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A LIST OF POSTINGS IN THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT SINCE SEPTEMBER 2016

A book is on the table next to a wooden shelf.

 

Would you like to increase Earthian human OKness? If so, read the three Earthian Empowerment Systems books provided in the EES post below and set up your own EE discussion group where you live.

EARTHIAN EMPOWERMENT SYSTEMS     AUGUST 26, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/earthian-empowerment-systems/

EARTHIAN HUMAN HISTORY HINGES ON THE USIAN 2024 PRESEDENTIAL  ELECTION     MARCH 30, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/earthian-human-history-hinges-on-the-usian-2024-pre3idential-election/?fbclid=IwAR0tmocz8uy0HhlgSdRjH9ch-O7UpN7ucUm-8extVzjMQLq6gJ5XCPgxwnA_aem_AXRwDBmXLlQMuAg0AnyvKx5SffEEb2xalYz0xGKWxONNqr7qF-sKsVb8wUMOvylnSSyJMJn8KCtXZRZNR5MbHuF7.    

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS     APRIL 28, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-to-empower-earthian-humans/

RJS ATHLETIC, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIC VITA     May 7, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/rjs-athletic-business-and-academic-vita/

HOW THE RICHEST EARTHIAN HUMANS GOT RICHER AND THE POOREST GOT POORER AFTER 1980     MARCH 13, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-the-richest-earthian-humans-got-richer-and-the-poorest-got-poorer-after-1980/

THE EARTHIAN—43     FEBRUARY 27, 2024.     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-report/.

LIFT ME UP, MY LEGS, SO I MIGHT WALK SOMEWHERE IN A STRAIGHT LINE JANUARY 20, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/4948-2/

WHO ARE THE LEGITIMATE HEIRS OF THE LAND OF ISRAEL-PALESTINE?     DECEMBER 31, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/who-are-the-legitimate-heirs-of-the-land-of-israel-palestine/

THE EARTHIAN—42     DECEMBER 1, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-42/

THE USIAN TRUMPIAN/REPUGLICAN DILEMMA     SEPTEMBER 30, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-usian-trumpian-repuglican-dilemma/

WEST IS BEST     SEPTEMBER 12, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/west-is-best/

MY YEAR TEACHING ON USAF NATO BASES     AUGUST 21, 2023    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/my-year-teaching-on-usaf-nato-bases-1982-83/

THE ORDEAL OF TRUMPISM     AUGUST 18, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-ordeal-of-trumpism/

WILL DON TRUMP’S HAMARTIC SCRIPT ENMESH US ALL BEFORE HIS STORY ENDS?     JULY 8, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/will-don-trumps-hamartic-script-enmesh-us-all-before-his-life-story-ends/

 HOW MANY MORE EPISODES OF THIS TRUMPIAN PSYCHODRAMA WILL THERE BE?     JUNE 14, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-many-more-episodes-of-this-trumpian-psychodrama-will-there-be/

THE EARTHIAN—41     JUNE 20, 3023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-41/

IS TRUMP HIS OWN WORST ENEMY     JUNE 9, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-his-own-worst-enemy/

TRUMP INVENTS A NEW WAY OF LYING     JUNE 6, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/trump-invents-a-new-way-of-lying/

HOW GOVERNMENTS WASTE THEIR TIME     MAY 19, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-governments-waste-their-time/

THE EARTHIAN—40      APRIL 7, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/4399-2/?fbclid=IwAR305XMHvsp5WbaloFpOTbS7wRIurCqvOv4h0v7M1EQ6wXQV_lkGaM6oJLM

Why Words, Pictures, and Numbers Cannot Prove What the Truth is in Dangerous Cases      April 3, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-words-pictures-and-numbers-cannot-prove-what-the-truth-is-in-dangerous-cases/

THE EARTHIAN—39     MARCH 21, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-39/

THE TROUBLING USIAN ECONOMIC MODUS OPERANDI     MARCH 10, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-troubling-usian-economic-modus-operandi//

THE EARTHIAN—38     FEBRUARY 24, 2023    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-38/

THE EARTHIAN—37     FEBRUARY 6, 2023   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-37/      

THE EARTHIAN—36    JANUARY 4, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-36/

COULD TELEVISING VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY’S SPEECH IN THE US HOUSE IGNITE WWIII?     DECEMBER 23, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/4294-2/

THE EARTHIAN—35     DECEMBER 2, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-35/

SPACESHIP EARTH AND THE US ARE IN SAD SHAPE     NOVEMBER 16, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/spaceship-earth-and-the-us-are-in-sad-shape/

WHY LARGE POWERFUL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE EVIL     OCTOBER 27, 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-large-powerful-political-parties-are-evil/?fbclid=IwAR0oqmloyPCixQzS2JYQjbboKTkGE-MFz1PwRbdQHQRXITIAX-5PU2xGAaY

THE EARTHIAN—34     OCTOBER 24, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-34/

THE EARTHIAN—33    SEPTEMBER 28, 2022    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/4205-2/

THE EARTHIAN—32     AUGUST 25, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-32/

A KIRKUS REVIEW: AS THE ROOSTER CROWS EARTHIAN OKness INCREASES     JULY 8, 2021  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/as-the-rooster-crows-earthian-okness-increases/

THE EARTHIAN—31     JUNE 24, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-31/.

WAR IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME     JUNE 5, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/wars-are-psychological-games/?fbclid=IwAR1Qc1FUyG6on-l5r15Ng4Zljezrx0zH5k7RRB0Y5gusckip4bQ6fx62LyA

EARTHIAN HUMANS EXPERIENCE LESS OKNESS     MAY 24, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/earthian-humans-experience-less-okness/

THE EARTHIAN—30      MAY 20, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-30/        

THE EARTHIAN—29     APRIL 19, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-29/

RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS IN THE UKRAINE SHOWDOWN     APRIL 15, 2022     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/relevant-international-economic-considerations-in-the-ukraine-showdown/

THE EARTHIAN—28     MARCH 28, 2022   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-28/.     

THE EARTHIAN—27     FEBRUARY 14, 2022      https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-27/     

JULIAN ASSANGE’S ENDURING LEGAL SAGA      DECEMBER 16, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/julian-assanges-enduring-legal-saga/.

THE EARTHIAN—26     DECEMBER 4, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-26/.

ˆTHE EARTHIAN—25     OCTOBER 4, 2009     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-25/

THE EARTHIAN—24     JULY 30, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-24/

AS THE ROOSTER CROWS EARTHIAN OKness INCREASES     JUNE 9, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/as-the-rooster-crows-earthian-okness-increases/

THE INHERENT IRONY IN THE PALESTINIAN/ISRAELI STRUGGLE     MAY 24, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-inherent-irony-in-the-palestinian-israeli-struggle/

AMERICA IS NOT A RACIST COUNTRY     MAY 12, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/america-is-not-a-racist-country/

THE EARTHIAN—23     MAY 11, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-23/

THE EARTHIAN—22     MARCH 22, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-22/

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS TUTORING     MARCH 5, 2021 https://blog.effectivelearning.net/transactional-analysis-tutoring-3/

THE EXEMPLARY USIAN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF 2021 MORPHED INTO A TRAGEDY OF WRONGDOING      FEBRUARY 14, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-exemplary-impeachment-trial-became-a-tragic-event/

ROUT LOGGER’S GROUP:  TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH –INTERNET EPISODE SIX     FEBRUARY 1, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-internet-episode-six/

A TRANSACTONAL ANALYSIS OF EARTHIAN HISTORY: PART ONE     JANUARY 22, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-earthian-history-part-one/

PRESIDENT BIDEN AS SEEN FROM A HUMBLE PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE FROM THE CARIBBEAN.     JANUARY 22, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/president-biden-as-seen-from-a-humble-persons-perspective-from-the-caribbean/

THE EARTHIAN—21     JANUARY 5, 2021     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-21/      

HOPEFULLY THIS IS THE LAST STRAW FOR TRUMP ON HIS WAY OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE     NOVEMBER 29, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/3222-2/

JOE BIDEN: WAR OR PEACE?     NOVEMBER 16, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/joe-biden-war-or-peace/

ELR EDITOR’S GENEALOGICAL SCRIPTING      NOVEMBER 15, 2020 https://blog.effectivelearning.net/stapleton-genealogy/

ELR EDITOR’S ACADEMIC VITA     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita/

THE UniDesk™ NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-unidesk/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING COMPANY     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-company/

STAPLETON LEARNING COMPANY     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/stapleton-learning-company/ 

EFFECTIVE LEARNING PUBLICATIONS     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications/ 

GAMES EDUCATORS PLAY     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/games-educators-play/

FAIR TEACHER EVALUATIONS     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/fair-teacher-evaluations/

BUSINESS VOYAGES ARCHIVES     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/business-voyages-archives/

FreeFairProgressParty     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty/

THE EVOLUTION OF SPACESHIP EARTH, INC.     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc-3/

DE-GAMING AND SAVING DEMOCRACY     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/de-gaming-democracy/

OGEECHEE ECONOMIC FORUM      NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum/

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS TUTORING     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/transactional-analysis-tutoring-2/

RESPONSES     NOVEMBER 15, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/responses/

THE EARTHIAN—20    OCTOBER 31, 2020    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-20/     

TRUMP’S A WORLD CLASS NIGYSOB PLAYER (and he should be let go) OCTOBER 17, 2020      https://blog.effectivelearning.net/trumps-a-world-class-nigysob-player/

YOU STARTED IT–A PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME CAUSING MAJOR TROUBLE ABOARD SPACESHIP EARTH    OCTOBER 8, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/you-started-it-a-psychological-game-causing-major-trouble-aboard-spaceship-earth/.

THE EARTHIAN – 19    OCTOBER 4, 2020    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/3031-2/

DISAPPOINTING FOOTBALL GAMES and A LOSER’S LAMENTATION    SEPTEMBER 28, 2020    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-disappointing-football-game-and-a-losers-lamentation/

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS TUTORING    SEPTEMBER 23, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/transactional-analysis-tutoring/

A SPEECH FOR JULIAN ASSANGE    SEPTEMBER 12, 2020.    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-speech-for-julian-assange/

GEORGE FLOYD REVISITED THROUGH LEGAL EYES    AUGUST 30,2020    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/2952-2/

NUCLEAR WEAPONS – WAR AND PEACE     AUGUST 26, 2020.    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/nuclear-weapons-war-and-peace/

THE EARTHINAN—18     BEST SELLER    AUGUST 9, 2020.    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-18/ 

IS TRUMP EVIL?       JULY 29, 1020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-evil/  

THE GROUP TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH–INTERNET EPISODE FIVE     JULY 2029     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-evil/  

A 4TH JULY ESSAY ON STATUES, MEANING IN THE ANGLO-AMERICAN WORLD AND HISTORICAL FACTS     BEST SELLER     JULY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-4th-july-essay-on-statues-meaning-in-the-anglo-american-world-and-historical-facts/

AN INTERNET CONVERSATION ON REPARATIONS AND STATUES     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/an-internet-conversation-on-reparations-and-statues/

THE GROUP: TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-four/

THE EARTHIAN–17     BEST SELLER     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-17/

A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STATES OF AFFAIRS AROUND SPACESHIP EARTH     BEST SELLER     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-economic-and-political-states-of-affairs/

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL BEHAVIOR THROUGH A TA LENS     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-economic-behavior/

THE EARTHIAN FORUM–16    MAY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-16/

A CRISIS WITHIN CAPITALISM     BEST SELLER     APRIL 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-crisis-within-capitalism/

WHY DEMS ARE CHOOSING JOE BIDEN–A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF USIAN POLITICS     BEST SELLER     MARCH 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-dems-are-choosing-biden/

THE GROUP “TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH” EPISODE THREE     APRIL 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-three/

CRASH VIRUS CRISIS     MARCH 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/crash-virus-crisis/

PLAYING “CHICKEN” WITH US DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE OWNERS     MARCH 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/playing-chicken-with-us-democratic-national-committee-owners/

TRUTH, LIES AND REALITY     FEBRUARY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/truth-lies-and-reality/  

THE EARTHIAN FORUM—15     FEBRUARY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-15/

THE GROUP: TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH: EPISODE 2     JANUARY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-part-1/

THE REAL CAUSES OF THE US FOREVER WARS     JANUARY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-real-causes-of-the-us-forever-wars/

THE EARTHIAN FORUM—14     JANUARY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-14/

A TRUE END OF YEAR HOLIDAY STORY THAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET     DECEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-true-end-of-year-holiday-story-that-happened-on-the-internet/

IS TRUMP GUILTY? AN INTERNATIONAL LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE     DECEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-guilty-an-international-lawyers-perspective/

THE BRITISH ELECTION OF 2019     DECEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-british-election-2019/

A STRATEGY FOR ACTUALLY DRAINING THE POLITICAL SWAMP OF SPACESHIP EARTH     DECEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-strategy-for-actually-draining-the-political-swamp-of-spaceship-earth/

WHY LARGE POWERFUL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE EVIL     BEST SELLER     OCTOBER 2019        https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-large-powerful-political-parties-are-evil/

THE EARTHIAN FORUM–13     NOVEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-13/

STOP BELIEVING IN FREE WILL TO CAUSE  PEACE ABOARD SPACESHIP EARTH     OCTOBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/stop-believing-in-free-will-to-cause-peace-aboard-spaceship-earth/

OCTOBER OGEECHEE ECONOMIC FORUM HOUR     SEPTEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/october-ogeechee-economic-forum-hour/

WHAT LAW: WHO BREACHED? US, IRAN AND THE WEST     SEPTEMBER 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/what-law-who-breached-us-iran-and-the-west/

THE EARTHIAN FORUM—11     AUGUST 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum/

THE EPSTEIN DISGRACE IN THE EARTHIAN INTERNET FORUM OF MORALS  AND ETHICS: AN ALLEGORY     AUGUST 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-epstein-disgrace-in-the-earthian-internet-forum-of-morals-and-ethics-an-allegory/

AN INTERNATIONAL PRAYER FOR PEACE     AUGUST 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/an-international-prayer-for-peace/

WHAT NOBODY MENTIONED IN THE MUELLER INTERVIEW     JULY 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/what-nobody-mentioned-in-the-mueller-interview/

THE EARTHIAN—10     JULY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-10/

A STORY: THE GLOBAL “OLD MAN”     JUNE 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-story-the-global-old-man/

IRAN WAR: ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN; A DISASTROUS LEAP FOR HUMANKIND     JUNE 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/iran-war-one-small-step-for-man-a-disastrous-leap-for-humankind/

A GRADUATE’S BRIEF GUIDE FOR DEALING WITH INEVITABLE FAILURES    JUNE 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/iran-war-one-small-step-for-man-a-disastrous-leap-for-humankind/

NO, IT’S NOT TIME TO BREAK UP FACEBOOK     JUNE 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/no-its-not-time-to-break-up-facebook/

THE EARTHIAN—9      MAY 2019      https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-9/

THE BASIS FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S GLOBAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POLICIES     MAY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-basis-for-president-trumps-rational-global-political-and-economic-policies/

ASSANGE: A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT     BEST SELLER     APRIL 2019 https://blog.effectivelearning.net/assange-a-dangerous-precedent/.

THE EARTHIAN–8     APRIL 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-8/

JULIAN ASSANGE REVISITED      APRIL 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/julian-assange-revisited/

THE GOLAN HEIGHTS-VENEZUELA-AND THE RULE OF LAW     BEST SELLER     MARCH 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-golan-heights-venezuela-and-the-rule-of-law/  

LEARNING TO LOOK OUT FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST NUMBER 1     MARCH 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/learning-to-look-out-for-everyone-not-just-number-1/

SERMON: CALL OF THE WILD-AND THE RULE OF LAW     MARCH 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-call-of-the-wild-and-the-rule-of-law/

SERMON: LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP     FEBRUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-lessons-from-my-mother-for-president-trump/

THE EARTHIAN—7     FEBRUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-7/       

A SERMON: GOVERNOR NORTHAN: A VICTOR VANQUISHED AND THE REST OF US     BEST SELLER     FEBRUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-sermon-governor-northam-victor-vanquished-and-the-rest-of-us/

THE MAD-DOGS OF NUCLEAR ARMS: US AND RUSSIA     FEBRUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-mad-dogs-of-nuclear-armaments-us-and-russia/

WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?     JANUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/what-are-friends-for/

THE EARTHIAN—6     JANUARY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/1480-2/

PROBLEMS WITH THE DEEP STATE     DECEMBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/problems-with-the-deep-state/

A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF TRUTH     DECEMBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-truth/

THE EARTHIAN—5    DECEMBER 2018      https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-5/       

HOW TO USE EDUCATIONAL ONLINE TOOLS TO ENTERTAIN KIDS ON A RAINY DAY     NOVEMBER  2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-to-use-educational-online-tools-to-entertain-kids-on-a-rainy-day/

ONE MORE TIME: PAYROLL TAXES ARE NOT TAXES!     NOVEMBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/one-more-time-payroll-taxes-are-not-taxes/

THE EARTHIAN—4     OCTOBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-4/

WHENCE WE CAME, WHITER WE GO     BEST SELLER     OCTOBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/from-whence-we-came-whither-we-go/

THE EARTHIAN—3     BEST SELLER     SEPTEMBER 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-3/

THE EARTHIAN—2     BEST SELLER     AUGUST 2018    https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-2/

FIRST OGEECHEE ECONOMIC FORUM     JULY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/first-ogeechee-economic-forum/

THE EVOLUTION OF SPACESHIP EARTH, INCORPORATED     BEST SELLER     JULY 2018     JULY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

THE EARTHIAN—1     JULY 2018 https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-1/

DE-GAMING AND SAVING DEMOCRACY     JUNE 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/1126-2/

DEFAMING THE WORLD’S FASTEST HUMAN     JUNE 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/defaming-the-worlds-fastest-human/

SERMON: REFLECTIONS ON WAR     JUNE 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-reflections-on-war/

THE CLASSROOM DE-GAMER     JUNE 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-classroom-de-gamer/

SERMON: MY CIVILIZING MISSION     JUNE 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/sermon-my-civilising-mission/

SERMON: EAST JERUSALEM: A CAPITAL PROVOCATION     BEST SELLER     MAY 2018      https://blog.effectivelearning.net/1078-2/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST     BEST SELLER     MAY 2018     MAY 2918https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-may-2018/

MAKING SENSE OF THE NO-DEAL IRAN DECISION     MAY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/making-sense-of-the-no-deal-iran-decision/

SYRIA’S PLIGHT WITH THE US     MAY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/syrias-plight-with-the-us/

RACISM, RATIONALIZATONS AND RESENTMENTS     BEST SELLER     APRIL 2018       https://blog.effectivelearning.net/racism-rationalisations-and-resentments/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST     BEST SELLER     APRIL 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-april-2018/

BRER TRUMP BURROWED UP IN HIS WHITE HOUSE BRIAR PATCH     BEST SELLER     APRIL 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/brer-trump-burrowed-up-in-his-white-house-briar-patch/

A SERMON OF TWO BLUNDERS     APRIL 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-sermon-of-two-blunders/

TODAY’S SERMON: HOPE FOR AMERICA     MARCH 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/todays-sermon-hope-for-america/

THE PHOENIX PROGRAM, MY LAI AND THE TIGER CAGES     BEST SELLER     MARCH 2018        https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-phoenix-program-my-lai-and-the-tiger-cages/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST MARCH 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-march-2018/

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP     MARCH 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/an-open-letter-to-president-trump/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST FEBRUARY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-february-2018/

A FOOTBALL GAME AIN’T NO WAR, BIG DADDY     JANUARY 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-football-game-aint-no-war-big-daddy/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST     BEST SELLER     NOVEMBER 2017          https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-november-2017/

EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST NOVEMBER 2017 https://blog.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-digest-january-2017/

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THE PERNICIOUS PERVASIVE PLAYING OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL GAMES

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

A man with white hair and plaid shirt standing in front of brick wall.

Eric Berne, MD in the 1960s invented a new way to understand and communicate about complex psychological and social issues that he called transactional analysis, using ordinary words that anyone can use that make it easier for anyone to see what is really going on in human states of affairs. This article focuses primarily on the pervasive and pernicious playing of psychological Games in political states of affairs.

The I’m OK—You’re OK life position is one of four life positions for individuals; the other three are I’m OK—You’re Not OK, You’re OK—I’m Not OK, and You’re Not OK—I’m Not OK.

National governments since time immemorial have had a life position of We’re OK, our cronies, vassals, lackeys, and knaves are OK, but all other nations are Not OK, and we are going to make them pay. How to change this life position to We’re OK—You’re OK is what Earthian humans need to work on most if they intend to indefinitely survive as a species aboard Spaceship Earth.    

Politics is almost the antithesis of We’re OK—You’re OK. While politics gets some useful and necessary work done, most of the time structuring of politics is spent playing entropic and sometimes hamartic psychological Games.

Psychological Games spelled with a capital G are different from games such as football, basketball, bridge, and chess that are spelled with a lower-case g. Psychological Games are inherently dishonest and games are not. Lower-case g games have clear rules that are spelled out for everyone that are enforced by referees and players every time an infraction occurs. Psychological Games don’t have any rules. It’s basically a matter of making up your own rules as you go along, if you can get away with it.

When politicians promise to lower poverty rates by creating infrastructure spending and creating programs to fight poverty and the poor stay poor the Game is called  I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.

When USian government tax and funny money and military equipment are given to allies to fight wars to maintain or increase USian international hegemony and USians become even more insecure the Game is called LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT.

When politicians promise to lower taxes so middle and lower income USians can become more productive and earn higher real incomes and their disposable incomes stay the same or go down the Game is called BUSINESS AS USUAL.

When politicians significantly lower the income tax rates of the elite rich and large corporations and the rich get exponentially richer as the poor get poorer or stay the same the Game is called TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS.

When politicians spend more and more money on the Military-Industrial Complex and the US becomes less secure and more impoverished the psychological Game is called NATIONAL SECURITY.

When politicians promise to build an elaborate wall at the southern border of the US and enact draconian policies to keep the poor of Spaceship Earth out of the US the Game is called IMMIGRATION POLICY.

When corrupt USian Supreme Court judges based on their political biases and prejudices rule in favor of idiosyncratic USian groups lobbying for laws to eliminate abortions and reduce the control of women over their own bodies and deny the right of LGTBQ USians to express themselves as they were naturally caused to sexually function the Game is called RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

When large corporations move the erstwhile good industrial jobs of the US to low-wage countries and substitute more and more robots and artificial intelligence for human labor inside the US and more and more USians are left with insecure low-wage jobs the Game is called PROGRESS.

When mainstream media selectively publish and broadcast factual political news but omit analysis of what is really going on the Game is called FAIR AND BALANCED REPORTING.

When the most prominent politician on the Earthian political stage running for president of the US November 5, 2024 tells you over and over in mass media that his last presidential race in 2020 that he lost fair and square was rigged and stolen from him despite overwhelming irrefutable evidence to the contrary the Game is called THE BIG LIE. 

Psychological Games have always been a major component of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been one of the most significant and pervasive psychological Games in business, economics, and politics.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails psychological Game players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. any way they can. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their psychological, social, economic, and political standing and security are threatened.

Eric Berne defined a psychological Game as: “An ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions, often repetitious, superficially plausible, with a concealed motivation; or, more colloquially, a series of moves with a snare, or “gimmick.” Games are clearly differentiated from procedures, rituals, and pastimes by two chief characteristics: (1) their ulterior quality and (2) the payoff. Procedures may be successful, rituals effective, and sometimes profitable, but all of them are by definition candid; they may involve contest, but not conflict, and the ending may be sensational, but is not dramatic. Every Game (emphasis added), on the other hand, is basically dishonest, and the outcome has a dramatic, as distinct from merely exciting quality.”  See Berne, Eric. (1964). Games people play: The psychology of human relationships. New York: Grove Press, p. 48.

Psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle.” See Karpman, Stephen (1968). “Fairy tales and script drama analysis.” Transactional Analysis Bulletin. 7(26), 39-43.

Ego states are states of being including thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, gestures, body language, and other signals determining how people come across with others in communication episodes, whether parent-like, adult-like, or child-like, in all kinds of situations.  People switch ego states depending on who they are communicating with and what sort of circumstances they are in, whether they are parenting, working, socializing, teaching, having fun, playing Games, politicking, or whatever.  They transmit messages from three ego states in themselves to three ego states in others in pair vectors, Parent-Parent, Adult-Adult, Child-Child, Parent-Child, Child-Adult, Adult-Parent, Child-Parent, or whatever combination.  These transactions are especially meaningful in situations in which there is some sort of authoritarian system involving leaders and members, such as parents parenting children in homes, teachers teaching students in schools, or bosses bossing subordinates in a business or political organization, which normally entail primarily Parent-Child transactions. In general however the more Adult-Adult transactions there are the better things go in families, schools, businesses, and political organizations. See Berne, Eric (1970). What do you say after you say hello? The psychology of human destiny. New York: Grove Press, and Berne, Eric (1963). The structure and dynamics of organizations and groups. New York: Grove Press.

Adult ego state transactions are generally factual, honest, and overt; Parent and Child ego state transactions are often covert dishonest ulterior lies, transmitted by body language instead of words.

Donald Trump, the most prominent, pernicious, and dangerous Game-player on the Earthian political stage at present, is a master at using body language to switch ego states in his monologues, harangues, and diatribes at rallies and in personal conversations. He has a tall imposing 6’3″ body frame and a commanding persona that is enhanced with orange facial coloring and a bizarre hair-do. Most of the time his words do not make sense but his body language is clear: he is not only OK but superior and his loyal cronies, lackeys, and knaves are too. He is adept at switching ego states and transactions by changing his posture and gait as he struts and swaggers about, by flailing his arms and small fingers about, randomly producing smirks, smiles, grins, grimaces, glares, stares and bodily contortions, and by changing the speed, volume, pitch, cadence, and tone of his sing-songy voice, that ranges from guttural to prissy falsetto. He is somewhat analogous to a made-up circus clown and ring-master as he titillates, entertains, agitates, and cultivates his captivated enthralled cult members at his rallies. If he didn’t apply his make-up and fix his hair as he does he would look like what he really is, a pasty pale balding almost octogenarian Earthian human male, and most likely he could not get elected to anything. Trump’s a master of pantomime and playing Games. But don’t be fooled. Trump’s not a circus clown; he’s a dangerous hardened criminal who intends to turn the US into a fascist dictatorship if he gets elected president of the US again. Do you really want to live day by day subject to the whims of a fascist crime boss dictator who can do you harm at any time? Think about that when you vote for Trump for president of the US November 5, 2024, if you do.

NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies conflicts, competitions, and wars among individuals, groups, and organizations, including nations and corporations domestically and internationally. You might think nations and international corporations competing among themselves do not entail real anger, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to motivate followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for leaders. You might think leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers and constituents. But the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. Wars are also ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and so forth; but here too the contest is probably an ego trip for leaders who are more interested in being top dog than anything else. Political contests become an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins followers may also feel “one-up” because their party ideology and their dear leader “won”, regardless of whether anything is done to improve economic and social conditions.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. 

I was a good football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I was the quarterback and I found it satisfying and exhilarating calling plays in the huddle, doing battle at the scrimmage line, and throwing touchdown passes in a real game before cheering fans in a football stadium, especially when winning, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won eleven out of eleven games. On the other hand, I don’t recall ever feeling anger caused by the opposing team trying to beat us as we tried to beat them. The main payoff for an amateur athlete is getting plenty of what transactional analysts call “strokes”, or units of recognition, that can be positive or negative, depending on how well you do something. Eric Berne said positive strokes are what everyone wants and needs. He said they keep your spinal column from “shriveling up”.

There are two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations, to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological life scripts and organizational social scripts.

Psychological Life Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees as various events happen in the environment, largely non-verbally by how parents respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something when various things happen. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, and communicating patterns.

There are also some generic overt social script messages such as brush your teeth, clean those finger nails, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken.

Psychological life script messages are called injunctions and social script messages are called counter-injunctions. These messages wind up creating a life script that includes a life position. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three generic TA life script outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under competitive capitalism for all people to be fully OK economically and politically, making the I’m OK – You’re OK life position infeasible among all humans.

Most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and they can respond in adult life only in certain ways because of their introjected injunctions and life scripts. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is congruent.

Social scripts, on the other hand, include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to emotionally and behaviorally respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you want or need to play.

All organizations, including political organizations, require particular social scripts for participants with words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are called characters and are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters such as Donald Duck or Mickey or Minnie Mouse dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs the scripting is not as overt and extreme as it is at Disney World.

Click here to see a Parent, Adult, and Child diagram I published in the TAJ depicting a script matrix with some typical social script messages in an organizational chain of command. See Stapleton, Richard John (1978). “The chain of ego states.” Transactional Analysis Journal. 8(3), 215-219.

USians who get into politics for a living are just like all other employees under capitalism: they have to act out the right scripts to keep their jobs.

Most people who get fired in organizations are fired because of their psychological life scripts that are thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, or for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for being unable to perform the required physical algorithmic steps of the job.

There are certain things politicians have to do that might be called work in the physical algorithmic sense, but in the best of circumstances they are paid to think and make decisions, not do repetitive work. On the other hand, if they do not obey the script requirements of their political party they will be fired or sluiced out of the organization one way or another. Therefore to get honest Game-free governments only individuals who have no intentions of being a politician for a living should be elected to office.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain satisfactions dealing with others, by making yourself feel better at someone’s else’s expense, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason in a democratic republic such as the US would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best person for offices to help set rational goals, objectives, procedures, and laws for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to vote for people who will do things to benefit you and yours financially, and who will provide for you and yours satisfying psychological Game payoffs to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life that support and reinforce the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, or church.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic generally-OK political candidates with script-free ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economic and political system.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on observing presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play a first-degree psychological Game called RAPO by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games entail comments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A RAPO Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a first degree RAPO player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Most psychological Games do not entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. First degree Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Robin Hood, the Pied Piper, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Goldilocks, Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty-Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden won political races to some extent caused by successfully playing first degree RAPO Games, caused by having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them titillating psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing supporters, followers, and voters with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structure, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be for these voters (for sure middle and lower income voters) to prove voting for these politicians produced any economic improvements for them. Any president during the last fifty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income voters, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic Party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican Party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying current situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs, believing instead that what is needed is authoritarian dictators in positions of authority who will make existing or superseded systems and processes work for them by out-competing competitors or destroying scapegoats and enemies.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future and extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on what now exists and tearing down what they do not like, not creating better systems to achieve better states of affairs.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Unrealistic idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot. Extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip, and some are happy savages.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by Injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Bob Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen generic psychological Injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be, Don’t Be You (the sex you are), Don’t Be A Child, Don’t Grow, Don’t Make It, Don’t, Don’t Be Important, Don’t Be Close, Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Well (or sane), Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject), Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think, Don’t Feel, Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc., Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel.              See Goulding, Bob and Goulding, Mary. (1976). “Injunctions, decisions, and redecisions.” Transactional Analysis Journal, 6(1), 41-48.

These script injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, not overtly spoken, from the Child ego state of the parent to the Child ego state of the child. Rarely would a parent socially or overtly tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are primarily transmitted non-verbally by Parent and Child ego states when caregivers exhibit mad, glad, sad, or scared emotions in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does as shared life events occur in early childhood. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less grow up to replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life, including determining whether a child grows up to become a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

Therefore the scripting process largely determines which political parties win in any culture; and the fate of planet Earth may depend on changing the scripting of humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans: winner, loser, and non-winner—caused by inherited physical characteristics and script “messages” one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

The natural scripting process is not fair; and Earthian human history does not encourage optimism about the probability of this unfairness being eradicated anytime soon.

It seems to me most of the worst human abominations of Earthian human history such as mass murders, genocides, and democides were caused by non-winners and losers of a society who were tired of being one-down living in unequal societies that had basically capitalistic economic systems who decided, since they could not win fair and square under the existing rule of law, given their inherited biological genetic abilities and their psychological life scripts and social scripts, that the best way for them to get strokes and become equal or one-up in their societies was to enslave themselves to an authoritarian dictator who would tell them what to do to violently destroy the existing government and structure of their society and/or other societies.

In other words, they decided since they could not win using their inherited abilities and scripts in their society under its existing rule of law the solution for their dilemma was to destroy the existing society by becoming obedient loyal non-thinking subordinates (cronies, lackeys, knaves, warriors, slaves, etc.) doing what they were “told” by an authoritarian gang-leading lawless dictator who would arbitrarily reward them with shares of stolen plunder and one-up status in some sort of new society after they destroyed their old society by means of violent force.

Seems to me this hamartic process has happened over and over in Earthian human history, in Germany under Hitler, in Russia under Stalin, in China under Mao Tse Tung, and elsewhere; and it could happen again, in the US under Trump and in other countries around Spaceship Earth. Authoritarian political parties are growing stronger in countries such as Hungary, Israel, Germany, and France.

A transactional analysis colleague Jake Jacobs, a social worker in Chicago, spent a good bit of time and energy back in the 1970s and 1980s researching and studying the causes of the German holocaust under Hitler, having had family members gassed at Auschwitz. An amateur photographer, he took trips to Auschwitz for a firsthand view of the concentration camp and its gas chambers that he photographed and studied trying to get a feel for what it was like to have been there and died there. In his research he found that 150,000,000 Earthian humans were murdered by authoritarian dictators in their own and other countries by starvation and other means in genocidal and democidal operations in the 20th Century. He concluded that a major cause of mass murders by governments is a desire of authoritarian dictators to be the only ones that count. See Jacobs, Alan (1991). “Aspects of Survival: Triumph over death and onliness.” Transactional Analysis Journal. 21(1). 4-11.

A purpose of transactional analysis is to help individuals and groups insert new fair causes into unfair natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes occurring in the populace by non-violent means.

Changing a non-winner or loser script into a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or hamartic script messages instilled in his or her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles, beat their competitors and enemies, etc., then everything would be hunky-dory and the bluebirds would start chirping again. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages instilled in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser or non-winner script into a winner script generally requires changing  the ego states one uses and how much time one spends daily pastiming, performing rituals, doing work, playing psychological Games, and being intimate with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this: Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among nations around planet Earth who have nuclear weapons.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more OK, OK not only in terms of achieving goals but more OK transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed-to contracts.

No one can blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and articles such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, inexorably inching through your life’s wormhole tunnel, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, over and over, till something works.

1 – What is the problem?

2 – What are the alternatives?

3 – What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play more frequently AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for making the world seem worse than it is, complaining about the evils and troubles of the world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political policies and systems manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad narcissistic sociopathic oligarchs and their corrupt bought and paid for cronies, lackeys, and knaves, such as lobbyists, politicians, religious leaders, and judges, however true this state of affairs might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend the world is just hunky-dory and swell, better off than it really is, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and social, economic, political, and religious states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now around planet Earth is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Israel is playing a third-degree IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU Game with Palestine right now.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU is a Game that entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused to exist and do what they did by concatenations of infinite cause-effect chains just like you were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems caused by poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and hamartic economic and political policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis https://www.itaaworld.org/ to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/ for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an idealistic democratic bottom-up economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK – You’re OK life position.

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or > Bi

as explained in my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet, what would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system and auto-pilot or the pilot and co-pilot, looking out their windows with their hands on their steering devices, seeing nothing but clouds and lightning below? Thanks are due to Buckminster Fuller for creating this airplane-landing metaphor, that he published in his 1964 book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

It’s not easy to see what’s really going on, impossible some say, while being inundated with fake news daily around planet Earth, made public in mass media and the Internet. To see what’s really going on, Earthian humans have to use inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, religious, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong, saying something is true because you really don’t know it’s not true, than to say something is true when you know damn well it’s not true.

Seems to me most lying is lying by omission (people not telling people things they know are true to gain or preserve advantages in competitive situations). Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful in overall perspective than lying by commission (telling people things you know are not true for ill-gotten gains), is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to see what’s really going on in economic and political states of affairs.

Political parties, governments, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on, presumably to protect national security and their organizational revenues, in many cases socially presenting selective true facts but omitting analysis about what is really going on.

For a quick mental voyage exploring how Earthian humans might change their hamartic psychological, social, economic, religious, and political processes read my 2021 novel, As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-GAMER in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

 

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system–relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course knowledge was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard business school case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.   

No class member was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157-167.

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

See https://blog.effectivelearning.net/rjs-athletic-business-and-academic-vita/ for a full listing of RJS credentials

USING TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS WORDS TO UNDERSTAND POLITICS

A man with white hair and plaid shirt standing in front of brick wall.

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

Eric Berne, MD in the 1960s invented a new way to understand and communicate about complex psychological and social issues that he called transactional analysis, using ordinary words that anyone can use that make it easier for anyone to see what is really going on in human states of affairs. This article focuses primarily on the pervasive and pernicious effects of psychological Games in political states of affairs.

The I’m OK—You’re OK life position is one of four life positions for individuals; the other three are I’m OK—You’re Not OK, You’re OK—I’m Not OK, and You’re Not OK—I’m Not OK. Nations since time immemorial have had a life position of We’re OK, our cronies, lackeys, and knaves are OK, but all other nations are Not OK, and we are going to make them pay. How to change this life position to We’re OK—You’re OK is what Earthian humans need to work on most if they intend to survive indefinitely as a species on planet Earth.

Politics is almost the antithesis of We’re OK—You’re OK. While politics gets some useful and necessary work done, most of the time structuring of politics is spent playing entropic psychological Games.

When politicians promise to lower poverty rates by creating infrastructure spending and creating programs to fight poverty and the poor stay poor the psychological Game is called  I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.

When USian government tax and funny money and military equipment are given to allies to fight wars to increase USian national security and USians become even more insecure the psychological Game is called LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT.

When politicians promise to lower taxes so middle and lower income USians can become more productive and have higher real incomes and their incomes stay the same or go down the psychological Game is called BUSINESS AS USUAL.

When politicians significantly lower the income tax rates of the elite rich and large corporations and the rich get exponentially richer as the poor get poorer or stay the same the psychological Game is called TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS.

When politicians spend more and more money on the Military-Industrial Establishment and the US becomes less secure the psychological Game is called NATIONAL SECURITY.

When politicians promise to an build an elaborate wall at the southern border of the US and enact draconian policies to keep the poor of planet Earth out of the US the psychological game is called IF ONLY IT WEREN’T FOR YOU.

When ideologically-biased Supreme Court judges rule in favor of idiosyncratic USian groups lobbying for laws to eliminate abortions and reduce the control of women over their own bodies and deny the right of LGTBQ USians to express themselves as they were naturally caused to sexually function the psychological Game is called RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

When large corporations move the erstwhile good industrial jobs of the US to low-wage countries and substitute more and more robots and artificial intelligence for human labor and more and more USians are left with insecure low-wage jobs the psychological Game is called PROGRESS.

Psychological Games have always been a major component of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been one of the most significant and pervasive psychological Games in business, economics, and politics.

Psychological Games spelled with a capital G are different from games such as football, basketball, bridge, and chess that are spelled with a lower-case g. Psychological Games are inherently dishonest and games are not.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails psychological Game players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. any way they can. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their psychological, social, economic, and political standing and security are threatened.

Eric Berne defined a psychological Game as: “An ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions, often repetitious, superficially plausible, with a concealed motivation; or, more colloquially, a series of moves with a snare, or “gimmick.” Games are clearly differentiated from procedures, rituals, and pastimes by two chief characteristics: (1) their ulterior quality and (2) the payoff. Procedures may be successful, rituals effective, and sometimes profitable, but all of them are by definition candid; they may involve contest, but not conflict, and the ending may be sensational, but is not dramatic. Every Game (emphasis added), on the other hand, is basically dishonest, and the outcome has a dramatic, as distinct from merely exciting quality”.  See Berne, Eric. (1964). Games people play: The psychology of human relationships. New York: Grove Press, p. 48.

Psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”. See Karpman, Stephen (1968). “Fairy tales and script drama analysis,” Transactional Analysis Bulletin. 7(26), 39-43.

Ego states are states of being including thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, gestures, body language, and other signals determining how people come across with others in communication episodes, whether parent-like, adult-like, or child-like, in all kinds of situations.  People switch ego states depending on who they are communicating with and what sort of circumstances they are in, whether they are parenting, working, socializing, teaching, having fun, playing Games, politicking, or whatever.  They transmit messages from three ego states in themselves to three ego states in others in pair vectors, Parent-Parent, Adult-Adult, Child-Child, Parent-Child, Child-Adult, Adult-Parent, Child-Parent, or whatever combination.  These transactions are especially meaningful in situations in which there is some sort of authoritarian system involved involving leaders and members, such as parents parenting children in homes, teachers teaching students in schools, or bosses bossing subordinates in a business or political organization, which normally entail primarily Parent-Child transactions. In general however the more Adult-Adult transactions there are the better things go in families, schools, businesses, and political organizations. See Berne, Eric. (1970) What do you say after you say hello? The psychology of human destiny. New York: Grove Press, and Berne, Eric (1963). The structure and dynamics of organizations and groups. New York: Grove Press.

Adult ego state transactions are generally factual, honest, and overt; Parent and Child ego state transactions are often dishonest and ulterior lies, often transmitted by body language instead of words.

Donald Trump, the most prominent Game-player on the Earthian political stage at present, is a master at using body language to switch ego states in his monologues, harangues, and diatribes at rallies and in personal conversations. He has a tall imposing body and a strange orange facial color and bizarre hair-do. Most of the time his words do not make sense but his body language is clear: he is not only OK but superior and his loyal cronies, lackeys, and knaves are too. He is adept at switching ego states and transactions by changing his posture and gait as he struts and swaggers about, by flailing his arms and fingers about,  by producing smirks, smiles, grimaces, glares, stares and jerky bodily contortions, and by changing the speed, volume, cadence, and tone of his unique voice, that ranges from guttural to prissy falsetto. He is somewhat analogous to a made-up circus clown and ring-master, and his sycophantic cult members are enthralled and entertained. If he didn’t apply his make-up and fix his hair as he does he would look like what he really is, a pasty pale balding almost octogenarian Earthian human male, and most likely he could not get elected to anything. Trump’s a master of pantomime and playing Games. But don’t be fooled. Trump’s not a circus clown; he’s a dangerous criminal who intends to turn the US into a fascist dictatorship if he gets elected president of the US again. Do you really want to live day by day subject to the whims of a fascist crime boss dictator who can do you harm at any time? Think about that when you vote for Trump for president of the US November 4, 2024, if you do.

NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among individuals, groups, and organizations, including nations and corporations domestically and internationally. You might think nations and international corporations competing constantly among themselves do not entail real anger, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for leaders. You might think leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers and constituents. But the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. Wars are also ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and so forth; but here too the contest is probably an ego trip for leaders who are more interested in being the top dog than anything else. Political contests become an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins followers may also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless if nothing is done to improve economic and social conditions.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would have under socialism, many think, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries.

I was a pretty good football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when winning, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won eleven out of eleven games. On the other hand, I don’t recall ever feeling serious anger caused by football and basketball opponents, however much I seriously wanted to beat them. The main payoff if you are an amateur athlete is getting plenty of what transactional analysts call “strokes”, or units of recognition, that can be positive or negative, depending on how well you do something. Eric Berne said positive strokes are what everyone wants and needs. He said they keep your spinal column from “shriveling up”. Politicians also get a lot of strokes, as does anyone in the public eye.

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations, including political organizations, to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological life scripts and organizational social scripts.

Psychological Life Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees as various events happen in the environment, largely non-verbally by how parents respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something when various things happen. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, and communicating patterns.

There are also some generic overt social script messages such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script messages.

Psychological life script messages are called injunctions and social script messages are called counter-injunctions. These messages wind up creating a life script that includes a life position. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three generic TA life script outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under competitive capitalism for all people to be fully OK economically and politically, making the I’m OK – You’re OK life position infeasible among all humans.

Most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and they can respond in adult life only in certain ways because of their life scripts. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding.

Social scripts, on the other hand, include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you want or need to play.

All organizations, including political organizations, require particular social scripts for participants with words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are called characters and are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters such as Donald Duck or Mickey or Minnie Mouse dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, the scripting is not this extreme in most organizations.

USians who get into politics for a living are just like all other employees under capitalism: they have to act out the right scripts to keep their jobs.

Most people who get fired in organizations are fired because of their psychological life scripts that are thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, or for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for being unable to perform the required physical algorithmic steps of the job.

There are certain things politicians have to do that might be called work in the physical algorithmic sense, but in the best of circumstances they are paid to think and make decisions, not do work. On the other hand, if they do not obey the script requirements of their political party most likely they will be fired or sluiced out of the organization one way or another. Therefore to get fully honest Game-free politicians only individuals who have no intentions of being a politician for a living should be elected.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic generally-OK political candidates with script-free ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economic and political system.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on observing presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play a first-degree psychological Game called RAPO by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games entail comments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A RAPO Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a first-degree RAPO player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Most psychological Games do not entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Robin Hood, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Goldilocks, Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty-Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, The Big Bad Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden won some political races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be for these voters (for sure middle and lower income voters) to prove voting for these politicians produced any economic improvements for them. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income voters, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic Party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican Party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority will make existing or older superseded systems and processes work better for them by out-competing others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on what now exists and tearing down what they do not like, not creating better systems to achieve better states of affairs.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Unrealistic idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot. Extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip, and some are happy savages.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by Injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen generic psychological Injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be, Don’t Be You (the sex you are), Don’t Be A Child, Don’t Grow, Don’t Make It, Don’t, Don’t Be Important, Don’t Be Close, Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Well (or sane), Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject), Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think, Don’t Feel, Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc., Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel.              See Goulding, R. and Goulding, M. (1976). “Injunctions, decisions, and redecisions.” Transactional Analysis Journal, 6(1), 41-48.

These script injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, not overtly spoken, from the Child ego state of the parent to the Child ego state of the child. Rarely would a parent socially or overtly tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are primarily transmitted non-verbally by Parent and Child ego states when caregivers exhibit mad, glad, sad, or scared emotions in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does as shared life events occur in early childhood. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life, including determining whether a child grows up to become a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

Therefore the scripting process largely determines which political parties win in any culture; and the fate of planet Earth may depend on changing the scripting of humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans: winner, loser, and non-winner – caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life – and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

It follows that the natural scripting process is not fair.

A purpose of transactional analysis is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in his or her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles, beat their competitors and enemies, etc., then everything would be wonderful. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may require changing the ego states one uses and the way one structures time (learning how to spend more or less time in different ways)—withdrawing into their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull), performing rituals, doing work activity, not playing psychological Games, or being intimate with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this: Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around planet Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more OK, OK not only in terms of achieving goals but more OK transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed-to contracts.

No one can blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and articles such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, burrowing up in your wormhole as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, over and over, till something works.

1 – What is the problem?

2 – What are the alternatives?

3 – What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play more frequently AIN’T IT AWFUL, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of the world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad narcissistic sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for cronies, lackeys, and knaves, especially lobbyists, politicians, and religious leaders, however true this state of affairs might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and social, economic, political, and religious states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now around planet Earth is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Israel is playing a third-degree IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU Game with Palestine right now. One can build a case about all politicians do is play psychological Games with supporters, opponents, and enemies.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU is a Game that entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and hamartic economic and political policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis https://www.itaaworld.org/ to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/ for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an idealistic democratic economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK – You’re OK life position.

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or > Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system and auto-pilot or the pilot and co-pilot, looking out their windows with their hands on their steering devices, seeing nothing but dark clouds and lightning below?

Some AINT IT AWFUL Game-playing goes on in mass and social media, i.e. writers and editors are psychologically Persecuting, Rescuing, or Victimizing someone, but it seems to me most writers and editors are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, economically, and politically. Unfortunately one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, wasting most of their time with pastiming (bullshitting), doing rituals (filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, conducting useless investigations, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Seems to me most expenditures of time, money, and energy in so-called foreign policy are moves in psychological Games.

On the other hand, there is a lot of awful stuff going on. There’s such a thing as Positive Critical Parent Ego State energy, and one can build a case that Critical Parent economic, political, and religious criticism is necessary and rational to stave off dire consequences staring humanity in the face, caused by GWCC and MNWP, global warming and climate change and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation.

It’s not easy to see what’s really going on, impossible some say, while being inundated with fake news daily around planet Earth, made public in mass media and on the Internet and elsewhere. To see what’s really going on, Earthian humans must use primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong, saying something is true because you really don’t know it’s not true, than to say something is true when you know damn well it’s not true.

Seems to me most lying is lying by omission (people not telling people things they know are true to gain or preserve advantages in competitive situations). Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful in overall perspective than lying by commission (telling people things you know are not true for ill-gotten gains), is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to see what’s really going on in economic and political states of affairs.

Political parties, the US government, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, presumably to protect national security and their corporate revenues, in many cases socially presenting selective true facts but omitting analysis about what is really going on.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is a certified transactional analyst and an emeritus professor of management at Georgia Southern University. See https://blog.effectivelearning.net/rjs-athletic-business-and-academic-vita/ for a full listing of credentials

POLITICS IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

Eric Berne, MD in the 1960s invented a new way to understand and communicate about complex psychological and social issues that he called transactional analysis, using ordinary words that anyone can use that make it easier for anyone to see what is really going on in human states of affairs. A central part of transactional analysis is the life position.

The I’m OK—You’re OK life position is one of four life positions for individuals; the other three are I’m OK—You’re Not OK, You’re OK—I’m Not OK, and You’re Not OK—I’m Not OK.

Nations since time immemorial have had a life position of We’re OK, our cronies, lackeys, and knaves are OK, but all other nations are Not OK, and we are going to make them pay. How to change this life position to We’re OK—You’re OK is what Earthian humans need to work on most if they intend to survive indefinitely as a species on planet Earth.

Politics is almost the antithesis of We’re OK—You’re OK. While politics gets some useful and necessary work done, most of the time structuring of politics is spent playing entropic psychological Games.

When politicians promise to lower poverty rates by creating infrastructure spending and creating programs to fight poverty and the poor stay poor the psychological Game is called  I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.

When USian government tax and funny money and military equipment are given to allies to fight wars to increase USian national security and USians become even more insecure the psychological Game is called LET’S YOU AND THEM FIGHT.

When politicians promise to lower taxes so middle and lower income USians can become more productive and have higher real incomes and their incomes stay the same or go down the psychological Game is called BUSINESS AS USUAL.

When politicians significantly lower the income tax rates of the elite rich and large corporations and the rich get exponentially richer as the poor get poorer or stay the same the psychological Game is called TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS.

When politicians spend more and more money on the Military-Industrial Establishment and the US becomes less secure the psychological Game is called NATIONAL SECURITY.

When politicians promise to an build an elaborate wall at the southern border of the US and enact draconian policies to keep the poor of planet Earth out of the US the psychological game is called IF ONLY IT WEREN’T FOR YOU.

When ideologically-biased Supreme Court judges rule in favor of idiosyncratic USian groups lobbying for laws to eliminate abortions and reduce the control of women over their own bodies and deny the right of LGTBQ USians to express themselves as they were naturally caused to sexually function the psychological Game is called RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

When large corporations move the erstwhile good industrial jobs of the US to low-wage countries and substitute more and more robots and artificial intelligence for human labor and more and more USians are left with insecure low-wage jobs the psychological Game is called PROGRESS.

Psychological Games are different from games such as football and basketball, where the objectives and rules are clearly spelled out and are strictly enforced at the time infractions occur by impartial referees.

Eric Berne defined a psychological Game as:

“An ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions, often repetitious, superficially plausible, with a concealed motivation; or, more colloquially, a series of moves with a snare, or “gimmick.” Games are clearly differentiated from procedures, rituals, and pastimes by two chief characteristics: (1) their ulterior quality and (2) the payoff. Procedures may be successful, rituals effective, and sometimes profitable, but all of them are by definition candid; they may involve contest, but not conflict, and the ending may be sensational, but is not dramatic. Every Game (emphasis added), on the other hand, is basically dishonest, and the outcome has a dramatic, as distinct from merely exciting quality”.  See Berne, E. (1964). Games people play: The psychology of human relationships. New York: Grove Press, p. 48.

Psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been one of the most significant and pervasive psychological Games in business, economics, and politics.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails psychological Game players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. any way they can. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their psychological, social, economic, and political standing and security are threatened.

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”. See Karpman, S (1968). “Fairy tales and script drama analysis,” Transactional Analysis Bulletin. 7(26), 39-43.  

Ego states are states of being including thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, gestures, body language, and other signals determining how people come across with others in communication episodes, whether parent-like, adult-like, or child-like, in all kinds of situations.  People switch ego states depending on who they are communicating with and what sort of circumstances they are in, whether they are parenting, working, socializing, teaching, having fun, playing Games, politicking, or whatever.  They transmit messages from three ego states in themselves to three ego states in others in pair vectors, Parent-Parent, Adult-Adult, Child-Child, Parent-Child, Child-Adult, Adult-Parent, Child-Parent, or whatever combination.  These transactions are especially meaningful in situations in which there is some sort of authoritarian system involved involving leaders and members, such as parents parenting children in homes, teachers teaching students in schools, or bosses bossing subordinates in a business or political organization, which normally entail primarily Parent-Child transactions. In general however the more Adult-Adult transactions there are the better things go in families, schools, businesses, and political organizations. See Berne, Eric. (1970) What do you say after you say hello? The psychology of human destiny. New York: Grove Press, and Berne, Eric (1963). The structure and dynamics of organizations and groups. New York: Grove Press.

Adult ego state transactions are factual, honest, and overt; Parent and Child ego state transactions are often lies, dishonest and ulterior, often transmitted by body language instead of words.

Trump is a master at using body language to switch ego states in his monologues, harangues, and diatribes at rallies and in personal conversations. He has a tall imposing body considered impressive by millions despite his strange orange facial color and bizarre hair-do. Most of the time his words do not make sense but his body language is clear: he is not only ok but superior and his loyal cronies, lackeys, and knaves are too. He can switch ego states in a heartbeat by jabbing his fingers in the air while using patented smirks, smiles, grimaces, and stares with jerky bodily contortions, and by changing the speed, volume, cadence, and tone of his unique voice, that ranges from guttural to prissy falsetto. He resembles a made-up circus clown and ring-master, but his sycophantic cult members could care less. They pretend to like him regardless. If he did not apply his make-up every day and fix his hair as he does he would look like what he really is, a pasty pale balding almost octogenarian Earthian human male, and most likely he could not get elected to anything. Trump’s a master of pantomime and playing Games. But don’t be fooled. Trump’s not a circus clown; he’s a dangerous criminal who intends to turn the US into a fascist dictatorship if he gets elected president of the US again. Do you really want to live day by day subject to the whims of a crime boss who can do you harm at any time? Think about that when you vote for Trump for president of the US November 4, 2024, if you do.

NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among individuals, groups, and organizations, including nations and corporations domestically and internationally. You might think nations and international corporations competing constantly among themselves do not entail real anger, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for the leaders. You might think instead the leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers, to Rescue Victims and Persecute bad guys. This might be true at the overt spoken social level; but the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. All wars are ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for organizations such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation, or the Federal Reserve System, the FBI, CIA, or Pentagon, or the US government, to be fully OK, since they are all led by egotistical human leaders?

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and the like; but here too the contest is largely an ego trip for the leaders who are more interested in being the top dog one-up winner than anything else. It becomes an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins the followers also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless of nothing being done to improve economic and social conditions.

Entrepreneurs may say their major motivation is to create a new business that will improve the lives of customers, but creating a successful, powerful business is also an ego trip, especially if the entrepreneur is able to take in much more money than others. The money may be important for what it can buy, but a major satisfaction a big pile of money generates is the ego satisfaction and recognition a winner gets because of being able to take in much more money than others, producing a bigger and better balance sheet to show off, proof one is superior, having won the business Game called BALANCE SHEET.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would under socialism, many imply, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture much larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries. Nations sometimes think they can win in international competition by out-NIGYSOBing other countries using sanctions and wars.

Capitalism does indeed make some NIGYSOB players richer, those who wipe out their competitors and those who exploit and dispose of their employees to get cheaper ones in impoverished countries; but, of about 7.6 billion humans now aboard Spaceship Earth under capitalism, most will never get ahead, and a billion or so or will stay dirt poor the rest of their natural lives, however long or short, if global warming and climate change, or nuclear bombs, do not render the Earthian human species extinct in the meantime.

I was a pretty good football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when we were winning, in control of the team on offense, as was the case, especially when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. On the other hand, I don’t recall ever feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents, however much I seriously wanted to beat them. The main payoff if you are a successful athlete is getting plenty of what transactional analysts call conditional “strokes”, or units of recognition, that can be positive or negative, for excelling at something. Eric Berne said positive strokes are what everyone wants and needs. He said they keep your spinal column from “shriveling” up.

I read a post on my Facebook news feed a few days ago featuring Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball superstar, back in 1980 or so, reminiscing about the intense anger he and his teammates felt when they played the Los Angeles Lakers. He said the anger was real and serious. Maybe you have to be a little angry to be a superstar basketball player.

Eighteen years ago when I was 65, Joe Moring, who coached me three years in junior high and high school football, basketball, and track back in the 1950s, telephoned me out of the blue. In the conversation, the first one we had had since the Texas state basketball tournament in 1960, he told me “You may have been the ‘most coachable’ player I ever had.” This was quite a “stroke” coming from a superstar athlete and coach like Joe Moring. It never occurred to me back in the day that my success in sports may have been partially due to repressed anger released playing an underlying second-degree NIGYSOB psychological Game.

Competitive capitalism may be a poor kind of economic system, but it’s better than the alternatives, some say. Just take a look at what happened to people in socialistic and communistic countries, they say.

Maybe so, maybe no.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, it seems to me under capitalism people are forced to play psychological Games to vie for a greater share of the whole income pie generated by organizations, including not only money but strokes, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological life scripts and organizational social scripts.

Psychological Life Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees as various events happen in the environment, largely non-verbally by how parents respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something when various things happen. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and living patterns.

There are also some generic overt social script messages such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Psychological life script messages are called injunctions and social script messages are called counter-injunctions. These messages wind up creating a life script that includes a life position. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three generic TA life script outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under capitalism for all people to be fully OK economically and politically, making the I’m OK – You’re OK life position impossible among humans en masse.

The bottom line is that most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding. In this sense the type of economic system is largely irrelevant.

Social scripts, on the other hand, include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you want or need to play.

All organizations require particular social scripts for participants with words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are called characters and are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters such as Donald Duck or Mickey or Minnie Mouse dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, the scripting is not this extreme in most organizations.

Most people who get fired in organizations are fired because of their psychological life scripts that are thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, and for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for being unable to perform the required physical algorithmic steps of the job.

A problem under capitalism is that the easiest way for upper managers to do a good job increasing the profit of the corporation is by eliminating jobs, regardless of how well their employees are acting out their required scripts and doing the algorithmic therbligs of their jobs. Therbligs are the smallest units of doing something your job requires, such as moving something from Point A to B or making some sort of calculation. Therblig is a made-up word using various letters of Gilbreath, the surname of two of the founders of so-called scientific management in the US.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Common psychological script injunctions are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting”, or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

While all managers say they want excellent important employees many of them don’t want them to be too excellent or important, otherwise they might have to pay them more money, or one of them might take over his or her job as manager or supervisor, pushing him or her out the door.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. The International Transactional Analysis Association has published an excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975–1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social and psychological scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Political races entail opponents playing psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders – vested interests, candidates, and voters. On the other hand some politicians are not just playing Games to win in politics. They are doing it to make a living.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic generally-OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders with script-free ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economic and political system.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on observing presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play a first-degree psychological Game called RAPO by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A RAPO Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a first-degree RAPO player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Most psychological Games do not entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Robin Hood, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty-Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, The Big Bad Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden won some political races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be for these voters (for sure middle and lower income voters) to prove voting for these politicians produced any economic improvements for them. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income voters, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic Party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican Party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority will make existing or older superseded systems and processes work better for them by out-competing others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on what now exists and tearing down what they do not like, not creating better systems to achieve better states of affairs.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Unrealistic idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot. Extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip, and some are happy savages.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by Injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen generic psychological Injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be, Don’t Be You (the sex you are), Don’t Be A Child, Don’t Grow, Don’t Make It, Don’t, Don’t Be Important, Don’t Be Close, Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Well (or sane), Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject), Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think, Don’t Feel, Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc., Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel.              See Goulding, R. and Goulding, M. (1976). “Injunctions, decisions, and redecisions.” Transactional Analysis Journal, 6(1), 41-48.

These script injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, not overtly spoken, from the Child ego state of the parent to the Child ego state of the child. Rarely would a parent socially or overtly tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are primarily transmitted non-verbally by Parent and Child ego states when caregivers exhibit mad, glad, sad, or scared emotions in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does as shared life events occur in early childhood. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life, including determining whether a child grows up to become a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

Therefore the scripting process largely determines which political parties win in any culture; and the fate of Spaceship Earth may depend on changing the scripting of humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans: winner, loser, and non-winner – caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life – and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

It follows that the natural scripting process is not fair.

A purpose of transactional analysis is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in his or her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles, beat their competitors and enemies, etc., then everything would be wonderful. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the ego states one uses, the way one structures time (learning how to spend more or less time in different ways)—withdrawing into their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, doing work activity, playing psychological Games, or being intimate with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this: Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around planet Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more OK, OK not only in terms of achieving goals but more OK transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed-to contracts.

No one could blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and articles such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, burrowing up in your wormhole as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, over and over, till something works.

1 – What is the problem?

2 – What are the alternatives?

3 – What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad narcissistic sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for cronies, lackeys, and knaves, especially lobbyists, politicians, and religious leaders, however true this state of affairs might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and social, economic, political, and religious states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now around planet Earth is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Israel is playing a third-degree IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU Game with Palestine right now. One can build a case about all politicians do is play psychological Games with supporters, opponents, and enemies.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and hamartic economic and political policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis https://www.itaaworld.org/ to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/ for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an idealistic democratic economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK – You’re OK life position.

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or > Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system and auto-pilot or the pilot and co-pilot, looking out their windows with their hands on their steering devices, seeing nothing but dark clouds and lightning below?

Some AINT IT AWFUL Game-playing goes on in mass and social media, i.e. writers and editors are psychologically Persecuting, Rescuing, or Victimizing someone, but it seems to me most writers and editors are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, economically, and politically. Unfortunately one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, wasting most of their time with pastiming (bullshitting), doing rituals (filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, conducting useless investigations, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Seems to me most expenditures of time, money, and energy in so-called foreign policy are moves in psychological Games.

On the other hand, there is a lot of awful stuff going on. There’s such a thing as Positive Critical Parent Ego State energy, and one can build a case that Critical Parent economic, political, and religious criticism is necessary and rational to stave off dire consequences staring humanity in the face, caused by GWCC and MNWP, global warming and climate change and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation.

It’s not easy to see what’s really going on, impossible some say, while being inundated with fake news daily around planet Earth, made public in mass media and on the Internet and elsewhere. To see what’s really going on, Earthian humans must use primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong, saying something is true because you really don’t know it’s not true, than to say something is true when you know damn well it’s not true.

Seems to me most lying is lying by omission (people not telling people things they know are true to gain or preserve advantages in competitive situations). Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful in overall perspective than lying by commission (telling people things you know are not true for ill-gotten gains), is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to see what’s really going on in economic and political states of affairs.

Political parties, the US government, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, presumably to protect national security and their corporate revenues, in many cases socially presenting selective true facts but omitting analysis about what is really going on.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is a certified transactional analyst and an emeritus professor of management at Georgia Southern University. See https://blog.effectivelearning.net/rjs-athletic-business-and-academic-vita/ for a full listing of credentials

RJS ANCESTRY AND SCRIPTING

A man with white hair and plaid shirt standing in front of brick wall.

By Richard John Stapleton

I start off this family scripting article with a bit of transactional analysis theory explaining how I view the process of family formation and functioning, having become a certified transactional analyst. If it bores you skip down about ten paragraphs to get into the meat of the what, when, and where’s of my family history that actually happened. If the TA theory interests you read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning  that is described in the Effective Learning Publications page posted on the masthead of this blog at the top of this page.

My father’s name is Richard Gathright Maury Stapleton and my mother’s name is Ida Belle Coston Stapleton. My grandparents’ birthright names are Sidney Clay Stapleton, Katharine Gathright Maury, Elbert Harry Coston, and Darlie Brown Walker.

Frank Parker, a Statesboro, Georgia hobby genealogist, located all my great grandparents bearing the Stapleton, Coston, Maury, and Walker family names, however many times removed from me in every generation, including basic data for each one such as name, date and location of birth and death, marriages, and offspring in North America, also including anecdotal information about the quality of life some of them had, filling three thick click-open three-ring notebooks filled with copied information on letter sized paper, back to before the American Revolution in 1776 in unbroken family lines. Not all of my great grandparents are mentioned in this article, just some seeming to have had unusual interesting lives. Frank said my great grandparents were easy to find, the easiest search of this type he had conducted with his computerized genealogical system.

Ego states are states of being including thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings, gestures, body language, and other signals determining how people come across with others in communication episodes, whether parent-like, adult-like, or child-like, in all kinds of situations.  People switch ego states depending on who they are communicating with and what sort of circumstances they are in, whether they are parenting, working, socializing, teaching, having fun, playing Games, or whatever.  They transmit messages from three ego states in themselves to three ego states in others in pair vectors, Parent-Parent, Adult-Adult, Child-Child, Parent-Child, Child-Adult, Adult-Parent, Child-Parent, or whatever combination.  These transactions are especially meaningful in situations in which there is some sort of authoritarian system involved, such as parents parenting children in homes, teachers teaching students in schools, or bosses bossing subordinates in a business or political organization, which normally entail primarily Parent-Child transactions. In general however the more Adult-Adult transactions there are the better things go in families, schools, businesses, and political organizations.

Script messages are transmitted socially and psychologically as I have shown and explained with diagrams in my books. Unfortunately I have not shown one of these diagrams in this blog, having not taken the time to get jpeg pictures of them made to get them posted to my computer desktop to download into this WordPress program. If you want to see what a transactional analysis script diagram looks like right now go here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1633031010051872&set=pb.100000349651186.-2207520000&type=3

A TA life script diagram shows the three stacked Parent, Adult, and Child ego state circles representing parent, adult, and child ego states for each parent and child. The solid lines in the diagram denote overt spoken social messages and dotted lines denote covert psychological unspoken ulterior messages.  Social messages are verbalized overt auditory messages; psychological messages are covert non-spoken ulterior messages transmitted by body language, emotional states, and after the fact positive or negative stroking as people react to situations and feel and do things.

Scripts in families are created automatically when parents transmit various messages to their children from various ego states socially and psychologically, in and out of awareness.  Scripts are life plans generally decided before the age of eight by offspring based on script messages transmitted to them by their parents and others.  Since parents by and large transmit the same script messages that were transmitted to them before they were eight years old script messages in families can remain intact for many generations.  According to transactional analysts script decisions made before the age of eight have lasting effects determining three general life outcomes:  winner, loser, and non-winner.  These decisions can be redecided and updated later in life but it’s not easy for most people.

Psychological Child-Child ego state script injunctions are what cause the most trouble for people in their lives.  Script injunctions forbid appropriate behavior in the here and now. Script injunctions are caused by emotional and behavioral requirements created by families through time as they adapted to and coped with problems and environmental forces that may have been appropriate in past environments, but which are inappropriate in here and now more benign and hospitable environments.

Opposing script messages transmitted by parents can put a child in a Not-OK bind in childhood and throughout adolescence, assuming a divorce has not already occurred, causing considerable trouble within a family, since the child cannot please both parents in the presence of both parents, which can put parents in worse Not-OK positions if the child makes a decision about which parent is right, increasing Not-OKness in the family system as a whole.

What many people need is psychological permission to violate and ignore their psychological outdated obsolete family Child ego state script message Injunctions, not only to increase their own OKness but the OKness of all living members of the family system, and the OKness of Earthian humans in general, for that matter.

Two common family script Injunctions in most cultures are Don’t Think about the true nature and causes of states of affairs and Don’t Feel certain feelings, such as glad, mad, sad, or scared, when certain things happen in certain environments.

I became a certified transactional analyst in education and organizations, a CTA, after passing written, oral, and experiential comprehensive exams administered by the International Transactional Analysis Association in 1978, after undergoing three years of once-a-month training, all day Saturday and half of Sunday, at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

I have covered ego states and scripts in my books Business Voyages  and Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learninglisting common Parent ego state script messages and Child ego state injunctions.  All parents do not transmit the same script messages creating considerable variety among family scripts and outcomes.  Certain life scripts conveniently fit certain roles, jobs, professions, careers, and what have you more than others, providing fresh recruits already scripted for job openings, slots, roles, and positions in an economy, which is fine so long as the economy does not change very much.  Unfortunately in recent years in the United States the offshoring of high wage blue collar jobs to foreign low wage countries and the use of more and more automation has rendered many family scripts obsolete.

Here are some parent and child script messages that were passed down to me by my parents, which were passed down to them by their parents.

Stapleton father overt Parent ego state social script messages:  Work hard and long; think; know the details; don’t make mistakes; be successful; be productive; Don’t work for anyone but yourself.

Father covert Child ego state psychological script injunctions:  Don’t be a child; Don’t Belong; Don’t be Close; Don’t feel glad or sad; Don’t be sexually promiscuous; Don’t waste time on sports and hobbies; Don’t make good grades in school.

Coston mother overt Parent ego state social script messages:  Obey the law; know what you’re doing; be good in competitive sports; understand things; pay your bills on time; make money; just live till you die.

Mother covert Child ego state psychological script injunctions:  Don’t be spontaneous or wild; Don’t be happy; Don’t be imperfect; Don’t belong; Don’t feel glad; Don’t act silly; Don’t associate with riffraff; Don’t be sexually promiscuous; Don’t waste time on trivia.

My brother James Clay Stapleton and I have been generally successful, having been exposed to and ruled by the above script messages. He became a multi-millionaire entrepreneur and I became a tenured full professor with publications; but both he and I have suffered more from depression and psychological frustrations than most people.  There are no free lunches it seems, and there are advantages and disadvantages to almost everything, including script messages.  The major advantage to knowing about and understanding transactional analysis is that it gives you more Adult ego state knowledge of what caused the Parent and Child ego states and script messages you introjected before you were eight years old that cause you to psychologically function in groups and organizations as you do, giving you more social control over them, enabling you to be more successful than you otherwise would have been, not only making a living, but living harmoniously with others, to live a satisfying life.

Following are descriptions of some interesting ancestors whose lives in North America were determined by script messages that were probably similar to script messages that percolated up to me on my shoot of my branch of the family tree, contributing to the creation of the family story I present herein.

A great-grandfather many times removed, The Reverend Doctor James Maury, a French Huguenot, taught four American presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, in a boarding school in Virginia. A distant cousin, Matthew Fontaine Maury, a West Point graduate, a commodore in the Civil War, fighting for the South, published a book still in print, Physical Geography of the Sea.  He was a founder of Virginia Tech, retiring as a professor of physics at Virginia Military Institute, included in a Hall of Fame of great Americans in New York, among other honors, including recognition from kings in other countries for his scientific achievements.

Another distant cousin Dabney Herndon Maury, also a West Point graduate, a general in the Civil War fighting for the South, published a widely circulated book titled, Recollections of a Southerner in the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars.

A great great grandfather Thomas Sanford Gathright, a Confederate draft dodger who opposed the South’s seceding from the Union, was the first president of Texas A & M University, recommended for his post by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. Having a liberal arts academic background amid faculty and funding turmoil he was fired as president of Texas A & M after a few years and replaced by a Southern civil war hero with a more agricultural and mechanical academic background.

My father’s uncle, Richard Gathright Maury, was a prominent lawyer in his time, the youngest district attorney in Harris County history, the county in which Houston, Texas just got flooded, who once served papers in person on a golf course in New York to John D. Rockefeller, indicting him and his Standard Oil Trust for violating Texas anti-trust laws, whose grave site in Center, Texas, replete with a statue, is now a designated historical site recognized by the Texas Historical Society. Rockefeller asked him on the golf course if he was not a little afraid to serve papers like that and he replied he was not. As near as I can tell Richard Gathright Maury never went to school at all.

Based on genealogical records produced for me by Frank Parker, a real estate developer and investor and a hobby genealogist, here in Statesboro, Richard Gathright Maury was home schooled on a plantation in Mississippi and read law with a law firm to pass the bar exam. A bachelor, he died mysteriously at age 34 driving his automobile alone when it collided with a cow on a highway, according to a newspaper story, or when he drove his new automobile off a bridge, according to a story someone in the family told. Perhaps he should have been afraid to serve legal papers on that New York golf course.

Richard Gathright Maury’s father, my great grandfather, Matthew Henry Maury, attended the University of Mississippi two years and was later killed along with another “prominent” citizen in a “race riot” in Wahalak, Mississippi, according to an article published on page one in a San Francisco newspaper I accidentally ran across in an email promotion by Ancestry.com. My father thought his grandfather was killed on the Maury plantation by an African-American farm worker, probably a freed slave, or the son of one. Someone wrote in handwriting years ago on one of Frank Parker’s copied genealogical record sheets that he may have been killed in a race riot. This happened when Matthew Henry Maury was in his late-thirties after the Civil War.

My grandfather on my mother’s side, Elbert Harry Coston, a Methodist minister, the son of Isom Alexander Coston, who was blind, according to my grandmother, Darlie Brown Walker Coston, whose father David Montgomery Walker was a cotton farmer and a wagon manufacturer in the area, near Enloe, Texas, “never did a day’s work in his life. All he ever did was sit up on the front porch with his brothers and read.” She said most of the work on the Coston farm near Palestine, Texas was done by African-Americans, freed slaves apparently, managed by her mother-in-law, Mattie Elizabeth Allen Coston, born on a ranch in Texas in 1854, shortly after Texas stopped pretending to be a nation and joined the Union as a mere state.

My mother told me in her last days in Willow Pond here in Statesboro that her grandfather Isom would swat each of his five boys on the rear one time with a razor strop when they came in for supper, telling them he didn’t know what they had done wrong that day but he knew they had “been up to somethin’.” She also said somebody had to read the whole newspaper to him every day.

I lived with Moma and Snazzy for two years in Lubbock while I studied for my doctorate at Texas Tech University. Snazzy had a personal library he had collected through the years containing a thousand or more books on various subjects. I named him myself when I was about three years old, Snazzy being the name of a radio character I had listened to. He was called Snazzy by almost everyone the rest of his life.

Snazzy took some courses at East Texas State College for a couple of years before he became an ordained Methodist minister, becoming a minister according to my hard-working father so he wouldn’t ever have to work at all. One of his brothers graduated from the University of Texas and became a county school superintendent. Another brother graduated from East Texas State College and became a lawyer. A business started by the son or grandson of one of these brothers, Coston and Son Ready Mix, still operates in the city of Palestine, Texas, not far from Enloe. Snazzy’s youngest brother, who wanted to farm, inherited the whole farm, near Enloe, Texas, thanks to his four older brothers disclaiming their inherited shares of the family farm to him.

Moma, my grandmother, Darlie, said Snazzy reading on the front porch with his four brothers was the “smartest one of all, knowing more about history and such.” She said they called him “the doctor” since he would “see about” their field hands when they got hurt or sick. Snazzy had a Coston uncle in the area who was a real doctor with whom he would consult who would give them medical treatments.

Snazzy, who preached in the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist denominations before he settled on Methodism, at one point in his career managed the chemicals in the Texas Tech College chemistry laboratory. 

My mother Ida Belle Coston Stapleton took a few business courses at a Draughn’s Business College after she got out of high school. She told me shortly before she died here in Statesboro, at age 92, that she never made less than an A in school.

My father Richard Gathright Maury Stapleton, born in 1913 at Jasper, Texas, in the Piney Woods of East Texas, where his father managed a sawmill, took some courses in agronomy at Texas Tech before he dropped out to become a successful entrepreneur, farming and ranching, building houses, starting and owning a lumber yard and hardware store for twelve years, installing and servicing two hundred miles of natural gas pipeline, installing and servicing irrigation pumps, and starting a bank, in and around Wolfforth, Texas, having never taken a business course or read a business book, or a book of any kind after I was born, to my knowledge, except maybe an arcane treatise or two on Free Masonry, to become a third degree Scottish Rite Mason, as I understand it. He saw to it I became a DeMolay in high school but I never had any interest in it. He told me he was glad his father taught him a trade (carpentry) and he liked to work with his hands.

My father, Dick everyone called him, was an autodidact. He not only taught himself how to do the work of the above businesses, he was a self-taught architect. He could take the dream home ideas of customers and draw them to scale on paper using his architectural drawing board and instruments and have them reproduced as blueprints at the same engineering firm as real architects, that any carpenter, plumber, or electrician could follow,  replete with a complete bill of materials. And he was lightning fast figuring how much those materials would cost.

Dick assiduously read the local newspaper, farm magazines, and the US News & World Report. He put me to work building houses when I was eight years old. I had no desire to work with my hands and took no satisfaction doing carpenter work. I fell asleep one time in the closet of a house he was building, which he thought was a seriously disgraceful thing for a son twelve or so years old to do, making him look bad in the eyes of the adult carpenters working on the job. He never forgot it. My brother told me he seriously criticized me for it during recent visits he had with him, when he was in his eighties. I don’t think he ever forgave me when I told him I had no intentions of working for him for a living at age 21.

He and my mother were partners in business. He did the work and she managed things and kept the books. They sold the lumber yard and their other holdings on the South Plains of Texas in 1963 at age 58 and bought a 1,000 acre ranch near Eastland, Texas, in Central Texas, spending the rest of their lives farming and ranching in my father’s case and my mother reading and taking it easy. She was an avid reader of books she got through the Book of the Month Club. Their cattle brand was the Spear X, the same brand Dick’s father, Sidney Clay Stapleton, used on his 10,000 acre cattle ranch near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico before he sold out and moved back east to Northwest Texas when my father was in junior high school. Sidney spent the rest of his life as a carpenter and contractor in Northwest Texas and Oklahoma, spending several years at Muscogee, Oklahoma. The oldest of his siblings, he had a brother Daniel who was a Chevrolet dealer in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma.

