us. Of course, if you believe the news, he would have driven away with the material. He did not. He kindly brought the material to our house, helped us unload it and said he was glad to help. We offered to pay him, but he refused. People are amazing!

Overall, it was a nice, net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction. This is a way to practice paneugenesis because it helped generate more good, not just less bad. That act encouraged me and my wife to pay it forward, thus causing a positive pervasive ripple, as it also reinforced our belief that most people are good and kind. People are amazing!

Make it a great week by being the amazing person you know you can be. Also please share your stories of yourself or others paying it forward!

BeWell’r,

Craig Becker

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Science Simplified but Confused?

I talk about science often in these posts (see Science is Our Only Way Forward, Science, Beauty, Evolution, and Progress, Updated: “The Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”, and many others.) Although I mention it, I need to let you know how I understand science.

Findings from science should be objective, that is they can be replicated by others and they represent reality. While earning my PhD I remember a simple and powerful statement that described the scientific process that helped me and I thought it could help others.

Science DESCRIBEs, so it can PREDICT, which means you can then IMPROVE and then based on what you learn, you can EXPLAIN phenomena. Each level forward builds on the previous.

DESCRIBE: Tell us what happened based on influencing interactions

PREDICT: Be able to say what will happen when variables interact

IMPROVE: After understanding the situation, or being able to describe the phenomena based on related interactions – then it can be predicted what will happen. This knowledge enables the future to be altered or improved. Improvement can happen by manipulating some of the variable interactions described.

EXPLAIN: Knowing what did or did not improve the outcome enables an explanation of our reality. For example, I ate excess calories than I used so I gained weight.

Improvement CONFUSION????

The confusion I see is in the area of improvement. While correcting a problem such as putting out a fire, curing a disease, or even stitching a cut, it is not true improvement because it does not improve beyond our starting point or reference. These actions end a bad with treatment but do not cause a good beyond where we were before. See Resilience is Not Always a Virtue, If that is all it is for…, Best Practices are Contraindicated for Improvement and others.

Kahneman and Tversky explained this by suggesting giving money to poor people was not seen as help, but just a chance to catch up. This then was not improvement but helping level the playing field so improvements could be made.

For instance, my organization is BeWell’r, LLC and our work focuses on helping people(college students right now), organizations and society not just be well, but to be Well’R. This means better than they could have been before. We help people make better choices by efficiently nudging them, via the BeWell’r Web, to use community resources such that they can lead a regenerative lifestyle that helps them become better as they simultaneously also build a stronger, regenerative community, meaning everyone and everything benefits. The BeWell’r Web works like a forest which uses the “Wood-Wide Web” as discovered and explained by Dr. Suzanne Simard. (see Strategic Alliances are Powerful)

Stability then Improvement

As Dr. W. Edwards Deming explained in his quality management seminars. The first goal is to lessen the variance so stable outcomes can be produced. Once a consistent process produces a similar outcome again and again over time, then improvement can be made. If improvement attempts are made prior to stability, it is hard to know if the improvement can last or if it was a real improvement and not just chance. He used simple process behavior charts to document stable processes.

What Does this mean? Scientifically

This means science should first provide a DESCRIPTION of an occurrence or a phenomenon by understanding how it happened. The description should describe the interactions that created that occurrence. Based on that understanding of the situation, a PREDICTION about what will happen can be made. If one does not like the prediction, an IMPROVEMENT can be made by altering some of the interactions described.

As an example my daughter wants to run a marathon. She first had to be able to describe her current state and ability by reviewing the interactions that led to her current reality. Knowing she wants to have more endurance she studied training methods and changed her workouts to hopefully improve her running ability. If she is able to complete a marathon she will be able to explain by saying doing these type of workouts and having good nutrition improved my ability beyond what it was before, even in the best circumstances. In other words, this improvement would be better than she would have been even on her best day – that is true IMPROVEMENT.

I use science to generate comprehensive improvements by discovering and engaging in net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. When I discover these interactions that generate comprehensive improvements such as An All Good Simple Clean Up,A Way to Practice Paneugenesis, and others I share.

Please share how you use science to generate true comprehensive IMPROVEMENTS. I look forward to hearing from you.

BeWellr,

Craig M. Becker, PhD

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

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@bewellr

Its the Environment Stu*?#!

“It’s the economy stu**#?!” was a famous catch phrase when Clinton ran for president and in a book by Paul Begala about George W. Bush’s presidency. As the title states, “It Still the Economy, Stupid”.

book by Paul Begala

This idea seemed to catch on because the economy seemed to be instrumental in peoples lives. Most people cared about the economy because they thought the state of the economy would have an impact on their lives.

Research continues to document that the things around us, such as the economy, greatly impact what we do and what we think. From a more general perspective, it’s not the economy, it’s the environment that is most influential.

Social Cognitive theory (also referred to as Social Learning Theory) explains how thoughts (cognitions), behaviors, and the environment continually influence one another. As any one of these factors changes, so do the others. Therefore, when we alter the environment, our thoughts and behaviors will also change, reciprocally. It is what is referred to as reciprocal determinism. If you are interested in learning more, you can watch this short video.

The power of the environment drives many recommendations. The simplest recommendation is to have healthy food in your house, prepared, and it will more likely be the food you eat. This simple point was driven home for me when I saw how we changed our home environment for our new puppy. For some reason he liked to play with our bolt cap covers on the bottom of the toilet (see pictures). To solve the problem, we put out toys and removed the bolt cap covers. He now plays with better toys and we don’t have a problem. All of this happened by “simply” changing the environment. How can you change your environment to get the outcomes you desire?

