THE EARTHIAN ­       –         1

THE EARTHIAN is a digest of linked articles containing facts, events, analysis, perspectives, and comments concerned about existential states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.

Effective Learning Publications, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,, June 15, 2018

Or So It Seems to Me Today

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

I have used the word Earthian for many years, since encountering it back in the 1970s in Buckminster Fuller’s great little book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, one of the most satisfying books I have read. Apparently Fuller invented the word Earthian, and the appellation Spaceship Earth, implying Earth is something that has to be maintained by humans monitoring regular interdependent scientific processes in the infinity of airless time and space, by keeping trees and other plants emitting oxygen that humans breathe, humans that emit carbon dioxide that plants ingest, to make more oxygen in perpetual motion closed systems. Such production systems have to be kept in synchronous interdependent regularities, requiring not cutting down and burning up too many trees, and not putting too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere burning fossil fuels, otherwise serious trouble can happen, as most humans should know given what they have been exposed to in various media about global warming.

 What is an Earthian? The term applies mostly to humans aboard Spaceship Earth, aka planet Earth; but it includes more than humans: The word Earthian covers all individual members of all species of fauna and flora living aboard Spaceship Earth.

A major purpose of The Earthian is to encourage learning that might help preserve all forms of life aboard Spaceship Earth in any country or political entity, for sure not just right wing or left wing political humans living in the United States, or in any other country.

I can’t keep from thinking there is a resemblance between President Trump in the White House and the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, especially since his performance discussing tariffs at the last G7 meeting in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada June 8-9, the 44th such meeting, where he pissed off every good ally of the US with his rude crude boorish off-the-wall comments and threats. Seems about the only international friends he has left are Kim Jong Un, Netanyahu, and the new King of Saudi Arabia. There is no way to predict what he might say or do at any given moment.

Not long ago Trump blurted out in a cabinet meeting in his White House, “Where are my tariffs? Get me some tariffs,” like an impetuous king demanding some sort of favorite food or candy, and by golly his underlings got him some tariffs, apparently a lot of them, enough to set off a trade war. Another US president who liked tariffs was Herbert Hoover before the Great Depression started, who also raised interest rates. The US Federal Reserve is now raising interest rates. Let’s hope the Mad Hatter does not bring on another great depression with his impetuous demands. The Great Recession of 2008 we are now supposedly out of was bad enough.

According to mainstream media the US economy is now in fabulous shape, thanks to the Mad Hatter, with unemployment, counting only unemployed people looking for jobs, of only 3.8 percent and economic growth of about four percent, with about two percent inflation. Unfortunately counting all people of working age not in the work force, counting unemployed people who have given up on finding a job, no longer looking for a job, unemployment in the US is about twenty percent, and the four percent economic growth number counts a lot of jobs that do not pay a living wage and a lot of jobs that do not produce anything real, such as the reported profit increases of too big to fail banks, apartment rents, gambling profits, and what have you; and inflation may be as high as ten percent when you count price increases in drugs and medicine, education, food, and other things.

Hopefully the Mad Hatter and his buddy Mad Dog Mattis in the White House will not impulsively decide one day the way to get the US out of its depression and make it great again is to start World War III, since WWII worked for getting the US out of the Great Depression started in the Republican Hoover administration in 1929 with a trade war because during the Democratic Roosevelt administration in the 1940s WWII created lots of new real jobs in factories making tanks, airplanes, bombs and such in massive quantities, and because the US had relatively little debt at the time.

There is no telling what will happen if Trump starts WWIII with the US down its Alice in Wonderland financial rabbit hole, with over 21 trillion dollars in debt already piled up, most of it coming from real money, not funny money created out of thin air by simply punching digits in computers at the Federal Reserve and calling the resulting numbers money, which is used to “buy” US treasury bonds creating spending money for the US federal government to pay its worldwide standing army, navy, air force, and its military hardware manufacturers – and its obligation to the US Social Security Trust Fund for money it borrowed from the SS Trust Fund, over three trillion dollars, SS surpluses generated through decades caused by SS cash inflows paid by citizens making their FICA payments for their social insurance system exceeding outflows remitted to SS insurance beneficiaries. Unfortunately SS cash outflows to beneficiaries now exceed inflows from FICA contributions, but it will take a long time for the federal government to pay back with yearly payments what it owes US citizens who produced the SS surplus with FICA payments deducted from their paychecks, paying back what the SS Trust Fund loaned the federal government, which was thought necessary by politicians to balance the federal government’s total cash inflows (composed of real money tax receipts, borrowed real money, and borrowed funny money from the Fed) and cash outflows (mainly military cash needs and social security Trust Fund loan payments).