Dick and Ida after a few years sold their ranch in Eastland, Texas and moved to Dumas, Texas, where my mother’s sister and husband had recently moved, having sold their cotton farm at Shallowater, Texas, about ten miles west of Lubbock. My aunt Billie and Ida started a dress shop they ran for a few years and my uncle A.J. Brown owned a Farmall tractor dealership in Dumas. Dick bought himself a stockfarm, growing corn and wheat and feeding cattle. They sold their holdings in Dumas after a few years and moved to Houston, Texas, living in “The Woodlands”, to be near my brother and his wife. My father died there at age 85. My mother moved to Statesboro, Georgia after he died where she died at Willow Pond, an assisted living facility, at age 92.

Dick graduated from high school at Carnegie, Oklahoma at age twenty, after dropping out of high school for two years to work to help support his family during the Great Depression. My father said he changed high schools five times. He said his father’s favorite saying was, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

The leap-frog westward migration paths of my four family lines in the South of North America were as follows:

Costons—>Virginia—North Carolina—Tennessee—Texas

Walkers—>Virginia—Alabama—Texas

Maurys—>Virginia—Alabama—Mississippi—Texas

Stapletons—>Virginia—South Carolina—Georgia—Florida—Alabama—Mississippi—New Mexico—Texas

Frank Parker, the above-mentioned Statesboro, Georgia real estate developer, investor, and hobby genealogist, traced all four of my grandparents back to Virginia before the American Revolutionary War, in which several ancestors fought. At least two of them, a Walker and a Maury, were mentioned as being especially courageous Indian fighters in Virginia, sometimes spending weeks at a time horseback in the woods in all kinds of weather, not living long. Descendants of my Virginia ancestors, many of whom became cotton farmers, spread out from Virginia migrating into South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

One of my great grandparents many times removed Ludovic Stapleton migrated from Virginia to Marlboro County, South Carolina from where he and his son Stephen Stapleton migrated into what is now Long County, Georgia in the early 1800s, about 75 miles from where I live now, surrounded by cotton fields six miles south of Statesboro, Georgia.

Stephen Stapleton’s descendants later embarked on my Stapleton family intermittent westward trek (and back east in my case) up to now some 200 years later, establishing cotton farms in five states in the process. The first wave of my Stapleton ancestral runaways or castaways after leaving Georgia found cheap land in Florida, near the Alabama line, from whence all or some of them started leap-frog migrating westward in search of cheap new land freshly stolen from Indians, after descendant numbers in the immediate family grew too large for the established family farm in the state to support, to Alabama to Mississippi to Texas to New Mexico and back to Northwest Texas where I grew up, starting off in life living on my parents’ cotton farm near Wofforth, Texas, ten miles southwest of Lubbock, five miles west of the town of Wolfforth, a wide spot in a paved highway next to a Santa Fe railroad track with about five businesses and about two hundred residents.

My almost-cousin Dave Thompson and I pulled bolls in our uncle Duck Thompson’s cotton field five miles west of Wolfforth with African-American field hands one day when we were about five years old in 1945, learning what hard work was like on a cotton farm at a young age, however little of it we did that day, in my case learning how unfair life could be for some people, especially black people at that time. “Pulling ” bolls in some ways was easier than “picking” cotton, which required picking cotton out of the opened boll or husk on the stalk with your fingers, a much more tedious task that all “cotton pickers” in history in the Deep South had to do. To “pull” a boll all you had to do was run two of your fingers to each side of a stalk and pull up on the boll to separate it from the stalk, and then drop the whole thing in your cotton sack.

I think Dave and I pulled about one hundred pounds apiece working four or five hours that day, both of us having our own custom-made scaled-down cotton sacks, made from feed sacks, about three feet long, paid as I recall $1.25 per one hundred pounds pulled, and weighed, the same as the other field hands. Some of the fastest, strongest, and most skillful of the 30 or so adults in the field could pull one thousand pounds of cotton bolls a day as I recall, dragging cotton sacks behind them in the cotton rows ten or more feet long that when full were weighed with a spring-actuated scale hanging from a tripod about seven feet off the ground and recorded in a book by the name of each worker by someone who did nothing but weigh cotton and record the results. The weighed and recorded full cotton sacks, most weighing 100 pounds or more, were emptied in a cotton trailer which when filled was hauled off to a cotton gin, replaced in the field by another empty cotton trailer. Most seasoned boll pullers would fill, empty, and refill their cotton sacks six or more times a day, possibly from sunup to sundown, till the harvest season was over. Most of the cotton field hands working on farms around Wolfforth, chopping cotton with hoes in the summer, and pulling bolls in the fall, lived in the nearby city of Lubbock, about fifteen miles away, in 1945, riding to and from the fields each day in the open air on the beds of trucks.

Herbicides and mechanical cotton strippers came along in Northwest Texas in about fifteen years eliminating the need for this labor.

According to Frank Parker’s data, one of my great great grandfathers William Anthony Stapleton, according to the 1850 US Census, was a farmer in Dale County, Alabama, owning twenty-one slaves.  According to a first cousin, Stephen Carter, also a hobby genealogist, this great great grandfather made several trips to England, for reasons unknown, apparently doing business of some sort during his adult life.  According to Frank Parker, William Anthony Stapleton was relatively wealthy, since individual slaves at the time according to Frank were worth about $100,000 in 21st century money.  According to Stephen Carter, who had his Stapleton mother’s DNA line searched using Ancestry.com, the Stapletons and Maurys in our family tree were descended from English, Irish, Scottish, and French aristocracy.  Stephen said he was distantly related to President Jimmy Carter on his father’s side.

One Brian De Stapleton, an English baron, signed Magna Carta in 1215. I have no idea if my Stapleton ancestors were actually related to him but they could have been.

Here is a passage from my book Business Voyages, first published in 2011, pages 47-50. Read all about it free at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810.

“In October 2009 I told and showed my friend Frank Parker a genealogist here in Statesboro, Georgia I had recently found proof on the Internet my grandmother Katharine Gathright Maury was related to Matthew Fontaine Maury, that one of her Maury ancestors taught four American presidents in Virginia, and she was descended from French Huguenots and the Randolphs of Virginia, starting with a family tree furnished me about 1985 by Mary Stapleton, wife of my uncle Matthew Henry Stapleton, that traced our Stapleton/Maury line back four generations to James Woodville Maury and William Anthony Stapleton in 1850, that I used with Horace Randoph’s Updated Database at www.randolpharchives.org that traced Katharine Gathright Maury back to Abraham Maury in Virginia in 1758 that traced Abraham Maury through the Randolph line back to 17th century England, that I used with Some Descendants of Jean de la Fontaine in Bob Juch’s Kin Including 61,000 People at www.juch.org that traced the Maury line from Abraham Maury back to James Fontaine born in Barnstaple, Devonshire, England in 1686 to Guy de la Fontaine, Lord of Seville, born in 1400 in France and to Jean de la Fontaine born in 1375 in France.

“Frank then offered to use his computerized genealogical system to check out people down my family tree. Among much else, he found my father Dick’s grandfather Matthew Henry Maury, age 25, in the 1880 US census living on a plantation in Kemper County, Mississippi with his wife Virginia John Gathright Maury, age 24, and five offspring including Dick’s mother Katharine, infant, and her brother Richard, age 3, in one household and Dick’s great grandfather James Woodville Maury, age 59, living in another unusual household including his wife, Rachel Harris Maury, age 53, and a servant Milby, age 31, and her five young children, all named Maury. Included in another household on the plantation was Sarah Maury, age 55, listed as a mother and farmer, presumably the mother of Milby. Listed in another household was Aaron Maury, age 45, listed as a farmer, presumably the husband of Milby. Dick’s Maury grandfather and his great grandfather and their wives and children were listed as white and the rest of the Maurys on the census page were listed as black.

“Frank also found in the 1850 US census before the Civil War that my father Dick’s great grandfather William Anthony Stapleton was a farmer in Dale County, Alabama, owning twenty-one slaves. This family history was kept secret from Dick or he kept it secret from me. I would never have known about it had it not been for the Internet and Frank Parker’s genealogical skills in 2009. The slave owning was something not to be proud of and perhaps it should have been kept secret. I sometimes thought as a child Dick was a slave driver; now I know where he got the proclivity. If you Google Richard John Stapleton on the Internet you can find several Stapleton barons, lords and sirs that lived in England and Ireland through the centuries after 1215 and our Stapleton line is likely descended from lesser sons of some of these families who migrated to North America in search of their own lands and fortunes.

“Life on the American frontier for most of my ancestors as they fanned out from Virginia into South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, or Oklahoma was far from easy, secure, squeaky clean or pleasant much of the time. Many of them did not live long, and they were beset with all manner of problems on their farms, plantations and ranches–economic recessions and depressions, diseases of all sorts, psychological problems, hail, drought, sandstorms, hoof and mouth disease, slavery, the Civil War and much else. Dick thought his grandfather Matthew Henry Maury was killed by an African-American farm worker on a Mississippi plantation after the Civil War because Matthew insulted or made some sort of sexual advance toward the worker’s wife and he thought his mother was afterwards reared by her Gathright grandmother. He also said his Maury ancestors were either great or crazy. While his grandfather may or may not have been killed for this reason, his mother was not reared by her Gathright grandmother, at least not completely, although Dick did know something about what he was talking about. According to the 1900 US Census, Dick’s grandmother formerly Virginia John Gathright Maury now listed as age 40 had remarried Thornton Walters born in Illinois and was living in Brazoria, Texas in a reconstituted family consisting of 10 children, six named Maury including Dick’s mother Katharine now age 21 and four children named Walters ranging in age from 9 to 23. According to the 1910 US Census Virginia John Gathright Maury Walters, widowed, now age 50 was back in Lauderdale County, Mississippi listed as a patient in some sort of hospital or nursing home that included 24 other patients, all unrelated females ranging in age from 18 to 66.

“On Ida’s side of the family her grandmother Mattie Elizabeth Allen Coston born in Texas about 1854 according to the 1870 US Census was living in a reconstituted family headed by John Doak married to Catharine Doak, presumably Mattie’s mother, including six children, four named Doak and two named Allen, Mattie and Robert. According to Ida at 90 years of age not many years ago at Willow Pond here in Statesboro, Georgia, Mattie “traveled all over” and had a good time at a ripe old age after her one and only Coston husband died of natural causes in East Texas. For whatever it’s worth, my mother was probably related to Doak Walker, the All-American football player at Southern Methodist University, not by blood though the Doak’s, but through her mother’s Walker line . She saw to it I had the same football jersey number in high school that Doak Walker had at SMU, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, number 37.

“While some of Ida’s ancestors were intelligent, relatively well educated and successful athletically and professionally none to my knowledge equaled the intellectual achievements of some of Dick’s Maury ancestors. (Ida criticized her mother-in-law for bragging about her ‘blue-blooded ancestors’, considering her to be an arrogant eccentric misanthrope).

“My Maury ancestor making the most significant contribution of my family tree, one of my great grandfathers however many times removed, was the Reverend Doctor James Maury who taught four American presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, all instrumental in creating the US Constitution. The Reverend Doctor Maury taught classics, manners and morals, mathematics, literature, history, and geography in what was considered the best boarding school in Albemarle County,Virginia, attended by Thomas Jefferson who lived with the Reverend Maury and his family two years as a child (Wikipedia.org).

“I heard rumors of this family history growing up as a child, but I had no factual knowledge of it. In general in our family talking about ancestors was taboo. It was as if my parents had no knowledge of anyone in their families back past their parents. I always thought they had something to hide, which I suppose they did, slavery. They seemed shamed by their family history, either ashamed of what their ancestors did, or ashamed their social positions in their societies were generally lower than the social positions their ancestors had in their societies, having been de-classed by the Civil War, with good riddance, in my opinion.”

Frank Parker’s computerized genealogical system does not do tracking in Europe, so I have no verifiable official data about how my Virginia ancestors got over here. Frank did find an interesting tidbit about one of my early Virginia Scottish great grandmothers, whose name was listed as Donnell on immigration papers. Frank’s anecdotal information however indicates she had changed her name from MacDonald to Donnell. One of my Georgia Scottish Heritage Society friends told me it was common for Scottish immigrants to Americanize their names hoping to escape clan competition and enmity in the new world. Frank found anecdotal data that one of my Scottish great grandfathers, a Watson, got to North America as a stowaway.

Some forty-five percent of the USian population now living in Southeast Georgia apparently have Scottish ancestry. This is probably also true to some degree throughout the South, including Northwest Texas. When I was about five years old I asked my mother what we were and she said, “Oh, I don’t know, Scotch-Irish I guess.”

I had my genes analyzed by Ancestry.com a few years ago and according to their findings my genes are similar to genes of humans living in various Earthian geographic areas in the following percentages:  Scotland, 53%; England and Northwestern Europe, 30%; Wales, 11%; Ireland, 4%; Norway, 2%.

 I made mostly C’s in grade, junior, and high school, but did better in college. I was according to the Lubbock Avalanche Journal probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the United States in 1954, at age thirteen, one hundred ten pounds, five feet three inches tall. I played basketball on an athletic scholarship at Hardin-Simmons University two years before transferring to Texas Tech College (now university). I made three A’s in high school, in plane geometry and physics, winning a gold medal in a regional science fair for a project in which I explained in a paper and demonstrated how to generate and measure electricity with magnets and Ohm’s law. I also scored relatively high on aptitude tests administered by the county. In the 8th grade I scored as high in most subjects as juniors and seniors in high school on an achievement test administered by the county, despite making mostly C’s in my grade and junior high school classes. I had a 3.0 in economics in undergraduate school but did better in the doctoral program, graduating with a 3.67 grade point average in a program that included all business disciplines in which A’s were not easy to come by. One of my classmates who became the dean of a business school graduated with a 3.0. Despite scoring 840 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), at a time when 1000 was about average, Texas Tech accepted me provisionally into their doctoral program and gave me a part-time instructor position in economics that paid $3000 per academic year, enough for me to pay my way through the doctoral program and write my dissertation in three years, while living with my Coston grandparents.

I was working at a full time job in a Litton Industries electronics plant in Lubbock as a production control expediter and dispatcher and publishing my weekly newspaper the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette when I took the Graduate Record Exam (the GRE), having stayed up most of the night before the exam putting out the paper. I fell asleep several times taking the exam, not thinking it was important, just something I had to do to get into graduate school, filling in the remaining blanks for the various timed sections without reading the questions. I saw the exam proctor, the head of the psychology department at Texas Tech at the time, staring at me in amazement when I woke up from one of those naps. Considering the GRE computerized grading system took off more points for questions answered wrong than for those left blank, I was lucky to have scored as high as 840.

I taught Eco 133, American Economic History, twelve times, two courses in the fall and spring semesters each academic year during 1966-69 at Texas Tech. I got pretty good at it by the end of my tenure there. A fellow doctoral student, who knew someone in the dean’s office, several years after we had graduated, told me I had scored high on student evaluations as a professor but had never been recognized for it because I was just a graduate student.

The Office of Manpower Evaluation and Research of the US Department of Labor awarded me a $6500 grant to write my dissertation in 1968, An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas, free download copies of which are still available online from Texas Tech University.

I was hired at the associate professor rank after finishing my doctorate in 1970, skipping the assistant rank, at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now Louisiana University–Lafayette, after completing my doctorate in business administration, management science major, economics minor, at Texas Tech, becoming a full professor at age thirty-six at Georgia Southern College (now university), where I was the senior professor of the business school for about fifteen years, carrying the mace as the senior professor of the university for the spring graduation ceremony the year I retired in 2005.

I was the highest paid professor in the business school and maybe the second-highest-paid faculty member at Georgia Southern in 1970, behind Jim Oliver, in biology, who had a large grant for the study of ticks, when I started at age thirty, hired by President Pope Duncan.

My son Jonathan Walker Stapleton was the Star Student for our Congressional District in Georgia in 1990, scoring 1520 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) back in the days when 1600 was the maximum score. He maxed the math part of the Graduate Record Exam, the GRE, when he finished his undergraduate degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1994, almost maxing the verbal part.

Jonathan is the inventor of Reptangles™, a plastic educational toy comprising twenty-four parts that snap together and pull apart to assemble into more than one hundred mathematically identifiable geometric shapes and symmetrical configurations, manufactured in China, licensed to, marketed, and distributed around Earth by the Fat Brain Toy Company. Reptangles™ have been demonstrated and explained on national TV, on ABC’s Good Morning America. Reptangles™ are no longer manufactured, after thousands of copies were sold, but can still be purchased on eBay and at other sites on the Internet. He is also the author of the Reptangles™ Exploration User Guide.

Jonathan is now a high school physics teacher and inventor living near Burlington, Vermont.

For whatever it’s worth, while my parents and I seriously discussed political issues at the dinner table during my high school and college years neither of my parents as I recall ever said anything about who they voted for. To my knowledge neither of them had any interest in Democratic or Republican party-line politics.

Most likely a significant percentage of my hundreds of unknown and known relatives on the numerous branches down our family tree from today back to Virginia before the American Revolution in 1776 in the South of North America turned out to be hardcore redneck Republicans. I have been accused of being a redneck myself. My father in many ways was as fascist as you can get, telling me numerous times during my formative years, “There can be only one boss,” namely him. He may have been the only boss bossing his employees during work hours, but he never really bossed me. I did what I had to do to survive subject to his personality as a dependent child, but after age 21 I was on my own.

Having the fate of being the castoff descendants of aristocrats who willed their estates to the eldest sons in their families in the Old World, some of my ancestors saw North America as a source of cheap land and a way to perpetuate their aristocratic patriarchal scripting with large families, while escaping poverty, overpopulation, political injustice, and religious persecution and superstition in the Old World. The same would probably be generally true of my commoner ancestors, who saw the New World as a chance to own enough land to lead lives somewhat like what Old World aristocrats had, in the South of North America.

Some of them experienced success as they defined success in the so-called New World. Unfortunately the cheap North American land had to be conquered and stolen from its original owners, so some became Indian fighters; and getting control of relatively large plots of land in the South of North America where my parents, grandparents and great grandparents lived required cheap labor to make serious money growing cotton, so some of them owned slaves. Some of them claimed to oppose slavery and claimed to take good care of their slaves and treat them kindly and humanely given the laws and culture in which they lived. But this did not excuse the greed, harshness, and inhumanity required to own and employ slaves. Contrary to a good bit of contemporary story-telling slave-based life was not an easy life for most humans in the South, including humans who happened to be “white” and who had enough money, connections, or credit to purchase slaves. Life in the South of North America was full of moral and ethical conflicts and tradeoffs for slavers, who worried about their inmates on their prison farms getting sick, rebelling, and turning violent. Participating in slavery caused white humans to get meaner, harder, and more hypocritical over time the farther West lesser sons moved every generation or so in search of new cheap land recently conquered and stolen from Indians. It’s a wonder the culture and process did not drive them crazier than they became, making it impossible for most of them to develop I’m OK–You’re OK life positions, causing them to operate with primarily Critical Parent and Adapted Child ego state energy, and adopt and enforce hard rigid doctrines and dogma, learning to live with little real fun, generally requiring the exclusion of Adult, Free Child, and Nurturing Parent ego state energy, obeying Don’t Think and Don’t Feel script injunctions.

This evolutionary process has culminated in today’s polarized I’m OK–You’re Not OK hyper-aggressive and competitive USian culture and economy, where another civil war and another world war have again become serious topics of conversation. While Biden has a more I’m OK–You’re OK life position than Trump, I’m OK–You’re Not OK fascist life positions have grown stronger and more prevalent among the general USian population since 1980, as I’m OK–You’re OK democratic processes have grown weaker.

Joe Biden at least socially comes across projecting an I’m OK–You’re OK life position. Donald Trump unfortunately unashamedly projects and has a life position of I’m OK, my cronies, lackeys, and knaves are OK; but you and your kind are not-OK; and we are going to make the world pay. Even more unfortunate for Spaceship Earth, Trump’s cronies Putin, Kim Jong Un, Netanyahu, Bolsonaro, and others, also operate from this sort of life position. No kind of economic or political system will work for everyone if not-OK fascist dictators get control of them at the top.

Here is what Martin Groder, MD, the best transactional analysis teacher and mentor I experienced, at Chapel Hill, NC in the late 1970s, taught about individual and group OKness that I called Groder’s People Map, in a passage I wrote and published in 2011 in Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, pp. 148-150:

Martin Groder’s People Map

“Humans generally give little thought to what kind of human they are and where they fit in the spectrum of various types of humans. Innumerable philosophers, writers, social scientists, and others have categorized humans in various ways. Following is a schema developed by Martin Groder, MD, a psychiatrist, organizational development consultant, and entrepreneur (Groder, 1977). Groder developed this schema while working with hardcore inmates at the maximum security federal prison at Marion, Illinois in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He was involved in a process of changing hard-core criminals into law-abiding citizens. Such a process would challenge the abilities of the most skillful and powerful of change agents.

“According to Groder, humans vary on two fundamental spatial dimensions. One dimension is Okness, which is estimated on the horizontal axis of Figure 1 (sorry, I could not get the Figure 1 image to copy and paste here, so you’ll just have to imagine it); the other dimension is the energy level of the individual estimated on the vertical axis.

“People vary in terms of how OK they see, feel about, and experience, (1) themselves, (2) the other individual, (3) their group, (4) other groups, and (5) the world. In Groder’s terms, they are OK or not-OK with respect to I, You, We, They, and It (the world). Groder estimates how OK they are on each of these five existential dimensions on a scale of -1 to +1, -1 being as not-OK as possible and +1 being as OK as possible. Thus people with extremely high self-esteem might exist at the +1 level regarding themselves; someone with extremely low self-esteem might exist at the -1 level regarding themselves. People could exist at any level in between, at -.5, 0, +.25, etc. The same would be true of the positions of specific individuals with respect to buddies on a one-to-one basis, groups with which one belongs, other groups with which your group cooperates or competes, and the world in general. Summing the 5 existential OKness positions for an individual, I, You, We, They, and It, the highest possible OKness rating would be +5 and the lowest possible would be -5. A +5 person would have the highest possible feelings of Okness regarding his OKness, the OKness of his buddy, the OKness of his group, the OKness of other groups, and the OKness of the world. Such an individual would have very positive feelings and thoughts for self and others. On the other end of the spectrum, a -5 person would have the lowest possible feelings and thoughts for self and others. Very negative people tend to end up in prison. Very positive people tend to end up cultural heroes. Probably the most profitable attitude for an entrepreneur in a capitalistic economic system would be I’m OK, my employees are OK, my company is OK, the world is OK, but my competitors aren’t worth a damn, since this attitude would motivate his or her sales employees to steal business from competitors to increase the profits of the company.

“Entrepreneurs have higher energy levels than middle managers and normal people. It takes less energy to be a normal person than anything else. Entrepreneurs in Groder’s schema have approximately the same energy level on the vertical axis of Figure 1 as Monsters, the -3 OKness level convict leaders of other convicts. Monsters have the attitude “I’m OK, my buddy is OK, but everything else is not OK, and I am going to make the world pay.” According to Groder, it’s more difficult to change the energy level of a human than the OKness position. In rehabilitation work, Groder attempted to arc people across the gap of Figure 1, and make +3 OKness level entrepreneurs out of -3 monsters, +2 OKness middle managers out of -2 OKness creeps, slobs, lunch buckets, etc. Sometimes people arc across the gap the other way. Honest entrepreneurs can turn criminal. Entrepreneurs are winner-survivors; Monsters are loser-survivors. Winners achieve goals and objectives; losers do not.”

There is no doubt that Trump has a high energy level, but unfortunately he could become a -3 Monster.  Whether he is a loser-survivor remains to be seen. If only he could have encountered Martin Groder one on one the current Earthian human OKness level might be a little higher than it is.

A bitter pill to swallow found embedded in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn is that everything that happens is either predetermined or accidental, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, and therefore no one is to blame or praise, since everything that happens is caused by accidental or inevitable concatenations of infinite cause-effect chains.

Believing and acting otherwise will perpetuate the same sorry I’m OK–You’re Not OK life position that has bedeviled humankind since time immemorial contributing to if not causing repeats of historical abominations such as genocides, wars, slavery, economic depressions, famines, mental illnesses, and social collapses.

One might think with a background like mine I ought to be rounded up and summarily shot for the sins of my ancestors; but I don’t think it was my fault.  I did not make up the rules for how humans or human affairs happen on Earth.  They happen gradually and inexorably from generation to generation according to genetic codes and script messages passed down to children from parents biologically and from all ego states, socially and psychologically, like runners passing a baton in a track race.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is a transactional analyst, writer, editor, publisher, and emeritus professor of management living with his emeritus assistant professor of mathematics wife, Deborah Coleman Stapleton, BSED, MED, EDS, MSOR, also descended from cotton farmers, in their Cedar Hill home, surrounded by fairways of the Georgia Southern University golf course, six miles south of Statesboro, Georgia, surrounded by cotton fields.

BIDEN IS THE BEST BET

By Richard John Stapleton

A man and woman sitting in front of each other.

In the short run, it seems to me Biden almost has to be wished for, and voted for, if possible, Tuesday, November 5, 2024, by all moral and ethical Earthian humans, to help insure Trump does not become USian president again, to oppose incipient fascism, and stave off man-made disasters all around Spaceship Earth.

Trump’s life position is I’m OK and my loyal cronies, lackeys, and knaves are OK; but you and your kind are not-OK, and we are going to make the world pay.

Trump could be a monster of the worst kind, like Hitler and other Earthian monster mass murderers, and time will tell how monstrous Trump can be, if he becomes president of the United States of America again.

Parallels between Naziism and Trumpism are scary.

If there is to be a long run, it seems to me Earthian humans, sooner than later, need to learn to develop an I’m OK—You’re OK life position, so they can peacefully and sustainably manage states of affairs, all around Spaceship Earth.