Simplicity, however is sometimes overrated, there is always more than one causal factor and this alone make simplicity incomplete. Still, Einstein was a fan,

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein

For a great discussion on simplicity I recommend Steven Dubner & Angela Duckworth’s “No Stupid Questions“, podcast episode #104, “How Simple Is Too Simple?

Creating an Environment to Get Desired Outcomes

Preparing healthy food and having it available in my home generates a health promoting environment that makes health more likely. Making healthy food available is a time multiplier (see Be Fruitful and Multiply – Time That is…) I find myself, upon reflection, using time multiplier options all the time. Many actions, that take time initially, can create an environment more likely to generate desirable outcomes. For instance my wife and I share the notes App on our iPhones. It took time to set up, however now whenever we run low on things, or need to get something, we put it on our shared list and we are more likely to get and have things in our environment that we need. In this way, our digital environment helps our home environment.

Idea from this post: Design your environment to make your desired outcomes more likely. The environment enables or inhibits desired outcomes. Though it will take some work initially to create the environment you want, the time spent creating that desirable environment, will save your time – as Rory Vader explains, it is a Time Multiplier.

Behaviors Become Habits

It is important ot remember that any action taken sets the foundation for a habit. (see What We Do Without Thinking, Sharing “Atomic Habits” Wisdom from James Clear … and more. The environment we live in determine if engaging in that behavior will be easy or more difficult. Understanding this means we should design your environment to make desired behaviors easier so a better life can take care of itself because as behaviors become habits, it will be what we do without thinking. Habits are also great time savers, or time multipliers.

Please share how you design you environment to generate comprehensive benefits by enabling more net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions 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.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Measuring for Benefits

Prevention benefits mean nothing bad happens, it does not necessarily create more good. By definition, it will just get us back to where we were before. Of course this is good, at least not worse, but why not create better? Time and again we look for errors that could have been eliminated, suggesting less errors is higher quality. Unfortunately, less errors only mean things are less bad than they could have been, not truly better. To me that type of thinking sets the bar too low.

Dr. Deming often explained it doesn’t make sense to focus on getting better at things we shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Inspecting at the end of an assembly line, he would explain, could not produce higher quality products, it could only catch errors. Quality management meant focusing on doing all the steps better, through informed decisions made possible with process behavior charts. Process behavior charts also enabled better connection between the steps so all could be done better. It matters more how things work together than how anything works independently. A continually improved process is far more effective than an improved ability to find errors at the end.

Isn’t searching for and finding errors what we usually do. We measure for errors rather than showing what could be. I thought of this as I listened to the June 3, 2022 NYTime Daily Podcast, “The Cost of Haiti’s Freedom“. I encourage you to listen here.

Shocking Information

It wasn’t so much about what they lost that sparked my interest, but later in the podcast the information they calculated about what good could have been created. If rather than paying the “double debt” back to France, Haiti could have invested in themselves and could have had a thriving island of educated citizens who would have had a better opportunity to live up to their potential and contribute. Nothing says it would have happened, but it could have…

It seems this linked Mother Goose and Grim comic strip, posted the same day as this post was attempting to make the same point. How much better can that camel perform??

As was explained in the NYTimes Daily podcast, at about minute 12, Haiti paid France $560 million dollars. Then they said, if that money had stayed in Haiti, it would be worth $21 billion dollars to Haiti which could have been used for schools and roads. That was in raw dollars, according to calculations by economists, they determined that it could have been worth $115 billion dollars if the money was used wisely. They explained that this was the opportunity cost of the money that went to France. In other words, it is what Haiti could have been – a country with electricity, water, schools and health care.

Magical Thinking…

They suggested that it was magical thinking. Is it magical thinking, or is it seeing a future that we want to create and then working to make it so? According to John List in his 2022 book, “The Voltage Effect: how to make good ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale“, this type of thinking is what was the best chess players do. They use backward induction to figure out how to create the best outcome. Is that magical thinking? No – it is backward induction or Prospective Hindsight (see Use Prospective Hindsight to Create a Better Tomorrow) It is what is used by everyone who creates better outcomes than what currently exists. It is also what I suggest we do with the Paneugenesis Process by first creating an Idealized Outcome, an outcome that cannot be now, but could be if we redesign reality to make it so.

John List explained, this evolved from Zermelos Theorem. According to what is posted on Wikipedia, backward induction is:

…is a process of reasoning backward in time. It is used to analyse and solve extensive form games of perfect information. This method analyses the game starting at the end, and then works backwards to reach the beginning. In the process, backward induction determines the best strategy for the player that made the last move. Then the ultimate strategy is determined for the next-to last moving player of the game. The process is repeated again determining the best action for every point in the game has been found. Therefore, backward induction determines the Nash equilibrium of every subgame in the original game.[5]

As explained on Wikipedia

Using Backward Induction for Benefits

Although life does not allow perfect information, shouldn’t all of us use backward induction to determine our next move? My point, in simplistic form. If we want to improve, we must start with what we want, i.e. a regenerative world, not just a sustainable one (see Getting Better as We Fix What we Broke).

We can live a lifestyle that not only makes our lives better by living it, by eating a plant strong diet, by being active with friends and family, building our minds be cooperating, and by learning and creating new methods to generate comprehensive improvements through the creation of net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits. This is the Practice of Paneuegenesis.

This can be made more likely by measuring for benefits, rather than problems to avoid. Dream of a better future not possible now, an Idealized Outcome seen through Prospective Hindsight. Then use backward induction to figure out how to create that desired reality. It will be exciting work to generate and contribute toward creating a better world for everyone and everything. Please share how you are using the same strategy the best chess players use, backward induction, to create a desired outcome that helps 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.
Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com