In the short run there is no danger the federal government cannot balance its budget: if worst comes to worse it can just keep on having the Fed punch more funny money digits into its computers and use the resulting numbers to buy more treasury bonds from the federal government, presto, producing money in treasury accounts for the US to pay for its standing worldwide military machine, and what have you, manna from heaven you might say. Unfortunately if the US keeps making funny money for too long, making too much of the stuff, eventually interest payments on the debt will become absurdly large and the debt itself will become absurdly large, so large that hyperinflation will ignite in the economy at large, causing financial hell on Earth.

What’s the chance the US would default on or repudiate its debt in WWIII? Pretty high I would say. What sort of chaos, anguish, and suffering would that cause for citizens with savings and pension plans? Would all intangible assets, including so-called money, become worthless? It’s happened before in collapsed countries.

And then there’s the suffering, tragedy, and chaos of the millions of people dislocated, killed and crippled–and the property and cultural treasures reduced to rubble–in countries in which soldiers invaded and on which bombs dropped, likely including people living in the US the next time around.

According to the US Congressional Budget Office the federal budget deficit was $600 billion during the first half of 2018. Forget about Trump’s tax cuts eliminating the deficit through trickle-down voodoo economics, like he said they would. Cutting the corporate tax rate from thirty percent to twenty percent will cause the rate of increase in the federal debt to increase, not go away, like he said it would. It will enrich the rich and make things tougher for everyone else.

This sort of risky and precarious financial behavior is not confined to the US and its Federal Reserve System. The central banks of China, Japan, the European Union, and England are essentially doing the same thing. Thus Spaceship Earth is awash in debt that will never be paid back, and central bankers, like Odysseus lost at sea, are attempting to sail a course between two siren-calling monsters:  the Charybdis of runaway inflation and the Scylla of extreme morbid deflation, attempting to give their populations hope and some additional prosperity by creating enough funny money to cause some economic growth without igniting hyperinflation, while at the same time not failing to create enough funny money to prevent extreme illiquidity, morbid deflation, maximum unemployment, and a maximum collapse of aggregate demand, causing the worst of depressions, under capitalism.

As I point out in “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” the long run solution in my opinion entails getting Earthians off the treadmill of pursuing constant economic growth that ruins the ecology of Spaceship Earth by reducing the human population through peaceful attrition, natural human deaths exceeding natural births, causing more prosperity and economic security for individuals by dividing a shrinking global economic pie by an Earthian human population that shrinks even more, thereby causing natural Spaceship Earth ecological processes to improve enough to eliminate the possible fatal consequences of global warming. It’s better to do it via natural peaceful attrition than World War III.

Economic, religious, military, and political affairs aboard Spaceship Earth seem to be worsening, especially now in Yemen, the most poignant hellhole on Earth at present; and here we are stuck with this Mad Hatter-like president only caring about himself and his right wing voters, most of whom having no idea what is really going on, wildly stirring the global political pot any way he can to get personal attention, while the US aids and abets the Saudi attack on the helpless Yemenis.

As usual in the Effective Learning Digest, now named The Earthian, this month’s issue links and cites recent articles written and published by clear deep thinking hard hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on current ecological, economic, and political affairs around Spaceship Earth. I included an article, not the clearest and deepest in this issue by any stretch, I recently wrote and published in the Effective Learning Report titled “De-Gaming And Saving Democracy,” in which I point out democracy is waning in the Western World and capitalism has failed to satisfy a majority of citizens. I proposed in the article a democratic way to rejuvenate democracy. The upshot of the article is that the fate of Spaceship Earth depends on people like you. We need your help. Read the article and set up a De-Gaming Democracy group in your community.