For more on how USians got in the mess they are in now, go here…

“A Listing of Articles Posted in the Effective Learning Report since September 2016”

https://blog.effectivelearning.net/

BACKSTORIES:

HOW THE RICHEST EARTHIAN HUMANS GOT RICHER AND THE POOREST GOT POORER AFTER 1980     MARCH 13, 2024     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-the-richest-earthian-humans-got-richer-and-the-poorest-got-poorer-after-1980/

THE USIAN TRUMPIAN/REPUGLICAN DILEMMA     SEPTEMBER 30, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-usian-trumpian-repuglican-dilemma/

WILL DON TRUMP’S HAMARTIC SCRIPT ENMESH US ALL BEFORE HIS STORY ENDS?     JULY 8, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/will-don-trumps-hamartic-script-enmesh-us-all-before-his-life-story-ends/

TRUMP INVENTS A NEW WAY OF LYING     JUNE 6, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/trump-invents-a-new-way-of-lying/

Why Words, Pictures, and Numbers Cannot Prove What the Truth is in Dangerous Cases      April 3, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-words-pictures-and-numbers-cannot-prove-what-the-truth-is-in-dangerous-cases/

THE TROUBLING USIAN ECONOMIC MODUS OPERANDI     MARCH 10, 2023     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-troubling-usian-economic-modus-operandi/

YOU STARTED IT–A PSYCHOLOGICAL GAME CAUSING MAJOR TROUBLE ABOARD SPACESHIP EARTH    OCTOBER 8, 2020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/you-started-it-a-psychological-game-causing-major-trouble-aboard-spaceship-earth/

IS TRUMP EVIL?       JULY 29, 1020     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/is-trump-evil/  

THE BASIS FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S GLOBAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POLICIES     MAY 2019     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-basis-for-president-trumps-rational-global-political-and-economic-policies/

BRER TRUMP BURROWED UP IN HIS WHITE HOUSE BRIAR PATCH          APRIL 2018     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/brer-trump-burrowed-up-in-his-white-house-briar-patch/

TRUMP WON!  HILLARY LOST!     JANUARY 2017     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/trump-won-hillary-lost/

SAY IT AIN’T SO JOE: I’M AFRAID IT IS KID, TRUMP WILL BE PRESIDENT OF THE US     NOVEMBER 2016     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/say-it-aint-so-joe-why-jill-stein-should-be-elected-president-of-the-us/ 

SO YOU’RE THINKING OF VOTING FOR TRUMP     SEPTEMBER 2016     https://blog.effectivelearning.net/so-youre-thinking-of-voting-for-trump/

 

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-GAMER in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system–relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course knowledge was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157€“167

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

RJS ATHLETIC, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIC VITA

 

VITA last update May 19, 2024

Born Richard Coston Stapleton November 3, 1940, Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf Coast, United States. Legally changed middle name to John in 1978

Origin of genes according to ancestry.com: Scotland, 53%; England & Northwestern Europe, 30%; Wales, 11%; Ireland, 4%; Norway, 2%

Reared in Wolfforth, Texas ten miles southwest of Lubbock on the South Plains in Northwest Texas, 1941-1963

Academic career at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, fifty-three miles northwest of Savannah, on the Atlantic Coast, 1970-2005

In the interests of full disclosure, here is a video created by the Statesboro Herald  showing what look like now (February 19, 2020) in context with members of Southeast Georgia Scottish Heritage Society carrying in the haggis at 17th annual Robert Burns Supper at Forrest Heights Country Club

ATHLETICS

RJS is Number 37 second row from bottom fourth from left in above picture. Head Coach Joe Moring is on the right. Coach in football, basketball, and track 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, by far best coach ever had in any sport at any level. Coach Jerry Helmer is on the left, second best coach ever had, and best teacher had at Frenship. Taught English and plane geometry in high school. Made A’s in both courses, two out of three A’s made at Frenship in twelve years. Made an A in Dr. Jim Mallard’s physics course in high school senior year taken with five senior male students. Won Gold Medal in physics in Regional Science Fair for individual class project, “Simple Means of Producing and Measuring Electricity”

All-district four years in high school basketball, Frenship High School, Wolfforth, Texas, 1953-1958, honorable mention all-state one year, all-tournament five tournaments, every tournament played in 

All-district, all-regional, second leading scorer in Class A high school football on South Plains of Texas at age 17, 1958 

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the US in 1953 at age 13, 5’3″ tall, 110 pounds  

Played basketball on scholarship two years, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, 1958-1959. Averaged 18 points a game on freshman team. Only holdover from freshman team. May or may not have made the starting lineup as a sophomore on the varsity team. Had never sat on the bench in any sport at any level. Had serious problems freshman year with twisted ankles and blisters causing chronic pain during basketball season, exacerbated by skeletal birth defects. Threw in towel as a competitive athlete before the first varsity basketball game sophomore year. Coaches understood and continued full scholarship remainder of fall semester

Had spinal fusion back surgery between sophomore and junior years in high school. Bone was slipping out of spinal column in lower back, caused by birth defect, exacerbated by spinal scoliosis, S curve from front and C curve from side. Would have been paralyzed from waist down rest of life had bone fully slipped out. Dr. Herbert E. Hipps (actual name of orthopedic surgeon) in Waco, Texas, “The best bone man in Texas” at the time, according to Dr. Olan Key, family doctor in Lubbock, Texas, cut bone off top of right hip, ground it up, and pasted it from tail bone up to fifth lumbar vertebra. Stayed in bed in body cast three months during summer of 1956, lying on stomach ninety percent of time. It worked. The bone fused. Dr. Hipps said, “It will be like driving a Model T instead of a Cadillac but it will get you there,” and so it has. Had no back pain after surgery

Was a water boy junior year during football season wearing a back brace as part of recovery process. Wore a back brace playing basketball junior year. Got rid of back brace later in spring for good. Had no restrictions but chronic heavy lifting, over fifty pounds. Did not consider playing college football because of back condition and size, 5’10” and 150 pounds at the time. Stiff lower back exacerbated ankle and blister problems playing college basketball. Had to run faster, jump higher, and stop and cut quicker in this league playing against taller and more talented competitors

Was an accurate passer in football and shooter in basketball. Completed about 70 percent of passes playing football. Cannot remember throwing an interception. Kicked extra points, punted, and kicked off. Made about 50 percent of shots in basketball as point guard. Rarely missed a free throw

Was quarterback and team captain of undefeated football team in the 8th grade, playing against Class A junior high teams in towns on the South Plains. Won eleven out of eleven games. Threw touchdown pass on first play of first game of season

BUSINESS

Worked in family businesses during public school and college years, Stapleton Lumber Company and Spear-X Ranch. Involved in lumber and hardware retailing, construction, natural gas pipeline installation and service, submersible water pump sales and service, farming, ranching, and banking at Wolfforth, Hamilton, Eastland, and Dumas, Texas, all started from scratch by parents with no inherited money. Did odd jobs building houses at age 8. Did a little of all of it through the years. Worked installing the fixtures in the first bank of the town started by father, the Wolfforth State Bank.  Most satisfying task working for parents was riding a horse and roping a calf on the ranch at Eastland

Tired of being told what to do by austere hard-working intelligent successful parents, at age 21 after graduating with undergraduate degree in economics from Texas Tech in May of 1962, resisted parental entreaties cajoling working in family businesses indefinitely, causing family conflict and turmoil. Wanted to make own mark in world

Started and managed the WOLFFORTH-FRENSHIP GAZETTE, a weekly newspaper, and Rick Stapleton Agency, a fire and casualty insurance, real estate, and mortgage loan agency, 1963-1965, with funds saved working in the summer of 1962 as an office manager for Pioneer Brick and Tile Company in Dallas and working in the fall of 1962 for the Frenship Co-op Association weighing cotton at a gin

Made a profit of about $5,000 per year, about $30,000 in 2024 dollars, as a diversified small business entrepreneur at Wolfforth, not bad compared to most small business start-ups at the time, but opportunities seemed limited in small rural hometown, so sold out in early 1965, planning to work for a large corporation and experience more of world. A farmer and community leader, Milton Kirksey, father of one of best friends, who had a degree from Texas Tech, on the board of the Frenship School System and the Frenship Co-op Association, in Wolfforth, a good Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette advertiser and supporter, said, “Aren’t you a little young to be retiring”

Still single at 25 wanted to experience what life was like on other side of fence

Forced to accept two one thousand dollar loans from parents in this period, paid back within two years. Paid own way financially after age 21 with no subsidies from parents. Inherited no family money until after parents died in eighties and nineties

Worked seven months in the winter, spring, and summer of 1965 for Litton Industries, an international corporation with a defense industry electronics assembly plant in Lubbock, ten miles from Wolfforth, with 300 or so employees, mostly women who soldered resistors, diodes, capacitors, and wires into circuit boards that went into military guidance and control systems, as a production control dispatcher and expediter. Fired for being “too sensitive to the needs of people for production control work.” Told in exit interview,”You don’t move fast enough from job to job” and “You ought to get into something like personnel.”

Fired in the afternoon after playing an engineer, the best chess player in the plant, up to that time, to a draw in a chess game at lunch in the plant cafeteria, in the presence of most of the male managers and engineers in the plant who became aware of the event

Started work on MBA degree at Texas Tech in Lubbock in the fall 1965

Hired as a management teaching assistant while working on MBA. Liked teaching and received good student reviews. Was offered a part-time instructor of economics position after finishing the MBA and went into the Texas Tech business doctoral program. Had not thought about becoming a professor before starting MBA. Accidental or inevitable it happened. Spent next 39 years as a professor. Went by like “the flash of a firefly in the night” as Chief Crowfoot said about life in general

Owned and operated a forty-acre cattle farm in the Sink Hole District of Bulloch County, GA, 1971-1977 as a weekend hobby business while a professor at Georgia Southern. Got tired of feeding and taking care of a bull, cows, and calves, and fixing fences. Sold farm and moved back to town

Founder and Owner, Effective Learning Publications, 1979-present; invented, wrote, produced, and marketed DE-GAMING TEACHING AND LEARNING and the CLASSROOM DE-GAMER to approximately 400 school systems in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Turkey, Greece, Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and India. DE-GAMING TEACHING AND LEARNING has been updated, re-titled, and re-published as BORN TO LEARN

Founded with wife Deborah Coleman Stapleton Stapleton Learning Company and Effective Learning Company in 2005. Still open for business

A door with the sign " business " written on it.

 

32 East Main Street
Statesboro, Georgia 30459

website:  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/richard.stapleton.397

Published four books under Effective Learning Publications imprint after retiring from Georgia SouthernBusiness Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds; Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare; Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning; and As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases

Was efficient, effective, and productive doing business if Adult and Free Child ego states could be cathected in democratic Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK organizational systems. Was not efficient, effective, or competitive if required to cathect Adapted Child ego states in I’m OK—You’re less OK Game-infested hierarchical Parent->Child top-down organizational systems doing repetitive mundane tasks dictated by supposed superiors

Such systems caused withdrawal into Free Child ego state downtime observing, analyzing, and manipulating flow of three-dimensional technicolor objects and situations appearing in mind in brain, caused by auditory and visual episodic eidetic memory

Was good team player only if was team leader. Was a loner most of time, unable to adapt group imago and flex personality enough to conform satisfactorily over time to ego state, Game, and script requirements of most individuals in ordinary life and leaders and members in most groups and organizations. Was incorrigible free-thinker

ACADEMICS

CURRICULUM CONTRIBUTIONS AT GS PARKER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Wrote the first syllabus for the computer-based Management Information Systems course at Georgia Southern and supervised its incorporation into the curriculum and course catalog in 1971.  Was the only teacher of MIS in the business school from 1971-1978 laying the groundwork for MIS study at Georgia Southern

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

Was the only operations management (originally called production management) teacher in the Georgia Southern business school from 1970-1978.  Taught Production I and added Production II to the curriculum, which led to the creation of the operations management emphasis area in the College of Business Administration

BUSINESS POLICY

Added the capstone case method Business Policy course to the undergraduate core curriculum for all majors in the business school in 1971, enabling the Georgia Southern business school in 1974 to achieve accreditation by the AACSB, the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, the highest academic accrediting association in the business field in the United States.  Was the only teacher of Business Policy using the case method in the undergraduate business curriculum at Georgia Southern during 1970-2005, teaching approximately four case method Business Policy courses per year

SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Taught all but three small business management courses offered by the business school at Georgia Southern during 1970-2005, at least one per year, all with the case method

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Founded the teaching of entrepreneurship at Georgia Southern.  Wrote the syllabus for the first entrepreneurship course in 1987.  Taught most entrepreneurship courses offered during 1987-2005, all with the case method

SMALL BUSINESS INSTITUTE

Supervised approximately 350 Small Business Institute student teams consulting with and writing cases about area small businesses during 1974-2005.  Served as the Small Business Institute Director during 1987-2005.  Supervised students producing approximately ten SBI cases per year funded by the US Small Business Administration at $500 per case during 1974-1992, at which time the SBA discontinued funding the national SBI program because of decisions of the Clinton Administration in their program led by vice president Al Gore to balance the USian federal budget, for the first and only time in recent memory, probably not a good idea in the case of the SBI program, regardless of balancing the USian federal budget, since those SBI cases were also borrowers of money guaranteed or directly loaned by the Small Business Administration, and the student consulting and recommendations in some cases helped them pay their loans back, making the $500 per SBI case outlay a good investment by the Federal government, probably generating more Federal revenue than it cost, possibly the only such investment the Federal government ever made. Served as the SBI Director at Georgia Southern from 1992-2005  without SBA funding, still participating in National Small Business Institute Director’s Association programs  

RUNNER-UP NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Supervised Hartie Cliatt, Reagie Eakin, and Scott Johnson, a Georgia Southern Small Business Institute team, runner-up winners of the National 1992 Case of the Year case research and writing contest conducted by the US Small Business Administration, competing with some 2,000 undergraduate SBI teams at some 500 Small Business Institutes at colleges and universities throughout the US.  The team was recognized and presented undergraduate Runner-Up in the Nation awards by Erskine Bowles, national SBA Director, at the 1992 Annual Small Business Week luncheon, Washington, D.C.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP/SMALL BUSINESS EMPHASIS AREA

Founded the Entrepreneurship/Small Business (E/SB) emphasis area at Georgia Southern in 1987, now known as the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership.  Developed the E/SB area and taught all courses required for the emphasis from 1987 to 2001, three courses per year, all with the case method

E/SB BOARD OF ADVISORS, ANNUAL MEETING, AND CASE OF THE YEAR CONTEST

Started an advisory board for the E/SB emphasis area in 1996 composed of area entrepreneurs, retired executives, and former students who owned and operated small businesses.  Conducted an Annual Meeting in the spring of the year at which E/SB advisory board members interacted with students and judged the Small Business Institute Case of the Year contest.  First, Second, and Third place winners were selected from among ten or so cases developed in the Spring Applied Small Business course by students in teams of three members

THE BUSINESS PLAN

Was instrumental as a member of the COBA (College of Business Administration) Task Force 2000 committee set up by Dean Carl Gooding in 1996 in which the committee established a new course The Business Plan to be taught by faculty in all departments, a one-hour course that was required for all undergraduate business students at Georgia Southern, along with two other new innovative one-hour courses, requiring students to analytically and creatively think using their Adult and Free Child ego states. The business plan course required undergraduate students of all majors in small groups to research and write a plan for a new business. The course provided a unique environment in which students integrated all business functions—accounting, finance, management, marketing, operations management, and management information systems—while developing communication and inter-disciplinary teamwork skills

Taught one or two business plan courses per year for two academic years after the course was added to the required core curriculum and tried to teach the COBA faculty, now the Parker School of Business faculty, how to teach the business plan course by disseminating teaching notes dealing with the course process and discussing the course with faculty members. Unfortunately COBA faculty in specialized disciplines after a few years organized a coup and voted to eliminate the business plan course, and the other two one-hour courses, from the core curriculum for all majors, despite its value according to student feedback, because it was inconvenient for departmental administrators to schedule and stressful for teachers in various disciplines to teach. Most faculty preferred to teach their three-hour courses in their specialized disciplines in their departmentalized wormhole tunnels dispensing standard doctrines and techniques peculiar to their disciplines with their Adult/Critical Parent–>Adapted Child ego state teaching and learning processes (using lecture and telling methods of dispensing information, militaristic row and column classroom layouts, and multiple-choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and solve-the-arithmetic-problem tests), rather than lead and coordinate three one-hour business plan courses in which class members had to use Adult ego states integrating what they had been taught in a team of three or four class members researching and writing a real business plan for a new business that included pro forma income statements and balance sheets using realistic financial data, who had to be graded wholistically using Adult ego states based on overall performance, not graded based on ostensible percentage of course content memorized for so-called objective tests using multiple-choice questions, and the like

Read BORN TO LEARN by RJS for more on how classroom layouts, teaching methods, and testing methods used by teachers of all sorts affect the ego states learners have to use to succeed in teaching and learning processes, showing why most learners are confined to seeing, hearing, reading, and memorizing gossip, dogma, doctrine, and procedures in Parent–>Child learning processes, in which Adult ego state analytical thinking ability and Free Child ego state creative ability on the part of learners are squelched in the learning process, not recognized, graded, and rewarded at all in most teaching and learning processes in most learning venues, including those of families, churches, schools, universities, businesses, political organizations, governments, military units, civic clubs, militias, newspapers, TV networks, movies, etc., in which learners are mostly taught how to remember and obey what their “teachers”–parents, sunday school teachers, preachers, public school teachers, university professors, supervisors, department heads, drill sergeants, admirals, presidents, fascist dictators, actors, comedians, writers, editors, publishers, etc.– tell them or show them. Rarely do they get to look at, analyze, or discuss any kind of raw data

GEORGIA SOUTHERN STUDENT EVALUATIONS

Conducted research and writing during 1990-2000 that resulted in Georgia Southern adding study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide in all departments and schools.  These questions were formally adopted by Georgia Southern in 2000 

Data and analysis showing why these questions should be included on all student evaluation forms and weighted in all faculty evaluations are published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations:  A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades,” by Richard John Stapleton & Gene Murkison (2001), published as the lead article in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of Management Education, published by the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, a national professional association composed of business professors from leading US universities 

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (April 15, 2024) been cited in 89 refereed professional journal articles in several academic disciplines, including 21 citations since 2021, proving the article is still being read and cited as a reference in refereed professional journals

FORMAL EDUCATION

Diploma, Frenship High School, Wolfforth, Texas, 1958
Attended Hardin-Simmons University, 1958-1960, Economics major, Accounting minor
B.S., Economics, Texas Tech University, 1962
M.B.A., Organizational Behavior, Texas Tech University, 1966
Ph.D., Business Administration, Management Science major, Economics minor, Texas Tech University, 1969
CTA, Certified Transactional Analyst, International Transactional Analysis Association, 1978

Undergraduate GPA, 2.79; Masters GPA, 3.4; Doctoral GPA, 3.67

High Pass, Management and Finance doctoral comprehensive exams


TEACHING POSITIONS

Teaching Assistant in Management, Texas Tech University, 1965-1966

Part-time Instructor in Economics, Texas Tech University, 1966-1969

Associate Professor of Management, University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana–Lafayette), 1969-1970

Associate Professor of Management, Georgia Southern College, 1970-1976
Graduate Faculty, Georgia Southern University, 1975-
2005

Professor of Management, Georgia Southern University, 1976-2005

Visiting Professor of Management, Troy State University-Europe, 1982-1983.  Taught systems management in a management master’s degree program offered by Troy State University (now Troy University) in Montgomery, Alabama in the US on US Air Force NATO bases at Incirlik Air Base, Adana, Turkey; Hellinikon Air Base, Athens, Greece; Soesterberg Air Base, Soesterberg, Holland; Hessich Air Base, Hessich, Germany; Aviano Air Base, Aviano, Italy. Courses were composed of interested class members from all ranks of Air Force personnel and their dependents, Department of Defense personnel, and local business people in Greece and Holland. Taught three or four courses each academic quarter. Was the only Troy State professor at each of the sites at any time. Had full autonomy. Had from one to a few informal meetings with the USAF base ESO, Educational Service Officer, each quarter of 1982-83, at each site. Had interesting and satisfying relationships with diverse USian class members and local nationals in very interesting environments. Lived among nationals at all sites in housing similar to that of middle class neighbors arranged and paid for by Troy State UniversityEurope. Had a US security clearance and officer’s club privileges similar to those of US GS-13 civil service employees

Senior Professor, College of Business Administration, now Parker School of Business, Georgia Southern University, 1990-2005

Senior Professor, Georgia Southern University, 2005

SUBJECTS TAUGHT

Economic history, systems management, entrepreneurship, small business, organizational behavior, quantitative methods in business, operations management, management information systems, control, business policy, transactional analysis

Taught Eco 133, American Economic History, two courses per semester, during the fall and spring semesters at Texas Tech University during 1966-1969 as a part-time instructor. Paid way through doctoral program with $3300 salary per academic year as a part-time instructor, while taking a full load of courses each semester working on doctor’s degree in business, majoring in management science, minoring in economics, taking doctoral courses in all business fields

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE

Acting Head, Department of Management, Georgia Southern, 1970-1971
Chairman, Department of Management Self-Study Steering Committee, 1971-1972
Member, Dean’s Search Committee, School of Business, 1971
Chairman, Admissions Committee, AACSB Self-Study, 1972-1973

Member, Athletic Committee, 1971-1973
Member, Library Committee, 1973-1974
Member, Dean’s Search Committee, School of Business, 1974
Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Business, 1974-1976
Chairman, Graduate Program Committee, School of Business, 1974-1976
Chairman, Graduate Curriculum Committee, School of Business, 1974-1976

Chairman, Faculty Evaluation Committee, School of Business, 1976-1978
Chairman, GSC Continuing Education Committee, 1977-1979
Long Range Planning Committee, Department of Management, 1984
Dean’s Search Committee, Division of Industrial Technology, 1984
Library Committee, 1986-1988
Director, Small Business Institute, School of Business, 1986-2005
Member, Tenure and Promotion Committee, School of Business, 1987-1989
Chairman, Tenure and Promotion Committee, Department of Management, 1988-1989
Chairman, Academic Affairs Committee, Department of Management, 1989-1993
Member, Strategic Planning Committee, School of Business, 1990-1992
Chairman, Entrepreneurship/Small Business Committee, School of Business, 1993-2005
Member, COBA Task Force 2000 Planning Committee, 1993-1997
Member, Georgia Southern Institutional Effectiveness Committee, 1993-1998
Member, COBA Governance Committee, 1997-1998
Entrepreneurship/Small Business Emphasis Coordinator, 1997-2005
Member, GSU Judicial Review Board, 1999-2002
Member, COBA Tenure and Promotion Committee, 1999-2001
Member, Dept. of Mgt. Tenure and Promotion Committee, 1999-2001

CREATIVE AND SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

AN ANALYSIS OF RURAL MANPOWER MIGRATION PATTERNS IN THE SOUTH PLAINS REGION OF TEXAS, published in the National Technical Information Service (PB 188048), 1970.  This research was funded by a $6500 grant awarded by the Office of Manpower Policy, Evaluation and Research of the U.S. Department of Labor pursuant to the provisions of the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1964.  Summaries of the dissertation were published in MANPOWER (1970) and MANPOWER RESEARCH PROJECTS (1970), U.S. Department of Labor. The full dissertation is still available free from Texas Tech University by clicking on the title highlighted in blue above

ARTICLES IN JOURNALS AND BOOKS

The Process of Environmental Structuring–A General Perspective,”  THE BUSINESS SYMPOSIUM, Texas Tech University, 1:1, 1969

Terminations:  Lower-Level Dismissals,” PERSONNEL, Vol 48 (May-June, 1971)

When You Have to Say ‘You’re Fired’,” SUPERVISORY MANAGEMENT, Vol 16 (September, 1971)

The Velocity of Youth Mobility,” ATLANTA ECONOMIC REVIEW (March-April, 1973)

Terminations:  Lower-Level Dismissals,” reprinted in PRIMER IN SUPERVISORY MANAGEMENT, by Bernard Keys, McCullough & Fryet, (Dubuque, Iowa:  Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company, 1974)

The Chain of Ego States,” TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS JOURNAL, 8:3, July, 1978

Classroom De-Gamer,” TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS JOURNAL, 9:2, April, 1979

How Managers Influence Superiors:  A Study of Upward Influence Tactics,”  LEADERSHIP ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL, 9, 4, 1988,  with B. Keys, G. Murkison, and L. Dosier

Scripts and Entrepreneurship,” TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS JOURNAL, 20:3, July, 1990, senior author with Gene Murkison

Academic Entrepreneurship:  Using the Case Method to Simulate Competitive Business Markets,” THE ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR TEACHING REVIEW, Vol XIV, Issue IV, 1989-1990, pp 88-104

Scripts and Decisions:  An Empirical Analysis,” JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC STUDIES, 3, (4), 1992, 123-127, senior author with G. Murkison

Scripts and Entrepreneurship,” translated into French and reprinted in ACTUALITES EN ANALYSE TRANSACTIONELLE, 17:66, April 1993, Brussels, Belgium

The Significance of Schemata and Scripts in Entrepreneurship Education and Development,” (1997), senior author with D. Stapleton and G. Murkison, in T.G. Monroy, J. Reichert, F. Hoy, and K. Williams (Eds.), THE ART & SCIENCE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION:  VOLUME IV, pp. 89-104, Akron, Ohio:  The Project for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education

Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis:  A Constructivist Approach” (1998), TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS JOURNAL, 28:2, April, 1998, pp. 157-167, senior author with D. Stapleton

The Formulation of Strategies for Teaching Business Policy or Strategic Management,” (2000), BUSINESS RESEARCH YEARBOOK:  GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES, Volume VII, J. Biberman and A. Alkhafaji, editors, International Academy of Business Disciplines, pp. 928-932, senior author with D. Stapleton.  Saline, Michigan:  McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.

Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations:  A Study of Correlations Between Instructor Excellence, Study Production, Learning Production, and Expected Grades,” lead article, JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT EDUCATION, 25:3, June 2001, pp. 269-291, senior author with G. Murkison. (This article has now been cited as a reference in 89 refereed professional journal articles in several disciplines, 21 since 2021, proving it is still being read and used)

BOOKS

MANAGING CREATIVELY:  ACTION LEARNING IN ACTION (Washington, D.C.:  University Press of America, 1976), 318 pages (sometimes available used at Amazon.com or eBay)

DE-GAMING TEACHING AND LEARNING:  HOW TO MOTIVATE LEARNERS AND INVITE OKness (Statesboro, GA:  Effective Learning Publications, 1979), 132 pages   

THE ENTREPRENEUR:  CONCEPTS AND CASES ON CREATIVITY IN BUSINESS (Lanham, MD and London:  University Press of America, 1985), 520 pages

BUSINESS VOYAGES:  SCRIPTS, SCHEMATA, AND TOOLS FOR DISCOVERING AND CO-CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS WORLDS (Effective Learning Publications, 2008, 2010, 2011), 746 pages

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WAKING UP FROM THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, Amazon.com, Effective Learning Publications, 2013, 234 equivalent pages

BORN TO LEARN:  A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF HUMAN LEARNING, Effective Learning Publications, 2016, 253 pages

AS THE ROOSTER CROWS EARTHIAN OKness INCREASES, Effective Learning Publications, 2021, Amazon.com, 340 pages

MONOGRAPHS

EXPLORATIONS IN LEARNING LEADER’S GUIDE (Statesboro, GA:  Effective Learning Systems, 1980).  Contains detailed instructions for conducting EXPLORATIONS IN LEARNING seminars and using the Classroom De-Gamer

EXPLORATIONS IN LEARNING:  AN INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (Statesboro, GA:  Effective Learning Systems, 1981).  Demonstrates how to apply the de-gaming process to organizations in general

 BUSINESS VOYAGES:  MENTAL MAPS, SCRIPTS, SCHEMATA, AND TOOLS FOR FINDING AND CO-CONSTRUCTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS WORLDS (1998), Class Notes, Georgia Southern University, used in The Business Plan course, 88 pages

GEORGIA SOUTHERN ENTREPRENEURSHIP:  ACTIVITIES, CONTRIBUTORS, CASES (Reprinted 4 times, originally printed in year 2000), Class Notes, Georgia Southern University and Georgia Southern COBA Office of Publications and Faculty Research Services.  Contains cases about businesses owned and operated by ex-COBA entrepreneurship students written by students in the Applied Small Business course during 1999-2004, an overview of the E/SB program, and feedback from ex-COBA entrepreneurship students 1972-1999

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLES

The Classroom De-Gamer,” RESEARCH IN EDUCATION, November, 1978, School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Implications of Business Prospectuses Developed by Small Business Students,” PROCEEDINGS of the 1984 Southern Management Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 1984

Causes of Unsuccessful Entrepreneurship,” (abstract), ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH, Fourth Annual Conference on Organizational Development and Policy, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky, Spring, 1986

A Total Systems Approach to Simulating Free Enterprise in a Small Business Course in a Business School,”  published in PROCEEDINGS of the 1987 National Meeting, Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, Hilton Head, SC, March, 1987

Entrepreneurial Learning and Small Business Failure Rates, ” with G. Murkison, PROCEEDINGS of the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Management Science, October, 1988

What is Most Important:  Entrepreneurial Teaching or Entrepreneurial Unlearning,” (abstract), JOURNAL OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, Vol IV, No. 1, Fall, 1988

Entrepreneurship, Decisions, and Scripts,” with G. Murkison, PROCEEDINGS of the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Region of the Decision Sciences Institute, February, 1989

Entrepreneurial Autonomy and Success,”  PROCEEDINGS of the 1989 Annual Meeting of the Southeast Chapter of The Institute of Management Science, Columbia, SC

Scripts and Decisions,” with G. Murkison, (abstract), bulletin of the National Meeting of the Operations Research Society of America and The Institute of Management Science, New York, October, 1989

The Value of Entrepreneurial Experience:  What Entrepreneurs Learn When they Start and Operate Businesses,” PROCEEDINGS of the 1990 Annual Meeting of the Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Management Science, Myrtle Beach, SC, with G. Murkison

Game-Freer Teaching and Learning:  How to Increase Productivity in Schools by Decreasing Psychological Games,” The Stamford Papers:  Selections from the 29th Annual ITAA Conference, Bruce R. Loria, Editor, Stamford, Connecticut, October, 1991, pp. 250-267

Feedback Regarding the Use of a Game-Free Case Method Process to Educate General Management and Entrepreneurship Students,” (1993) with G. Murkison and D. Stapleton, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the Institute of Management Science, October, 1993, Myrtle Beach, SC

The Case Method, Business Success, and Masculinity,” with G. Murkison and D. Stapleton, 1994 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the Institute of Management Science, October, Myrtle Beach, SC

Randomly Selecting Participants to Lead case Method Discussions:  Problems and Pitfalls in Performance Evaluation,” (1996), with D. Stapleton, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 32nd ANNUAL MEETING, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Myrtle Beach, pp. 117-119

The Selection and Assessment of Teaching Methods in Business Schools (1997), with G. Murkison and D. Stapleton, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 33rd ANNUAL MEETING, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Myrtle Beach, pp. 107-109

The Student Evaluation of Teaching Process Revisited,” (1997), with B. Price, C. Randall, and G. Murkison, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 33rd ANNUAL MEETING, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Myrtle Beach, 178-180

The Scripting of Family Businesses,” (1999), with D. Stapleton, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 34TH ANNUAL MEETING, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, CD-ROM,  October, Myrtle Beach

In Search of a Better Mousetrap:  Can a Composite Profile Accurately Evaluate Teaching Effectiveness?” C. Randall, B. Price, L. Tudor, and R. Stapleton (1999) PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL DECISION SCIENCE INSTITUTE, New Orleans, November, pp. 266-268

What Do Entrepreneurship Teachers and Students Know?” (2000), senior author with D. Stapleton, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Allied Business Disciplines Association, Ft. Myers, FL, CD-ROM November 2000

An Investigation of Script Decisions in the Creating, Operating, and Disposing of Family Businesses,” (2001), senior author with D. Stapleton, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ANNUAL USABE/SBIDA JOINT NATIONAL CONFERENCE, CD-ROM, February, Orlando, FL

Basic Policies Affecting the Longevity of Family Businesses,” (2001), senior author with D. Stapleton, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 36TH ANNUAL MEETING, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, CD-ROM, October, Myrtle Beach, SC

Attitudes of Family Business Owners Regarding Policies for Transferring the Wealth of Family Businesses,” with D. C. Stapleton, Annual Meeting of the Small Business Institute Director’s Association (SBIDA), San Diego, CA, February, 2002

“What is Good Business Teaching,” with D. C. Stapleton, Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, October 2002, Myrtle Beach, SC

“The Nature of SBI Learning,” with D. C. Stapleton, Annual Meeting of the Small Business Institute Director’s Association (SBIDA), New Orleans, LA, February 2003

“The Morality of University Grading,” with D. C. Stapleton, Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and The Management Sciences, CD-ROM, October 2003, Myrtle Beach, SC

“Factors in Family Business Planning,” with Deborah. C. Stapleton and Meredith Tomlinson, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Small Business Institute Director’s Association, Clearwater Beach, FL, February 2004 

“Factors in Family Business Planning” was reprinted in the 1 April 2004 edition of the SBANC Newsletter, the online newsletter of the Small Business Advancement National Center, Don B. Bradley, editor, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, http://sbaer.uca.edu/ and in The Script, Vol. 34, No. 6, the newsletter of the International Transactional Analysis Association, August 2004

“Mixing Business and Family,” with Deborah C. Stapleton, Proceedings of the 2004 Annual Meeting of SEInforms, Myrtle Beach, SC, October 2004

CASES

The Dig-Deep Mining Company,” with Grady L. Allen, INTERCOLLEGIATE CASE CLEARING HOUSE, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, 1971

Tesk:  The Upside-Down Desk,” INTERCOLLEGIATE CASE CLEARING HOUSE, Harvard Business School, November, 1971

Model Cities Program,”  ICCH, August, 1972

Regency Estates,” ICCH, September, 1972

Graham Repair Shop,” ICCH, January, 1973

Igo and Green,” ICCH, January, 1973

Berry’s Home Builders,” ICCH, January, 1973

Mitchell Foods,” ICCH, January, 1973

David Handlen and Frito-Lay,” ICCH, January, 1973

T.J. Morris Company (A),” with Arthur G. Butler, Jr., ICCH, November, 1974; “T.J. Morris Company (B),” with Arthur G. Butler, Jr., ICCH, November, 1974

Business Skylab Conference,”  ICCH, July, 1976

Charles N. Aronson,” a 163-page longitudinal case showing the development of a highly successful entrepreneur from ages 14-59, Harvard Business School Case Services, June, 1982

NEWSPAPER AND INTERNET ARTICLES

Entrepreneurs Face Many Challenges When Starting a Small Business,” Savannah Morning News, Business Exchange, July 5, 1998, p. 2D

Is Your Business Plan a Plan or Is It a Script?” Savannah Morning News, November 21, 1999, p. 4D

Newspapering Business Has Changed with the Times,” Savannah Morning News, August 26, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 11

Microsoft Uses Its Clout to Build Its Market, Keep It,” Savannah Morning News, September 9, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 7

Attacks also Assaults on Global Business,” Savannah Morning News, September 23, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 7

Economic Development, Tariffs, and Trade Wars,” Savannah Morning News, October 21, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 6

Making Money in America Not as Easy as One Thinks,” Savannah Morning News, November 4, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 6

“Globalization Creates Ethical Dilemmas,” Savannah Morning News, December 30, 2001, The Business Exchange, p. 5

Even in Information Age, Everything You Read is not Whole Truth,” Savannah Morning News, January 27, 2002, The Business Exchange, p 6.

Difficult to Gauge Scoring in the Big Game,” Super Business, Savannah Morning News, Februrary 24, 2002, p. 8

Steel and Other Tariffs Show the Customer is Not Yet King”, Savannah Morning News, March 24, 2002, The Business Exchange, p. 8

Living with the CEO Disease,” Savannah Morning News, April 21, 2002, The Business Exchange, p. 5

“Today’s Stock Market:  How Safe,” Statesboro Herald, February 2, 2004

“Scripting in Family Business Planning,” with Deborah C. Stapleton and Meredith A. Tomlinson, feature article in SBANC Newsletter, online newsletter of the Small Business Advancement National Center, Don B. Bradley, editor, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, http://.sbaer.uca.edu, April 2004

“Scripting in Family Business Planning,” with Deborah C. Stapleton and Meredith A. Tomlinson, The Script, International Transactional Analysis Association, Vol. 34. No. 6, August 2004

“Scripting in Family Business Planning,” with Deborah C. Stapleton and Meredith A. Tomlinson, feature article in SBANC Newsletter, online newsletter of the Small Business Advancement National Center, Don B. Bradley, editor, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, http://.sbaer.uca.edu, February 2005

“Market will determine if you’ve got goods,” Savannah Morning News, Business Innovation Section, page 01, June 29, 2019

Internet Journals, 2005-

Too many to list, primarily in the Intrepid Report  and the Effective Learning Report. For a partial listing go to https://blog.effectivelearning.net/

PROFESSIONAL MEETING PARTICIPATION

New Manpower Researcher’s Conference, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., September, 1970, presented grant/doctoral dissertation findings, “An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas”

Southwestern Management Association Meeting, 1970; presented a paper “In Pursuit of Equilibrium,” Dallas, Texas

Southern Management Association Meeting, New Orleans, 1973; discussed a paper “Experiences with Policies Regarding Employees on Drugs of Twenty Large New Orleans-Area Firms,” by Gerald Langdon

 Trained and consulted with the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, NC, during monthly weekend training sessions, 1975-1977.  Participated in 24 training sessions of approximately 16 hours each at the Southeast Institute, co-conducting 12 of the sessions

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute (of Chapel Hill), Atlanta, GA, March, 1977; conducted a three-day organizational development workshop and presented a paper “The Chain of Command Re-visited”

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute, Atlanta, GA, 1978; conducted a workshop and presented a paper “De-Gaming the Classroom”

 Southern Management Association Meeting, November, 1978, New Orleans; served as Program Chairman of the Policy and Organization Planning area; chaired Session I of Policy and Organizational Planning on the program

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute, Washington, D.C., March, 1980; conducted a workshop and presented a paper “De-Gaming the Organization”

 Southern Management Association Meeting, November, 1980, New Orleans; served as Chairman of the Public Sector section of the program

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute, Nashville, TN, March, 1981, conducted a workshop, “Elements of Entrepreneurship”

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute, Raleigh, NC, March, 1982; conducted a workshop and presented a paper, “An Analysis of Business Fantasies”

 First Annual Conference on Classroom Communication, Georgia Southern College, 1984, presented a paper, “Establishing Relevant Oral Communications Among Students in Classrooms”

 Southern Management Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 1984, “Implications of Business Prospectuses Developed by Small Business Students”

 Spring Conference of the Southeast Institute, “Relevant Communications in Classrooms through TA,” March, 1985, Myrtle Beach, SC

 Fourth Annual Organizational Development Conference, Center for Continuing Studies, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, May, 1986, “Causes of Unsuccessful Entrepreneurship”

 1987 Annual Meeting of ABSEL, Hilton Head, SC, presented “A Total Systems Approach to Simulating Free Enterprise in a Small Business Course in a Business School”

 Co-conducted two 2-hour Organizational Development sessions and presented a paper, “Positive Organizational Ego State Trips in the Land of Harkaval,” at the International Transactional Analysis Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, August, 1987

Presented a plenary session program entitled “Entrepreneurial Unlearning” at the Region IV Small Business Institute Director’s Association Annual Conference, Savannah, GA, April, 1988

Presented “Entrepreneurial Learning and Small Business Failure Rates,” 24th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Chapter of The Institute Of Management Science, Myrtle Beach, October, 1988

Presented “What is Most Important?  Entrepreneurial Teaching or Entrepreneurial Unlearning” at the  annual meeting of the Association for Private Enterprise Education, Cleveland, Ohio, September, 1988

Presented “Entrepreneurship, Decisions, and Scripts,” Annual Meeting of the Southeast Region of the Decision Sciences Institute, Charleston, South Carolina, February, 1989

Described the activities of the  Georgia Southern Small Business Institute to the Southeast Georgia Small Business Consortium, May 25, 1989

Conducted two Catalyst Sessions at the 1989 Annual Meeting of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, Columbia, MO, June, 1989, demonstrating how to use the Classroom De-Gamer teaching organizational behavior

Attended U.S. Department of Commerce Export Conference for Small Business, Savannah, GA, January 16, 1991

Presented material on how to direct a Small Business Institute and conduct an SBI case course to the State of Georgia Small Business Institute Director’s Conference sponsored by the Small Business Administration, Atlanta, August, 1992

 Attended all Small Business Institute Director’s Association (SBIDA) Region IV meetings, 1987-1992

Attended National SBIDA Conference, San Antonio, TX, 1992

Attended National SBIDA Conference, San Diego, CA, 1993

Attended National Small Business Week luncheon, Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C., June, 1993

Attended National SBIDA Training Conference, Small Business Advancement National Center, Little Rock, Ark., August, 1993

Participated with 12th Annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation, Washington, D.C., September, 1993

 Participated with 13th Annual U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation, Washington, D. C., September 1994

 Attended National SBIDA Conference, Nashville, TN, 1994

 Attended International Transactional Analysis Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 1995

 Attended International Transactional Analysis Association Annual Meeting, Calgary, Canada, August 1996

Refereed presentation, “Constructivism in the Classroom,” (1998) 2nd Major International Transactional Analysis Conference, Irchel University, Zurich, Switzerland, August 1998

Attended International Transactional Analysis Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 1999

Attended Annual Meeting of International Alliance of  Business Disciplines (AIBD) Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, Spring 2000

Presented “Managing Transactions in the Classroom,” with D. Stapleton, and served on two examining committees for certified member oral examinations, at the Annual Meeting of the International Transactional Analysis Association, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 2000

Presented “De-Gaming Teaching and Learning,” with D.C. Stapleton, 2002 World Transactional Analysis Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 2002

Served as program and session chair and refereed cases and articles in various years for meetings of the Southern Management Association, the Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, the North America Case Research Association, and the Small Business Institute Director’s Association

GRANTS

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Manpower Policy, Evaluation, and Research, 1968, An Analysis of Rural Manpower Migration Patterns in the South Plains Region of Texas, received $6,500 to research and write doctoral dissertation

Georgia Southern College, 1973, received $1,000 in funding for case research

 Georgia Southern College, 1987, received $1,900 in funding for a national study of entrepreneurial startups, with G. Murkison

 Georgia Southern College, 1989, received a $600 travel grant to attend the 1989 Annual Meeting of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society

 Spring 1989 wrote a grant proposal to Georgia Power Company for computer and laser-disc hardware and software for an entrepreneurial laboratory at GSU which was funded for $13,000

 Georgia Southern University, Spring, 1991, received $600 for “A Longitudinal Study of GSU Management Graduates,” with G. Murkison

 During 1987-1994 supervised the development of 96 Small Business Institute cases for the Small Business Administration, generating $48,000 in funding

 CONSULTING

Jones and Hill Insurance, Savannah, March-April, 1976, Organizational Development

Zetterower-Oliff Realty, Statesboro, July, 1976, Organizational Development

Department of Biology, OD, May, 1977

Brooks Instruments, Statesboro, Georgia, a Division of Emerson Electric, Organizational Development teaching and consulting, September, 1977. This program lasted five years, involving teaching transactional analysis to some three hundred employees from all areas and levels of a plant producing and selling meters and valves in international markets. Conducted Game-free, I’m OK—You’re OK, Adult-Adult, democratic intermittent meetings with groups of ten or so employees from relevant areas and levels of the plant discussing interrelated problems and issues on an as needed basis.

Brooks Instruments, Organizational Development, October, 1977

Brooks Instruments, OD, November, 1977

Steps in Starting a Small Business,” conference at Sea Island Bank, Statesboro, November, 1977

Adventures in Attitudes,” DeSota-Hilton Hotel, Savannah, February, 1978. A three-day goal-setting and communications conference for middle and upper level management.  Sixteen people attended representing organizations such as Piggly-Wiggly Southern, Ft. Stewart, Vidalia Hospital, Oxford Industries, and the Savannah WMCA

Transactional Analysis for Educators,” workshop presented to the Georgia Association of Adult Educators at their annual meeting, Jekyll Island, GA, March, 1978

Adventures in Attitudes,” Hinesville, GA, August, 1978; a three-day goal-setting workshop for the senior-level civilian management of Ft. Stewart

Adventures in Attitudes,” Hinesville, GA, September, 1978; a three-day workshop for the middle-level civilian management of Ft. Stewart

How to Start a Small Business,” short course taught through the Georgia Southern Small Business Development Center, GSC, November, 1978

Adventures in Attitudes,” Continuing Education, GSC, Winter, 1979

Explorations in Learning,” Continuing Education, GSC, Spring, 1979

Brooks Instruments, OD, July, 1979

How to Start a Small Business,” Small Business Development Center, GSC, Spring, 1979

Explorations in Learning,” Continuing Education, GSC, Fall, 1979

Candler Hospital, Savannah, Spring, 1980, Organizational Development

Brooks Instruments, Organizational Development, January-April, 1980

Cullman City Schools, Cullman, Alabama, August, 1980; a two-day workshop, “Explorations in Learning”

Landmark Realty, Statesboro, GA, Organizational Development, Spring, 1986

Strategic Planning in Small Business,” 2nd South Carolina Minority Business Networking Conference, Orangeburg, SC, November, 1989

Supervised approximately 350 student teams consulting with area small businesses after 1974 through the Georgia Southern Small Business Institute program

Taught two business plan short courses sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center, Chamber of Commerce building, Statesboro,  Spring 2000

Assisted the Chamber of Commerce in a study of past Chamber of Commerce Directors in Statesboro and Bulloch County after the inception of the Chamber of Commerce, Spring 2000

Taught accounting and financial professionals how to construct business plans, Accounting Seminar for Financial Professionals, Continuing Education, Brunswick and Savannah, May 2001

HONORARY AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Sigma Iota Epsilon, Honorary Management Fraternity.

Omicron Delta Epsilon, Honorary Economics Fraternity

Beta Gamma Sigma, Honorary Business Fraternity

SEInforms, Southeastern Chapter of the Institute for Information Systems and Management Science

Certified Member, Education and Organizations, International Transactional Analysis Association

Small Business Institute Director’s Association

Organizational Behavior Teaching Society

Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce

VARIOUS HAPPENINGS

Passed State of Texas Real Estate Broker’s License Exam first time with no experience, Austin, Texas, 1963

Passed State of Texas Fire and Casualty Insurance License Exam first time with no experience, Austin, Texas, 1963

Founding President, Graduate Students Society, Texas Tech University, 1969

High Pass, Management and Finance doctoral comprehensive exams, Texas Tech University, 1969

Passed comprehensive exams, International Transactional Analysis Association, 1977, as a certified transactional analyst

Football statistician and basketball shot-clock keeper, Sports Information Department, Georgia Southern, 1985-1989

 Member, Board of Directors, Georgia Southern Faculty Club, 1990-1991

Member, 1906 Society, Georgia Southern University, 1990-

Writer/Editor, GSU Entrepreneurship News, 1991-1997

Associate Editor, Southern Business Review, 1974-1986

 Editorial Board Member, Transactional Analysis Journal. 1993-1997

 Editorial Board Member, Journal of Small Business Strategy, 1994-1996

Editorial Board Member, TAJnet, (http://www.tajnet.org/) an internet journal published by the International Transactional Analysis Association presenting articles to readers in medical, consulting, organizational, and educational fields worldwide, 1998-2002

Listed in Outstanding Educators of America, Personalities in the South, and Contemporary Authors

Member, Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity, Texas Tech, 1960-1962

Member, Scottish Heritage Society of Southeast Georgia, 2004-

Member and Director, Georgia Southern Retired Faculty Association, 2016-

Published scores of Internet articles from 2005-present, most still accessible using Google or any search engine.

SCORE MENTOR, US Small Business Administration, pro bono mentoring of entrepreneurs, 2018-2020

Member, Board of Advisors, Business Innovation Group, Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, Parker College of Business, Georgia Southern University, 2016-

Founder & Moderator, The Ogeechee Economic Forum, Effective Learning Company, Statesboro, Georgia, United States, 2019-

Founder, Owner, Writer, Editor, and Publisher, Effective Learning Report, an internet journal, 2016- . at https://blog.effectivelearning.net/

Writer, Editor, and Publisher, The Earthian, an Internet journal, in the Effective Learning Report, 2018- . Now April 15, 2024 in its 43rd edition, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/

 

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-GAMER in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

 

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system–relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course knowledge was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard business school case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.   

No class member was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157-167.

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-GAMER in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system-relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received-A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s-were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course knowledge was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK-You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK-You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157€”167

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

EARTHIAN HUMAN HISTORY HINGES ON THE USIAN 2024 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

By Richard John Stapleton

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.

The biggest problem facing USians right now is the upcoming 2024 presidential election, six months away.

If Trump wins most likely his first step will be to pardon himself of all his crimes and consider himself a de facto fascist dictator of the USian government for life.

Probably his next step will be to put his cronies and lackeys in positions of authority in executive branches of the US government as soon as possible.

The next steps will entail trying to keep poor immigrants out of the US and changing as many USian government policies as possible to further entrench and solidify idiosyncratic beliefs, aims, wishes, hungers, and desires of Trump’s far right MAGA Christian nationalist white supremacist fascist supporters, such as eliminating the legal right of women to control their own bodies with abortions and the legal right of all USians to identify themselves sexually as they were naturally caused to sexually function by accidental and inevitable concatenations of cause-effect chains.  

Next could come attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and other policies and programs considered evil by Trump’s supporters, mostly things considered socialistic, considered evil despite socialism advocating humans being kind to everyone, trying to create policies and laws that will increase the perceived hegemony of members of authoritarian Christian denominations and the actual hegemony of members of the authoritarian capitalistic USian deep state.

Other steps would likely be trying to cut taxes for the rich even more, cut government spending for social programs, increase military spending, ignore the federal debt and exploding yearly deficit, eliminate student loans, do nothing about credit card interest and debt, do nothing to rationally regulate health care and health insurance, weaken or eliminate environmental laws, increase nuclear weapons proliferation, reduce nuclear weapons treaties, and create transactional business deals with the leaders of Israel, Russia, Ukraine, China and various other countries around Spaceship Earth.

Then there will be the matter of dealing with the backlash the above could cause, possibly World War III, or a civil war of sorts within the US.

There will be plenty of narcissistic psychological Games for Trump and his cronies, lackeys, and knaves to play to get strokes and attention if they get in power, persecuting, rescuing, and victimizing humans on a drama triangle ad nauseam, not only inside the US but around Spaceship Earth. Rest assured they will be in your nightly news every day.  

There is even the possibility Trump and his cronies, lackeys, and knaves will try to create concentration camps in the US to confine or do worse to USians who oppose MAGA policies and actions, clamping down with an iron fist, like Trump’s fuhrer hero Hitler did.

Trump’s cronies, lackeys, and knaves will have little respect for the US Constitution and the USian rule of law as they will have proved merely by supporting and voting for Trump again given the irrefutable visual and auditory evidence against him in public media showing he tried to overthrow USian constitutional government with lies and intimidation about the 2020 election being stolen from him and by inciting an insurrection January 6, 2021 in the USian Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

One of the most depressing side effects of this Trumpian-USian affair is Earthian humans learning how inefficient and ineffective is the USian federal justice system.

Apparently, the USian federal justice system works efficiently and effectively only in the cases of humans indicted for crimes who do not have access to large enough sums of money to hire enough lawyers to defend them with appeals in higher courts and frivolous tactics and motions that can legally delay the starting of a trial.

It now appears Trump and his lawyers, paid millions of dollars, can, maybe will, delay justice for Trump long enough for him to get elected president of the US so he can pardon himself of his crimes.

It was sad for most USians to learn that Trump may not get convicted of a felony crime before the 2024 presidential election, that might have eliminated the possibility of him becoming president again, because of a hesitant and seemingly pusillanimous federal justice system that should have indicted him sooner than they did for the felony crime of inciting an insurrection against the USian government.

But it is sadder for most USians to learn there may be enough USian voters who will vote for Trump again to get him elected president again, despite evidence he has a character disorder and having been well informed in public media about his lies, incompetence, malfeasance, and crimes, in and out of office.

Not only are there some seemingly weak, greedy, unethical, and pusillanimous USian federal justice officers and judges, including supreme court judges; there are millions of needy USian voters who have little respect for ethics and truth. 