This The Earthian issue includes an interesting article by Effective Learning Report colleague Courtenay Barnett titled “Defaming the World’s Fastest Human,” and an article by a new ELR colleague Joyce Wilson titled “Something to do in the summertime.”


June 15, 2018

Here is my latest article in the Effective Learning Report.

SOURCE: “De-Gaming and Saving Democracy,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 14

Yemen: possibly the worst current tragedy aboard Spaceship Earth

SOURCE: “With Explicit US Backing, Saudi Attack on Yemen’s Humanitarian Lifeline Begins,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

June 14

As usual when a government in South America does not do what the US deep state wants send in the CIA and get rid of it. To heck with what their own people want.

SOURCE: “Media scoundrels urge coup d’etat in Venezuela,” by Stephen Landman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

June 13

Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “Predatory Gambling in the USA,” by Russell Mokhiber, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

June 13

Here is another sermon by international lawyer Courtenay Barnett on problems meting out justice for Olympics athletes.

SOURCE: “Defaming the World’s Fastest Human,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 13

Enterprising ideas for educators by Joyce Wilson a new ELR colleague

SOURCE: “5 Ways Teachers Can Make Summer Side Gigs Last Through the School Year,” by Joyce Wilson, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 13

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

SOURCE: “Antarctica Is Melting Three Times as Fast as a Decade Ago: The continent’s rate of ice loss is speeding up, which is contributing even more to rising sea levels,” by Kendra Pierre-Louis, NYTIMES.COM,

June 13

Can you believe this?

SOURCE: “No Coke, no Pepsi: Bottlers leave Mexico city hit by crime,” by Mark Stevenson, YAHOO.COM,

June 13

And we thought democracy was in sad shape here in the US.

SOURCE: “113 Politicians Have Been Killed Ahead of Mexcio’s Election. There Are Still Two Weeks To Go,” by Karla Zabludovsky, BUZZFEED.COM,

June 13

We’ve got more complexes than I knew we had.

SOURCE: “‘If only We’d Listened to Ike…’ – Inside The Deep State,” by Kevin Paul, ZEROHEDGE.COM,

June 13

Trump thinks he is more powerful than kings were after Magna Carta was signed in 1215.

SOURCE: “There is no ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card for the president,” by John W. Whitehad, INTREPID REPORT.COM,

June 12

Repug administrations have tried to ruin just about everything for we the people, and this is the next step. Do what you can to make sure the House of Reps goes along with the Senate and overrules the corrupt bums in the Trump admin on net neutrality.

SOURCE: “Net neutrality ends, battle to save it continues,” by Stephen Landman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

June 12

This is a very sad commentary on Spaceship Earth’s political and economic system. See my 2013 article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” at   for a better perspective.

SOURCE: “The War of Hunger That Afflicts the World’s Poor,” by Vijay Prashad, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

June 12

This article provides new insight into the root causes of political troubles. Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “American Rage,” by William Hawes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

June 5

Here are some videos created by my longtime friend William John Cox. Wm says he is getting tired of writing books and articles and just wants to talk about what is on his mind in the morning. Well worth a listen.

SOURCE: “Somethings Can’t be Said in 280 Characters: William John Cox discusses our Rights of Liberty and Consent…” YOUTUBE.COM,

June 5

This article is about as pessimistic as it gets, but it’s worth a read.

SOURCE: “Very little or no hope,” by Missy Comley Beattie, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

June 5

Here’s another hard hitting truthful article by Paul Craig Roberts.

SOURCE: “Democracy is fighting to survive the rise of Western authoritarianism,” by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

June 4

Here’s another great article by Courtenay Barnett.

SOURCE: “Sermon – reflections on war.” By Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 3

Somewhat similar to what Israel is now doing to the Palestinians.

SOURCE: “How the Nez Perce were kicked off their land and never allowed to return, despite repeated promises,” by Meteor Blades, DAILYKOS.COM,

June 3

Here is another article explaining principles, procedures, problems, and opportunities posed by educators using a Classroom De-Gamer in teaching and learning situations.

SOURCE: “The Classroom De-Gamer,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 3

Here is another relevant article by ELR colleague Courtenay Barnett on his efforts to instantiate Free Child Caribbean ego state energy and culture into his Critical Parent London culture during the 1970s.