We will have to wait six more months to find out how sad this 2024 USian concatenation of presidential political cause-effect chains shall be.

BACKSTORIES

“How Governments Waste Their Time,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, May 19, 2023, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/how-governments-waste-their-time/.

“Earthian Empowerment Systems,” by Richard J0hn Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, August 26, 2023, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/earthian-empowerment-systems/.

“The USian Trumpian/Repuglican Dilemma,” by RJS, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, September 30, 2023, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-usian-trumpian-repuglican-dilemma/.

“The Ordeal of Trumpism,” by RJS, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, August 18, 2023, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-ordeal-of-trumpism/.

“Will Don Trump’s Hamartic Script Enmesh Us All Before His Story Ends?,” by RJS, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, July 8, 2023, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/will-don-trumps-hamartic-script-enmesh-us-all-before-his-life-story-ends/.

“Hopefully This is the Last Straw for Trump on His Way Out of the White House,” by RJS, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, November 29, 2020, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/3222-2/.

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-Gamer™ in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system–relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course knowledge was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Stapleton published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157€“167

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

 

How the Richest Earthian Humans got Richer and the Poorest got Poorer after 1980

 

By Richard John Stapleton

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.

 

I was dismayed and depressed when the USian movie star president, Ronald Reagan, lowered the top federal income tax rate on USian incomes down to 28 percent in the 1980’s; but nobody I knew around here seemed to care.

What I thought would happen did happen: morbid inequality.

I also worried about the incipient income inequality caused by lowering the tax rates of the rich being exacerbated by the computer revolution.

It seemed obvious to me that copyrights on computer software, giving lucky Earthian humans like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg monopoly rights on software packages demanded by millions of Earthian humans would also lead to income inequality.

It costs almost nothing to copy, paste, and sell more copyrighted copies of demanded computer code to almost unlimited numbers of Earthian human consumers using personal entertainment and communication devices, and to corporate profit-making organizations in all countries operating agricultural, financial, insurance, health care, mining, manufacturing and distribution systems who use copyrighted software to cut their costs of production by employing simulated and real robots in menu talking systems, management information storage systems, and in manual labor systems rather than use expensive Earthian human robots.

Rather than say to hungry Earthian humans demanding bread “Let them eat cake” as Marie Antoinette did during the French revolution, the Earthian billionaire elite since 1980 has said the equivalent of “Let them eat information” as the Earthian computer revolution happened, and their net worth grew exponentially larger, automatically, with little work on their part, thanks to computer software and income tax cuts, among other things, as the poorest Earthian humans got poorer.

So far hordes of hungry Earthian humans have not brandished their pitchforks, or guillotines.

BACKSTORY

“The Gilded Age Then, the Gilded Age Now,” by Sam Pizzigati, COUNTERPUNCH, March 11, 2024, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/03/11/the-gilded-age-then-the-gilded-age-now/?fbclid=IwAR1Btb3frOzTjszaLMSDUInVYPMMTyRObkcudwhKAU_2RDrFR4pPA2rG2OE.

How it Happened

Everything that happens is an inevitable accident; it was not planned using free will, but it was caused by inexorably-progressing cause-effect chains. It behooves Earthian humans to tie loose ends together in comprehensive whole pictures trying to let Earthian humans know what is really going on around Earth, regardless of the problems, given the robot-like programmed beliefs and behaviors of most Earthian humans, ensconced in their worm hole tunnels of existence, shut off from relevant outside information inputs, caused by concatenations of inexorably progressing infinitely-regressive cause-effect chains all around Spaceship Earth.

TOWARD THE CO-CONSTRUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE EARTHIAN PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, INC. (EPDS)

Establishing democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth as described and recommended in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases might develop consensual answers regarding existential matters from the bottom up that might help save Spaceship Earth. These ideas would filter up to randomly-selected humans who would count the consensual answers to make necessary changes. Consensual tactics, strategies, and policies would then be developed around Earth for dealing with the computerized Spaceship Earth management system, operated and controlled using artificial intelligence programming and supercomputers.

Randomly-selected groups of Earthian humans of high intelligence with impeccable moral and ethical character and credentials would control codes for changing the Earthian Magnum Computer System programming to implement bottom-up recommendations of millions of members in discussions in democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth. Each member of the group in charge of the codes for the magnum computer system would serve limited terms. These members would not vote or decide what to do. They would see to it that the computer system implemented the consensual answers of millions of Earthian humans from all walks of life, as determined by honest, free, fair, and frank democratic GAME-free discussions in democracy chapters all around Spaceship Earth, as explained and shown in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases. The overall objective would be to manage the system in such a way as to maximize the lifetime satisfactions of all Earthian humans, as well as all other species of life aboard Spaceship Earth, while insuring the indefinite functioning of all Spaceship Earth ecosystems.

Necessary moral and ethical requirements and constraints could be programmed in the Magnum Management System that Earthian humans at the top would be obliged to obey. If changes should be made in the moral and ethical codes in the overall program they would be sent back to the Earthian democracy chapters for discussion and then tabulated and analyzed before algorithms programmed in the system would create changes in the magnum operating system.  

This computerized management system would require a strict system of security controls like the current codes of nations possessing nuclear weapons, hopefully providing security several magnitudes more secure than current nuclear codes, to make sure a madman could not get in control of any aspect of the system

A management system such as this would significantly improve previous systems used around Spaceship Earth that have historically empowered fickle, egotistical, greedy, power mad, grandiose, poorly educated, not-very-bright individual Earthian humans to make existential decisions affecting the OKness of thousands, millions, and billions of humans around Earth, that have been used over and over again for millennia, resulting in incredible losses and suffering at various moments of history caused by the unfair and indiscriminate inexorable tunneling out of bad, ok, or good luck for hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of Earthian humans around Spaceship Earth, resulting from the cosmic evolution commencing with a big bang some fourteen billion years ago. Humans thus far in Earthian human history have not been caused to develop knowledge and decisions that prevents them from empowering greedy, selfish, power mad, narcissistic, not very bright leaders in their largest management systems over and over again.

A tough lesson for Earthian humans to accept propositioned in Effective Learning Publications books is that everything that happens in human states of affairs is either predetermined or accidental and therefore individuals are not to blame or praise for what happens in human states of affairs. This is easier to swallow after accepting that believing and acting otherwise will support and perpetuate the I’m OK—You”re Not OK life position that has bedeviled, sabotaged, and undermined Earthian humans since time immemorial, causing wars and other disasters.

The best way significant numbers of Earthian humans can be caused to be significantly changed psychologically and socially by others is through democratic face to face discussions in honest serious and rigorous dialectical, dialogical, analogical arguing about facts using reasoning of all kinds, dealing with Earthian human existential states of affairs over a relatively long period of time. Yet, this rarely happens.

What is considered natural, unnatural; normal, abnormal; right, wrong; ethical, unethical; righteous, sinful; worthy, unworthy; or sane or insane by a particular Earthian human is caused by information lodged in her/his brain caused to be lodged there by the concatenation of infinite cause-effect chains causing her/him to exist and slowly inch through the Earthian worm hole of existence inexorably tunneled out for her or him by her/his specific unbroken infinitely-regressing cause-effect chains inexorably-progressing throughout his/her infinitesimally short cosmic life, regardless of how bad, ok, or good that luck or fate might be as judged by any Earthian human; and all Earthian humans must keep on inching forward in their worm holes as best they can dealing with inevitable problems and opportunities caused to exist at stages in their unique tunnels, as they are knocked around like balls in a pin-ball machine, as events inevitably and/or accidentally happen externally and in their subconscious and conscious minds, however bad, ok, or good their inherited luck might have absolutely been, which cannot be proved, however easy it might be to relatively estimate.

Changing the life scripts of Earthian humans for the better requires changing the course of unique tunnels of existence in which individual humans accidentally and inevitably live, a tall order indeed. Some biological constructivists would consider this notion a pipe dream, while considering the whole process a meaningless drift in the infinity of time and space.

What is God? Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist.

For more information on the use of Transactional Analysis  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using transactional analysis read Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds

Read  The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc. for some management science ideas on how Earthian humans might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK–You’re OK life position. 

Read As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

This novel shows how to conduct a new kind of seminar invented and coordinated by Rout Logger, the protagonist, that might reduce the probability of Earthian human extinction if widely implemented that requires participants in a seminar to speak up when randomly selected by a Truther rooster positioned in the center of a randomly-selected group of forty humans sitting in a circle.

The Truther rooster resembles a spinning weather vane. The rooster is programmed to bob its head up and down and crow after being twirled by a randomly-selected seminar participant, as it spins round and round winding down, letting group members know it’s time to wake up and get to work, before it’s too late. When the Truther rooster stops spinning whoever is at the end of a line of imaginary fire extending from the rooster’s beak to her or him sitting in the circle is automatically selected as the Leader of the Moment for the group.

The Leader of the Moment then leads the group into a democratic discussion of what s/he considers the most serious existential problem around Spaceship Earth.  Forty participants from all walks of life were paid $5000 monthly for participating in weekend seminars conducted in central city hotels in various cities randomly selected around the US. If randomly selected as the Leader of the Moment the participant would define what s/he thought was the most important problem facing Spaceship Earth, present alternatives, and make a recommendation for change. What s/he said was discussed by members of the group on a free-flow first come-first serve basis. It was against the law of the seminar to interrupt speakers or raise hands to get permission to speak. Discussions lasted until they ran out of steam. The results of the discussions were published to wealthy donors who financed the process.

Rout Logger was convinced most Earthian humans would not volunteer to participate in this sort of seminar to merely help save Spaceship Earth from GWCC (Global Warming and Climate Change) and/or MNWP (Militarization and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation) using their Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child Ego States, given the reality that their life time and energy was already programmed and consumed with various forms of withdrawal, rituals, pastimes, psychological games, activities, and intimacy in their unique tunnels of reality, as they acted out their inherited life scripts; so they were paid $5000 per month to participate in a game-free, Adult-Adult democratic seminar that would require them to honestly discuss existential problems with forty other participants from disparate walks of life, if they were randomly selected by the spinning Truther Rooster as the Leader of the Moment.

Achieving Earthian human sustainability entails such things as Earthian humans peacefully reducing through natural attrition (natural deaths exceeding births) the human population aboard Spaceship Earth, never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers, assuming sufficient quantities of non-human clean energy can be discovered and developed using mind grants.

This general algorithmic matrix algebra form can help bring this state of affairs about,

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or >Bi,

explained in The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.

This mathematical formulation could help develop power in economics loosely analogous to the power of E=mc2 in physics. This formulation, Max CjXj, subject to AijXj <, =, or >Bi, is a general form of the linear programming model, which has been around for many years in management science, operations research, and linear algebra courses.

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj <, =, or >Bi symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species about as much potential power to perpetuate itself as Albert Einstein’s formulation E=mc2 symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species the power to exterminate itself.

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night traveling at four hundred miles an hour at thirty-five thousand feet with clouds, rain, wind, and lightning below, what would you rather have figuring out the path, speed, and angle of descent of the aircraft for touch-down, the plane’s auto-pilot, radar, and computer system or the pilot and co-pilot, seeing nothing out their windows below but clouds and lightning?

The main reason why delegating the scheduling, production, and distribution of the necessities of life to AI programs and magnum computers would be a good idea is that magnum computers and algorithmic AI programs do not get greedy and power hungry or play psychological GAMES. Thus far in Earthian human history most leaders and rulers atop large organizations such as nations have become corrupt one way or another playing psychological GAMES, acting out selfish greedy ego trips, hogging all the power, money, strokes, stimulation, and recognition they could get their hands on for themselves and their cronies, leaving the hindmost to their underlings. Whatever their limitations and possible threats, algorithmic computer programs and super computers are not egotistical, greedy, and power-hungry.

Thanks to Buckminster Fuller for providing the above airplane-landing metaphor in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, first published in 1969, and for planting seeds for other ideas in the essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” published in the Effective Learning Report, such as computers being the best hope for mankind and humans not doing work machines can do better, being paid to think instead with what Fuller called mind grants. Fuller said unemployment all around Spaceship Earth could be eliminated overnight with mind grants. He was the inventor of the appellations Earthian and Spaceship Earth.   

Many Earthian humans like to win BALANCE SHEET psychological GAMES, to feel superior and lord it over others, regardless if Spaceship Earth is going to hell in a handbasket around them because of global warming and climate change (GWCC) and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation (MNWP), regardless of how much they have failed in other areas of their lives, and regardless of how heinous were crimes and misdemeanors they may have gotten away with in the process of amassing their riches, since they were saved, as it were, by taking in and controlling more almighty monetary units than other lesser mortals.

If you want to learn more about transactional analysis, such as Ego States, Scripts, and psychological GAMES, read Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

Most Earthian humans know what it is to be egotistical, but they have little understanding of how specific human egotistical manifestations, such as Parent, Adult, and Child ego states, can be used to control and manipulate human behavior for nefarious ends.

Most likely it would take several generations using learning processes such as the process described above including millions of Earthian humans all around Earth to change Earthian human behavior enough to cause the evolution of an Earthian management system such as described above that would be able to produce loving and cooperative Earthian humans and Earthian peace and sustainability, gradually rendering obsolete the greedy and selfish slash and burn competitive systems that have been caused to exist around Spaceship Earth.

For short run policies and strategies for dealing with USian economic and political problems see the platform of the FreeFairProgressParty .

HOW TO EMPOWER EARTHIAN HUMANS

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-Gamer™ in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern University, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. He taught management systems, researched, published, and conducted a small business institute at Georgia Southern University thirty-five years, 1970-2005.

All case analyses entail considering three existential questions:

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES? WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

 

Whomever the spinner of the “Classroom De-Gamer” selected when it wound down after spinning by an imaginary line of fire extending from the point of the spinner to a class member sitting in the circle classroom layout would become the “Leader of the Moment” required to answer the three existential questions shown above laying out the case to all class members.

The overall purpose of the Game-free I’m OK—You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic teaching and learning process is to produce comprehension of the relevant facts and focal points of the case among class members in order to create rational policies and strategies for successfully managing the states of affairs of the case. All humans have Adult ego states that can be cathected, even children at young ages.

Cathecting an ego state is turning on energy, cognition and emotion in the human psyche for transacting with fellow humans. There are three basic types of ego states that can be cathected: Parent, Adult, and Child.

A soft drink bottle as in playing the childhood game Spin the Bottle works about as well as a Classroom De-Gamer to randomly select the Leader of the Moment to answer the Three Existential Questions. No one can interrupt anyone once someone has the floor. Communicating overtly or covertly with individuals in the room for the whole session is not allowed. Anyone can respond to any speaker once the speaker has finished, disagreeing or agreeing with what was said, and may bring up another problem if appropriate in the context of the discussion.

How long should a discussion last? Long enough for group members to comprehend the system under consideration, a system including interrelations between relevant focal point entities of the system, relevant facts and issues comprising the problem, alternatives and recommendations.

According to R. Buckminster Fuller in his Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) comprehension of a system entails separating the relevant points from the irrelevant points in the system under consideration. It takes time to do this. According to Fuller, Comprehension = (N2-N) / 2, where N = Number of total focal point entities in the system, counting the number of focal point facts or issues and all the inter-relationships between the focal point entities.

Comprehension required and produced expands exponentially as the size of the system increases. One has to wonder if most Earthian systems today are ever fully comprehended by Earthian humans. Rather than most Earthian human systems being managed today based on comprehension in general they are managed based on dogmas, doctrines, rules, algorithms, scripts, and the like, many of which are irrelevant. As matters now stand about the best Earthian humans can hope for is that somehow the smartest, wisest, most knowledgeable, most ethical, and most empathetic Earthian humans somehow manage to become top leaders in major systems.

When most members of the discussion group seem to generally comprehend the system it is time to stop. Most paper cases in Stapleton’s classes of about 30 students took about one hour. Real cases and systems in your organizations and groups may take more or less time, perhaps several hourly sessions for one system. Stick with the discussion until most members have comprehended the relevant problems, alternatives, and recommendations of the system under consideration as best they can. In most cases this will produce a solution considered the most rational of alternatives for most members of the group, about the best that can be hoped for at present. Perhaps at some future date supercomputers will be able to comprehend large systems well enough to develop answers that are provably true.

Since all members of the group will not have been caused to develop the same pictures in their heads about what should be done in the case before the discussion starts, a high percentage of the discussants will learn in the discussion as they comprehend what is really going on that their initial conceptions were wrong, causing both unlearning and learning. Sometimes unlearning is more important than learning for creating better Earthian human states of affairs. Unlearning, in fact, might be what is now needed most in order for Earthian humans to develop peaceful and sustainable systems around Spaceship Earth.

Most discussants will not leave the discussions with the same mental pictures they started out with caused by the greater comprehension caused by the back and forth dialectical arguing caused by the Game-free I’m OK-You’re OK Adult-Adult democratic discussion process, proving both unlearning and learning happened.

Stapleton’s De-Gaming process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-GAMER. The psychological GAME Drama Triangle roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process. The actual grades received—A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s—were relative grades, not absolute grades, Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, and Failing relative to the class. There were no numbers ostensibly proving what percentage of the course €œcontent€ was retained in memory for so-called objective exams.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-GAMING rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-GAMER landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

Published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled the Classroom De-GAMER he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management systems, policies, and practices.

Learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

Learned how the Harvard case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA, Harvard Business School doctorates, at the University of Louisiana—Lafayette in 1969-70.

Has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

Taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department in the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year during 1970-2005 in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

Class members agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened GAME-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

Appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor with tenure at age thirty-six and was the senior professor of the university when he retired in 2005.

Solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating “right answers” for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I’m OK—You’re OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using Parent-Child transactions, row and column classroom layouts, and so-called objective tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world of business ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in “Evidence the Case Method Works” published in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475. The data were also used in several refereed articles.

See also Stapleton, R.J. (1989-1990). “Academic entrepreneurship: Using the case method to simulate competitive business markets.” Organizational Behavior Teaching Review. Vol. XIV, No. IV, pp. 88-104; Stapleton, R.J., Murkison, G., and Stapleton, D.C. (1993). “Feedback regarding a game-free case method process used to educate general management and entrepreneurship students.” Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Southeast CHAPTER of the Institute for Management Science. Myrtle Beach, SC, October, 1993; and Stapleton, R. J. and Stapleton, D.C. (1998), Teaching Business Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis: A Constructivist Approach”Transactional Analysis Journal, 28, no. 2: 157€“167

Ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues in universities see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” in the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292.

Had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation system he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.

To read the Optimizing Fairness article in full, go to https://studysites.sagepub.com/holt/articles/Stapleton.pdf . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (December 30, 2023) been cited as a reference in 89 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics and fairness of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 21 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “The case is all there is.

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

His latest book is As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

Feel free to share this article any way you see fit.

 

 

THE EARTHIAN — 43

 

THE EARTHIAN, Number Forty-Three, February 25, 2024, Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, Richard John Stapleton, Writer, Editor & Publisher, Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved

Ask more what your country can do for all Earthians to reduce the probability of catastrophes caused by global warming and climate change (GWCC) and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation (MNWP), the two major existential threats confronting humans and all Earthian species of fauna and flora.

Everything that happens is an inevitable accident; it was not planned using free will, but it was caused by inexorably-progressing cause-effect chains. It behooves Earthian humans to tie loose ends together in comprehensive whole pictures trying to let Earthian humans know what is really going on around Earth, regardless of the problems, given the robot-like programmed beliefs and behaviors of most Earthian humans, ensconced in their worm hole tunnels of existence, shut off from relevant outside information inputs, caused by concatenations of inexorably progressing infinitely-regressive cause-effect chains all around Spaceship Earth. --- Richard John Stapleton

"I must quit marrying men who feel inferior to me. Somewhere, there must be a man who could be my husband and not feel inferior. I need a superior inferior man." --- Heddy Lamarr, Hollywood actress who invented wireless communication. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d....

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." --- Buckminster Fuller, who said in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth that Earthian humans are "abysmally ignorant and omni-befuddled." https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d....

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESKTOP COMPUTER KEYBOARD

A man with white hair and plaid shirt looking to his left.

It's been over two months since the last issue of The Earthian was published. The asymmetric Hamas/Gaza-Zionist/Israel killing field has been the most horrible event around Spaceship Earth. It grinds on seemingly with no solutions in sight, with about the same rhetoric about what to do in the short run, with some discussion of whether a two or a one state solution would be best in the long run. As pointed out below it seems to me a one state solution is best. But for right now, there is only one viable solution: a ceasefire. Likewise, the Ukraine War also continues to grind on. I have no suggestions for how to bring it to a halt, but I will say I think the leadership of all the parties to the war - the US, NATO, Ukraine, and Russia-is the root cause of the fiasco. How to get better Earthian human leadership is another matter, a horrendously complex problem, involving the internal political processes of all the countries. How the United States will sort out its troubling internal political and legal problems is probably foremost in the minds of most USians. Will it be Biden or Trump as president after November 24, 2024? Will the US be able to work out democratic solutions, or will it sink into a fascist authoritarian anti-intellectual dictatorship? Meanwhile Planet Earth continues to heat up and more polar ice melts, causing more destructive and costly extreme weather events all around Earth irrespective of religious, economic, and political ideologies and boundaries.

Everything that happens is an inevitable accident. Nothing planned it using free will, but it was caused by infinite cause-effect chains. --- RJS.

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

1 - RECENT EXISTENTIAL ARTICLES, IDEAS, AND COMMENTS BY HUMANS ABOARD SPACESHIP EARTH

2 - OPINION OF A HYPOTHETICAL EXONEXUS OBSERVER FROM A PLANET BEYOND THE EARTHIAN SOLAR SYSTEM

3 - TOWARD THE CO-CONSTRUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE EARTHIAN PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, INC. (SEPDC)

4 - A GAME-FREE I'M OK - YOU'RE OK DEMOCRATIC CASE METHOD TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCESS THAT COULD PRODUCE DEMOCRATIC DISCUSSIONS, LEARNING, AND POLICY FORMULATION AROUND EARTH

AN EARTHIAN ELDER SPEAKS

"So, I guess what I'm saying is that, as we can establish that the earth is a sphere, and thus finite, then growth in your population and artifacts must have limits. And, your lack of a social-economic system to recognize those limits is leading us all to diaster." --- KOKO

See and read more about KOKO, the gorilla who knew over 1,000 words.

1 - RECENT EXISTENTIAL ARTICLES, IDEAS, AND COMMENTS BY HUMANS ABOARD SPACESHIP EARTH

February 29, 2024

Here's a major elephant in the room most USians do not want to talk about. --- RJS

"Joe Biden wants you to believe that spending money on weapons is good for the economy. That tired old myth - regularly repeated by the political leaders of both parties - could help create an even more militarized economy that could threaten our peace and prosperity for decades to come. Any short-term gains from pumping in more arms spending will be more than offset by the long-term damage caused by crowding out new industries and innovations, while vacuuming up funds needed to address other urgent national priorities." --- by William Hartung

"War is Bad for Youâ...and the Economy," by William Hartung, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/28/war-is-bad-for-you-and-the-economy/?fbclid=IwAR1dJMKxyHl23bxDgYrVFev_zbUzitdkKf-Yg7m-enTG0weF206MPiqS_C0.

February 29

"Putin is responsible for Alex Navalny's death. Again, this is true but irrelevant to the subject at hand. Whether or not Russian agents had anything to do with Navalny's poisoning in 2020, the regime did try him on trumped up charges and did imprison him in a colony on the Arctic Circle, where he died at the age of 47. This was a tragedy but not a great surprise. With the brief exception of the Gorbachev regime (1985-1991), Russian rulers from the czars onward have often persecuted domestic dissenters, and Putin's government is no exception. But this does not constitute a threat to Europe unless one is a neo-con ideologue trying to construct a neo-Cold War struggle between "democratic" and "authoritarian" blocs." --- Richard E. Rubenstein

"More Anti-Russian Hysteria From the New York Times," by Richard E. Rubenstein, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/29/more-anti-russian-hysteria-from-the-new-york-times/?fbclid=IwAR1oS1qSajmobS5eiM3Z_Kvsouwcz7JkDT2NH5ZxBAcb-pmT1LzGaav3w84.

February 29, 2024

"In the minds of many, the US state of Vermont is an idyllic place of trees, mountains, ski resorts, craft beer and people with lots of money. In all honesty, Vermont does have its share of all these things. However, like any other place in the world's capitalist economy, they come at a price. Until recently, that price was mostly hidden from the bulk of Vermont's residents and even more of its visitors. However, the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the drastic reordering of that capitalist economy that followed has revealed the ugly underside of Vermont's picture-book reality. Like most of the rest of the world, the unhoused live on the streets of the state's small cities, panhandling, living out their lives' dramas and wondering where they can sleep out of the cold. An epidemic of drug addiction uglier than any I have ever seen makes its presence known in those streets, in the property crime statistics and in the numbers of overdoses reported by various public health officials and police. Given the visual evidence, I can't help but wonder how many more addicts hide behind their rural and suburban homes.

"As is all too often the case across our nation, Vermont's governor is joining the chorus of those calling for more people to be put in prison because the media and various conservative groups are exaggerating the crime situation in Vermont. The question is how many liberal legislators will go along with the governor's alarmist and reactionary rhetoric. Already, how to respond to the rise in illegal activity in the state's largest city, Burlington, is becoming a major election issue in the contest between the candidates." --- Ron Jacobs

"Unchained Capitalism: A Demonic Theology," by Ron Jacobs, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/29/unchained-capitalism-a-demonic-theology/.

February 23, 2024

A Ray of Light

I have watched and listened to this video for the second time all the way through, and I do not think it's bullshit, and I have read much of Jeremy Griffin's 595-page well-thought, well-reasoned, well-researched, well-crafted, well-documented, well-presented book, entitled Freedom. Griffin provides the best summary answers i have seen and heard explaining how Earthian human states of affairs got as "upset" (Griffin's word) as they are and what must be done to make corrections. This video is not a book sales pitch. His book Freedom really is free. You can download it to your desktop free at www.humancondition.com. Jeremy Griffin is an Australian biologist, inventor, entrepreneur, researcher, author, and speaker who has done some serious thinking about human behavior. He presents his case with his authentic Australian accent speaking and writing in a straightforward manner devoid of manipulation, hyperbole, and drama, backed by a well-funded and well-organized ethical worldwide movement. This video is well worth a watch and listen and the free book is well worth a read. I guarantee you have never seen a book like Freedom. --- RJS

"The Breakthrough Biological Explanation of the Human Condition," by Jeremy Griffin,, a video interview, WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT, https://www.humancondition.com/?fbclid=IwAR1LMWMVfLVXd7QXbyScoojIpJ4WjJyrz001duKz1UdqcuckDhdzt1rfDtA.

February 25

Jeremy Griffin is the first international thinker I remember explicitly pointing out that a solution to the current Earthian human "upset" (Griffin's word) cannot be solved overnight by a magic bullet like socialism or fascism. He says it will probably take several generations to change the current brainwashing of Earthian humans to create a new way of life lived by loving and cooperative Earthian humans instead of the current way of life lived by selfish, aggressive, competitive Earthian humans. --- RJS

"The Human Condition and Fix the World," by Jeremy Griffin, a video of endorsements, https://www.facebook.com/worldtransformationmovement/videos/6100488106723694.

February 25

"If Gaza falls, all Palestinians in the rest of Palestine will become the new target for Israeli violence, ethnic cleansing and, if necessary, genocide.

"Reducing all these issues to that of finding creative political solutions that would merely sell false hope to the Palestinian people is not only ignorant, or devious, but also a diversion from the real issue: Israel's Zionist ideology.

"Zionism, like all racist colonial ideologies, operates with a zero-sum approach to their relationship with the natives of colonized land: dominance through ethnic cleansing and genocide.

"For 'long-term peace' to take place, Zionism must end." --- Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is "These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons" (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

"Two-State Solution, as a Distraction: The Problem is Zionism," by Ramzy Baroud, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/23/two-state-solution-as-a-distraction-the-problem-is-zionism/?fbclid=IwAR2ErtiDWTuktaDOS9_TISbhAzfD3u-LJQyvsep-RWDz9_onYTm6yw9-v7U.

February 24

Yuk

"The Fastest Warming on Earth," by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/23/the-fastest-warming-on-earth/?fbclid=IwAR2SoBKuBD4wtVn0E9iP7YdLZAJFL0877lx4UIGJyNLDmMADU5wJ2dFhzmI.

February 23

How many USians just want to watch the US burn to the ground? --- RJS

"The researchers came up with a term to describe the motivation behind these all-purpose conspiracy mongers. They called it the "need for chaos," which they defined as "a mindset to gain status" by destroying the established order. In their study, nearly a third of respondents demonstrated a need for chaos, Petersen said. And for about 5 percent of voters, old-fashioned party allegiances to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party melted away and were replaced by a desire to see the entire political elite destroyed-even without a plan to build something better in the ashes.

"These [need-for-chaos] individuals are not idealists seeking to tear down the established order so that they can build a better society for everyone,' the authors wrote in their conclusion. 'Rather, they indiscriminately share hostile political rumors as a way to unleash chaos and mobilize individuals against the established order that fails to accord them the respect that they feel they personally deserve.' To sum up their worldview, Petersen quoted a famous line from the film The Dark Knight: 'Some men just want to watch the world burn'." --- Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

"The Americans Who Need Chaos," by Derek Thompson, THE ATLANTIC, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/the-americans-who-need-chaos/ar-BB1iLqx6?ocid=socialshare&fbclid=IwAR3sTDzY9J90QrPNFbvoOKQctAC8jhlFkg9TYmYpfX37DVfIXmHcuw934HU.

February 23

Barbarity and Insanity --- RJS

"We Didn't Get All The Way There On Jan 6th: Trump Booster Pledges to End Democracy in CPAC Rant as Bannon Cheers On," by Jennifer Bowers Bahney, MEDIAITE, https://www.mediaite.com/trump/welcome-to-the-end-of-democracy-trump-booster-jack-posobiec-vows-to-finish-what-began-on-jan-6-as-steve-bannon-cheers-on/?fbclid=IwAR1erMWgHDd_H9SbZHIA92UeryI72iJKHoKlPPVyvdP8CuJkY0Btv7c-AW0.

February 23

Parasitical all right --- RJS

"Unheeded Urban Warnings," by Gray Brechin, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/22/unheeded-urban-warnings/?fbclid=IwAR0OBBJz91Tj1daAD_sJLprG10qKSSYFkNVRxloWdCQ4TkUjSHia04nn7cI.

February 23

Another excellent summary article by the indefatigable Paul Street tying together loose ends to let Earthian humans know what is really going on, as if that makes much difference, given the robot-like programmed beliefs and behaviors of most Earthian humans, ensconced in their worm hole tunnels of existence caused by infinite concatenations of cause-effect chains all around Earth, shut off from relevant outside information inputs. --- RJS

"500,000 Dead and Maimed in Ukraine, Enough Already," by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/22/500000-dead-and-maimed-in-ukraine/?fbclid=IwAR3CXUdjAtI1e1YK1o7xv4bLfQcUyMCcRSp4ggKWix3q3lPdmFQKHEhDlxc.

February 21

Why a two-state solution cannot work

I posted on my Facebook page about this several weeks ago. It seems obvious to me that a two-state solution cannot work. How could it? How could you possibly fairly divide what Israel has conquered and stolen since 1948 into two plots of ground that would satisfy both ethnic groups? This would entail millions of Jews moving back into what would be called Israel from what would be called Palestine. No, only a one state solution stands a snowball's chance in hell of creating a fair and sustainable solution. It would entail changing the name of the whole plot of ground to something that would be acceptable to both Zionists and Palestinians, writing a new constitution fair to both ethnic groups who could live wherever they wanted in the whole plot of ground, and Jews giving back to individual Palestinians land and houses Zionists stole since 1948. This solution might not stand a snowball's chance in hell either, but at least it might melt slower than the two state absurdity. - RJS

"CRITICAL CONDITIONS

"Instead of pushing for a two-state outcome that has almost no prospect of materializing, Washington should recognize the current reality and use its influence to enforce adherence to international laws and norms by all parties. The United States has long avoided holding Israel to those standards; the Biden administration has gone further, shielding Israel from the United States' own laws. (In January, an investigation by The Guardian found that since 2020, the U.S. State Department had used "special mechanisms" to continue providing weapons to Israel despite a U.S. law prohibiting assistance to foreign military units involved in gross human rights violations.) That needs to change. Simply by upholding the rules-based liberal international order, Washington could do much to mitigate the darkest injustices of the present situation. Such an approach would not be about Washington dictating what the Israelis and the Palestinians should do. Rather, it is about ending the anomalous practice of using significant U.S. resources to empower behavior that the U.S. finds objectionable and that even conflicts with U.S. interests." --- Foreign Affairs, read more in the article below

"The Two-State Mirage," by Marc Lynch and Shibley Tehami, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/israel/two-state-mirage-gaza-palestinians-lynch?utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3gTD6FYZlwPLsuOqG1_F-8bKzNxEalIVJftNdsPYXuS54B45RCjV4KE3M.

February 13

Not only an army general but a USian president --- RJS

"Ulysses S. Grant: Speech at the Annual Reunion of the Society of the Army of Tennessee at Des Moines, Iowa, 29 September 1875", by Mike Marion, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10229678728819934&set=a.3225424401929.

February 13

"Sapolsky says that we have no choice in how to react and respond to a situation. According to him, there is no such thing as free will, Sapolsky argues that "Put all the scientific results together from all the relevant scientific disciplines, and there's no room for free will."

"The lack of free will, he says, means that people are not accountable for their good or bad behaviors, a perspective that has attracted some skepticism.

"If we "freely" choose to do something but there was never a possibility of choosing something else, we're not free. And if we're not free, Sapolsky says, there is no more reason to castigate a killer than to punish a broken machine. Killers should receive medical and psychological treatment to address the larger issues that caused the problem," Stanford magazine states about Sapolsky's concept of the absence of free will in humans." ---Marjorie Hecht

"Prepared Learning: What Are Humans Hard-Wired for at Birth," by Marjorie Hecht, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/02/12/prepared-learning-what-are-humans-hard-wired-for-at-birth/?fbclid=IwAR1CJAjdt3jmZc0OuYuAE5k4mqs8zu637C3CHLC_DAPQhlhqViRuNz_vQcY.

February 13

Perspectives on economics and politics

About 25 percent of USian eligible voters are Republican Trumpites; about 25 percent of USian eligible voters are traditional Biden Democrats; about 40 percent of USian eligible voters are Independents; about 10 percent of eligible USian voters are left-leaning Democrats and Moderate Republicans.

If a USian presidential candidate such as Cornel West, RFK Jr, Gavin Newsome, Gretchen Whitcomb, Elizabeth Warren, or Jill Stein could receive 60 percent of the votes of eligible Independents, left-learning Democrats, and moderate Republicans she or he could win the USian presidential race of 2024, without stealing votes from traditional Biden Democrats.

Forces of change are more likely to foster a more peaceful and sustainable Spaceship Earth than forces of conformity. One can build a case in the real world of economics and politics there is no such thing as right or wrong, that there is merely functioning, OK, Not-OK, or Not at all.

If only the US had a rank-order system of voting USians would have truer democracy; but, alas, if only a frog had wings....

Unfortunately fascist forces in the US through time have done their best to eliminate democratic processes via petty rules in the US to gain unfair advantages for themselves in competitive endeavors, working for their own selfish interests rather than for the interests of all citizens, sub-optimizing, damaging the whole by debilitating a part. --- RJS

read more...

"West is Best," by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/west-is-best/?fbclid=IwAR2mirkX02eDvFScsGmROlOG6rnBwZ6gEjAKy9GImmITzQVTC6YjnPAQtj8.

August 24, 2023

According to biological constructivists, Earthian humans are closed systems that will not or cannot change unless forced to change by force majeure events. They will conserve as long as possible their original sources of biological, psychological, social, religious, cultural, economic, and political satisfactions. As psychiatrists and clinical psychologists know, Earthian humans cannot change their early psychological programming in the short run even if they want to.

Randomly-selecting leaders of the moment in democratic Adult-Adult Game-free I'm OK - You're OK discussion processes is a way of creating pseudo-free will, a way of causing concatenations of Earthian human cause-effect chains that would not have happened in naturally-evolving states of nature.

What Spaceship Earth needs now are bottom-up Game-free Adult-Adult I'm OK - You're OK democratic discussion processes that can significantly empower all Earthian humans.

"Earthian Empowerment Systems," by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

https://blog.effectivelearning.net/earthian-empowerment-systems/

2 - OPINION OF A HYPOTHETICAL EXONEXUS OBSERVER FROM A PLANET BEYOND THE EARTHIAN SOLAR SYSTEM

Earthian humans are enthralled, manipulated, and in various degrees controlled by their leaders in some two hundred countries aboard Spaceship Earth. Leaders became leaders because of being caused to be leaders by concatenations of unbroken cause-effect chains resulting after our universe started evolving some thirteen billion years ago in the infinity of time and space.

Leaders are generally products of the same sorts of differentiated configurations of cause-effect chains as differentiated followers and members in differentiated countries. All Earthian humans are doing what they were caused to do in their daily lives starting at birth.

Earth as a planet was formed about 4.5 billion years ago and has undergone innumerable transformations in the meantime. Humanoid creatures have been aboard Spaceship Earth for some two million years, and they too have undergone numerous evolutionary changes, as have other Earthian species.

Unfortunately, Earthian humans have now reached a precarious and dangerous stage in their evolution as biological creatures. After slowly evolving more and more accurate, complex, and powerful understandings, technologies, and ways of life for two million years on Earth, during the last two hundred years Earthian humans evolved new technological devices at exponential rates that enabled them to increase the overly-fecund Earthian human population of Earth so much that they now threaten not only to destroy their own existence as a species aboard Spaceship Earth but also the existence of most other species alive on Earth.

Keeping eight or so billion Earthian humans alive on Earth has required so many goods and services to be produced to satisfy human biological and psychological needs and wants and so much carbon-based fuel to be burned to produce the goods that the climate of Spaceship Earth has been altered by carbon dioxide and methane gas released into the Earthian atmosphere in large-enough quantities to cause extra heat to be trapped on Earth causing the mean Earthian temperature to increase at a yearly rate that threatens to destroy Earthian human life as it now exists, within centuries, if not decades.

Unfortunately, Earthian humans have also developed technological knowledge that has enabled them to produce over 10,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy human life if dropped and detonated around Earth, as they have the capability to do.

3 - TOWARD THE CO-CONSTRUCTION OF SUSTAINABLE EARTHIAN PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, INC. (EPDC)

Establishing democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth as described and recommended in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases might develop consensual answers regarding existential matters from the bottom up that might help save Spaceship Earth. These ideas would filter up to randomly-selected humans who would count the consensual answers to make necessary changes. Consensual tactics, strategies, and policies would then be developed around Earth for dealing with the computerized Spaceship Earth management system, operated and controlled using artificial intelligence programming and supercomputers.

Randomly-selected groups of Earthian humans of high intelligence with impeccable moral and ethical character and credentials would control codes for changing the Earthian Magnum Computer System programming to implement bottom-up recommendations of millions of members in discussions in democracy chapters around Spaceship Earth. Each member of the group in charge of the codes for the magnum computer system would serve limited terms. These members would not vote or decide what to do. They would see to it that the computer system implemented the consensual answers of millions of Earthian humans from all walks of life, as determined by honest, free, fair, and frank democratic GAME-free discussions in democracy chapters all around Spaceship Earth, as explained and shown in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases. The overall objective would be to manage the system in such a way as to maximize the lifetime satisfactions of all Earthian humans, as well as all other species of life aboard Spaceship Earth, while insuring the indefinite functioning of all Spaceship Earth ecosystems.

Necessary moral and ethical requirements and constraints could be programmed in the Magnum Management System that Earthian humans at the top would be obliged to obey. If changes should be made in the moral and ethical codes in the overall program they would be sent back to the Earthian democracy chapters for discussion and then tabulated and analyzed before algorithms programmed in the system would create changes in the magnum operating system.  

This computerized management system would require a strict system of security controls like the current codes of nations possessing nuclear weapons, hopefully providing security several magnitudes more secure than current nuclear codes, to make sure a madman could not get in control of any aspect of the system

A management system such as this would significantly improve previous systems used around Spaceship Earth that have historically empowered fickle, egotistical, greedy, power mad, grandiose, poorly educated, not-very-bright individual Earthian humans to make existential decisions affecting the OKness of thousands, millions, and billions of humans around Earth, that have been used over and over again for millennia, resulting in incredible losses and suffering at various moments of history caused by the unfair and indiscriminate inexorable tunneling out of bad, ok, or good luck for hundreds, thousands, millions, or billons of Earthian humans around Spaceship Earth, resulting from the cosmic evolution commencing with a big bang some fourteen billion years ago. Humans thus far in Earthian human history have not been caused to develop knowledge and decisions that prevents them from empowering greedy, selfish, power mad, narcissistic, not very bright leaders in their largest management systems over and over again.

A tough lesson for Earthian humans to accept propositioned in Effective Learning Publications books is that everything that happens in human states of affairs is either predetermined or accidental and therefore individuals are not to blame or praise for what happens in human states of affairs. This is easier to swallow after accepting that believing and acting otherwise will support and perpetuate the Iâ'm OK–Youâ're Not OK life position that has bedeviled, sabotaged, and undermined Earthian humans since time immemorial, causing wars and other disasters.

The best way significant numbers of Earthian humans can be caused to be significantly changed psychologically and socially by others is through democratic face to face discussions in honest serious and rigorous dialectical, dialogical, analogical arguing about facts using reasoning of all kinds, dealing with Earthian human existential states of affairs over a relatively long period of time. Yet, this rarely happens.

What is considered natural, unnatural; normal, abnormal; right, wrong; ethical, unethical; righteous, sinful; worthy, unworthy; or sane or insane by a particular Earthian human is caused by information lodged in her/his brain caused to be lodged there by the concatenation of infinite cause-effect chains causing her/him to exist and slowly inch through the Earthian worm hole of existence inexorably tunneled out for her or him by her/his specific unbroken infinitely-regressing cause-effect chains inexorably-progressing throughout his/her infinitesimally short cosmic life, regardless of how bad, ok, or good that luck or fate might be as judged by any Earthian human; and all Earthian humans must keep on inching forward in their worm holes as best they can dealing with inevitable problems and opportunities caused to exist at stages in their unique tunnels, as they are knocked around like balls in a pin-ball machine, as events inevitably and/or accidentally happen externally and in their subconscious and conscious minds, however bad, ok, or good their inherited luck might have absolutely been, which cannot be proved, however easy it might be to relatively estimate.

Changing the life scripts of Earthian humans for the better requires changing the course of unique tunnels of existence in which individual humans accidentally and inevitably live, a tall order indeed. Some biological constructivists would consider this notion a pipedream, while considering the whole process a meaningless drift in the infinity of time and space.

What is God? Whatever it was that caused the universe to exist.

For more information on the use of Transactional Analysis  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using transactional analysis read Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds

Read  "The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,"  for some management science ideas on how Earthian humans might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I'm OK-You're OK life position. 

Read As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases.

This novel shows how to conduct a new kind of seminar invented and coordinated by Rout Logger, the protagonist, that might reduce the probability of Earthian human extinction if widely implemented that requires participants in a seminar to speak up when randomly selected by a Truther rooster positioned in the center of a randomly-selected group of forty humans sitting in a circle.

The Truther rooster resembles a spinning weather vane. The rooster is programmed to bob its head up and down and crow after being twirled by a randomly-selected seminar participant, as it spins round and round winding down, letting group members know it's time to wake up and get to work, before it's too late. When the Truther rooster stops spinning whoever is at the end of a line of imaginary fire extending from the rooster's beak to her or him sitting in the circle is automatically selected as the Leader of the Moment for the group.

The Leader of the Moment then leads the group into a democratic discussion of what s/he considers the most serious existential problem around Spaceship Earth.  Forty participants from all walks of life were paid $5000 monthly for participating in weekend seminars conducted in central city hotels in various cities randomly selected around the US. If randomly selected as the Leader of the Moment the participant would define what s/he thought was the most important problem facing Spaceship Earth, present alternatives, and make a recommendation for change. What s/he said was discussed by members of the group on a free-flow first come-first serve basis. It was against the law of the seminar to interrupt speakers or raise hands to get permission to speak. Discussions lasted until they ran out of steam. The results of the discussions were published to wealthy donors who financed the process.

Rout Logger was convinced most Earthian humans would not volunteer to participate in this sort of seminar to merely help save Spaceship Earth from GWCC and/or MNWP using their Nurturing Parent, Adult, and Free Child Ego States, given the reality that their life time and energy was already programmed and consumed with various forms of withdrawal, rituals, pastimes, psychological games, activities, and intimacy in their unique tunnels of reality, as they acted out their inherited life scripts; so they were paid $5000 per month to participate in a game-free, Adult-Adult democratic seminar that would require them to honestly discuss existential problems with forty other participants from disparate walks of life, if they were randomly selected by the spinning Truther Rooster as the Leader of the Moment.

Achieving Earthian human sustainability entails such things as Earthian humans peacefully reducing through natural attrition (natural deaths exceeding births) the human population aboard Spaceship Earth, never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers, assuming sufficient quantities of non-human clean energy can be discovered and developed using mind grants.

This general algorithmic matrix algebra form can help bring this state of affairs about,

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi,

explained in "The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc." .

This mathematical formulation could help develop power in economics loosely analogous to the power of E=mc2 in physics. This formulation, Max CjXj, subject to, AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi, is a general form of the linear programming model, which has been around for many years in management science, operations research, and linear algebra courses.

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species about as much potential power to perpetuate itself as Albert Einstein's formulation E=mc2 symbolizes knowledge that gives the Earthian human species the power to exterminate itself.

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night traveling at four hundred miles an hour at thirty-five thousand feet with clouds, rain, wind, and lightning below, what would you rather have figuring out the path, speed, and angle of descent of the aircraft for touch-down, the plane's auto-pilot, radar, and computer system or the pilot and co-pilot, seeing nothing out their windows below but clouds and lightning?

The main reason why delegating the scheduling, production, and distribution of the necessities of life to AI programs and magnum computers would be a good idea is that magnum computers and algorithmic AI programs do not get greedy and power hungry or play psychological GAMES. Thus far in Earthian human history most leaders and rulers atop large organizations such as nations have become corrupt one way or another playing psychological GAMES, acting out selfish greedy ego trips, hogging all the power, money, strokes, stimulation, and recognition they could get their hands on for themselves and their cronies, leaving the hindmost to their underlings. Whatever their limitations and possible threats, algorithmic computer programs and super computers are not egotistical, greedy, and power-hungry.

Thanks to Buckminster Fuller for providing the above airplane-landing metaphor in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, first published in 1969, and for planting seeds for other ideas in the essay "The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.," published in the Effective Learning Report, such as computers being the best hope for mankind and humans not doing work machines can do better, being paid to think instead with what Fuller called mind grants. Fuller said unemployment all around Spaceship Earth could be eliminated overnight with mind grants. He was the inventor of the appellations Earthian and Spaceship Earth.   

Many Earthian humans like to win BALANCE SHEET psychological GAMES, to feel superior and lord it over others, regardless if Spaceship Earth is going to hell in a handbasket around them because of global warming and climate change (GWCC) and militarization and nuclear weapons proliferation (MNWP), regardless of how much they have failed in other areas of their lives, and regardless of how heinous were crimes and misdemeanors they may have gotten away with in the process of amassing their riches, since they were saved, as it were, by taking in and controlling more almighty monetary units than other lesser mortals.

If you want to learn more about transactional analysis, such as Ego States, Scripts, and psychological GAMES, read Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

Most Earthian humans know what it is to be egotistical, but they have little understanding of how specific human egotistical manifestations, such as Parent, Adult, and Child ego states, can be used to control and manipulate human behavior for nefarious ends.

For short run policies and strategies for dealing with USian economic and political problems read free the platform of the FreeFairProgressParty .

4 - A GAME-FREE CASE METHOD I'M OK - YOU'RE OK DEMOCRATIC TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCESS THAT COULD PRODUCE DEMOCRATIC DISCUSSIONS, LEARNING, AND POLICY FORMULATION AROUND EARTH

A man sitting at a table in front of a computer.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA would spin the spinner of his Classroom De-Gamer™ in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for the day, a case taken from a planned or operating business prepared by case writers at Georgia Southern, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama.

This process insured that everyone would be relatively GAME-free transacting in class discussions. They all agreed to a learning contract at the outset of the course that they would read assigned cases and would be graded on the quantity and quality of ideas sold in the class market. Anyone caught obviously unprepared by the spinning De-GAMER would lose a whole letter grade from the course grade. No one could feel or think that s/he was being persecuted or rescued if selected to start the class discussion of the day by the Classroom De-Gamer™. The psychological GAME roles of Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim were largely banished from the course learning process.

Stapleton sat in the same circle in the same kind of chair as students, and the De-Gaming rules also applied to him. If the Classroom De-Gamer™ landed on him he had to lay out the case just like any other student and discuss what was the problem, what were the alternatives, and what he recommended.

Grades were based eighty percent on class participation in dialectical discussions about what to do about problems and opportunities found in cases; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write-up was an analysis of a case researched and written by professors about a business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses contained processes, problems, opportunities, and data occurring in all functional areas of business such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

He has published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic GAME-free Adult-Adult I'm OK - You're OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological GAMES from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled "The Classroom De-GAMER" he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal. He has published seven books and over one hundred articles in various media containing cases, research data, and essays on teaching and learning and management policies and practices.

Stapleton learned and trained using transactional analysis with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

He was a Harvard Case Method teacher who never went to Harvard, having learned how the case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA (Harvard Business School doctorates) at the University of Louisiana" Lafayette in 1969-70.

He has a BS in economics (1962), an MBA in organizational behavior (1966), and a PhD in management science (1969) from Texas Tech University, and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis (CTA) from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

He taught his own case method track at the undergraduate level in the management department of the business school at Georgia Southern University offering four or five different elective case method courses each academic year (1970-2005), in which he led, coordinated, and graded about twenty-five or so students each year who took all or most of those case method courses in their junior and senior years, of about two hundred students who signed up for all his courses each year. He used a democratic circle or amphitheater classroom layout in all his classes. He also taught most semesters two sections of a capstone integrative business policy course he added to the business school curriculum in 1970 that was required for all undergraduate business majors that could be elected by any student in any major.  He was the only professor in the business school to use the case method in any course.

His students agreed to a course learning contract that stipulated they would read the facts of the case before class and would lose a whole letter grade from the course final grade if the De-GAMER randomly caught them obviously not having read the case before class, if they had not slipped a note under his office door before class telling him they had not read the case, which they could do twice during the course without penalty.

About ten percent of his students made A's and about five percent made D's. Most made C's, which is about right, since C = Average. There were few F's in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened Game-players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer™ was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career simply called it The Spinner.

He appreciated Georgia Southern honoring his academic freedom by allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials, some of which he researched, wrote, and published. He was promoted to full professor at age thirty-six.

He solicited anonymous longitudinal research data using questionnaires in 1992 showing his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the militaristic row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on memorizing or calculating  "right answers" for tests, indicating learners learning in Adult-Adult I'm OK - You're OK GAME-free democratic learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to and graded using so-called objective multiple-choice tests.  

Only former students who had worked in the real world ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study. The data are shown, analyzed, and discussed in full in "Evidence the Case Method Works" in his book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475). The data were also used in several refereed articles.

The ancient Greeks used a similar random-selection democratic process in the Third Century BCE to select leaders of political discussions, learning, and policy formulation in their halls of government. Such a process is called sortition.

For more information on related classroom management ethical issues see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. "Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades," in the Journal of Management Education, 2001, 25(3), 269-292.

Stapleton had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations that weighted only instructor excellence scores up to 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in "Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations."

After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

"Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations" has by now (March 2, 2024) been cited as a reference in 90 refereed journal articles concerned about the ethics of student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including 15 new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and used by educators.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, "The case is all there is."

If so, everything else said about Earthian human states of affairs is a rendition of what was or might be.

For more on Stapleton's cultural, educational, and professional experiences see "RJS Academic Vita,"

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