For more on what it is to instantiate ego states read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at…/…/0692584331.

We now desperately need to instantiate more Free Child ego state energy into US culture to combat creeping fascism and the bowling alone phenomenon.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, June 3, 2018.

SOURCE: “Sermon – My Civilizing Mission,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

June 1

Very sad it’s come to this.

Has the NFL also outlawed Tebow’s kind of kneeling on the field?

Kaepernick had a good cause but one unfortunately outlawed by the NFL because it hurt its bottom profit line.

Consequently Kaepernick has been persecuted, and he can no longer find a job playing pro football, despite his considerable competitive skills as a quarterback, having been blacklisted by owners of teams in the NFL.

What was the big deal in the first place about his kneeling instead of standing for the national anthem?

Kaepernick courageously refused to pretend to cathect his Adapted Child ego state in a ritual designed to force obedience to and reverence for the militaristic powers of the US.

For more on what an Adapted Child ego state is read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at…/…/0692584331.

SOURCE: “Colin Kaepernick vs. Tim Bebow: A Tale of two Christians on their knees,” by Michael Frost, WASHINGTONPOST.COM,

June 1

Well, here it is folks. The US govt admits it uses fake news to manipulate its own people. It’s no wonder mainstream media is saturated with fake news.

SOURCE: “The Council On Foreign Relations Says Domestic Propaganda is Necessary,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,

June 1

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “Taxpayer-funded mercenaries serving both U.S. & foreign aristocracies,” by Eric Zuesse, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

May 31

Here is an egregious example of the media letting us know in the last few days that over four thousand people died in Puerto Rico in the last hurricane there, September 20, 2017, not less than one hundred as we were told up until the last few days. How is it news like this can be suppressed this long? To quote that intellectual paragon Bush II, the stupidist president of US history, this was a heckuva job investigating and reporting (ie, ignoring and suppressing) by media reporters and publishers for eight months, no doubt as instructed by the current lying US federal administration.

SOURCE: “May You Live in Stupid, Corrupt and yet Fascinating Times,” by Michael Krieger, LIBERTYBLITZKRIEG.COM,

May 31

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “The can-do people of America have forfeited thinking to the Corporatocracy who have colonized them,” by Denis A. Conroy, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

May 31

Positive evolutions and gruesome machinations in the electric power industry.

SOURCE: “Trump has plenty of accomplices in his reckless energy policies,” by Harvey Wasserman, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

May 30

Another great article by Ellen Brown who knows more about money and banking than almost anyone.

SOURCE: “Blackstone, BlackRock or a public bank?” by Ellen Brown, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

May 30

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “I Pledge Allegiance to the United States of Sociopathy,” by Elizabeth Keyes, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

May 30

Repugs have about ruined everything.

SOURCE: “Blue Cross Blue Shield exec blames Republican obstruction of Obamacare for rising premiums,” by Wagatwe Wanjuki, DAILYKOS.COM,

May 30

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “Making Sense of America’s Empire of Chaos,” by Tyler Durden, via, ZEROHEDGE.COM,

May 29

The following chart at least helps.

SOURCE: “US Foreign Policy Explained: David Sylvan and Stephen Majeski reveal the imperial logic behind US diplomatic and military interventions around the globe…” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,

May 29

Not much of a surprise here.

SOURCE: “Pharma paid and Trump delivered,” by Martha Rosenberg, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,

May 29

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a big mistake.

SOURCE: “Europe and the US: Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation,” by Gary Leupp, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

May 28

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “The Cost of War at the End of Empire: It’s a lethal machine to exstract profit,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 27

A fine kettle of fish. Here we have this beautiful military as Madelyn Albright called it, the most powerful military force in history to protect and expand the US empire, and yet it cannot win any wars. The Romans used to just crucify large numbers of people and leave them alive, their cries and moans audible for all to hear, nailed hanging on crosses on roads leading into towns to cow local populations into submission; but nothing the US military does now with all its airplanes and bombs cannot cow any enemy into submission. Somebody started the war on terror by knocking down the World Trade Towers supposedly with hijacked airplanes that cost about four hundred thousand dollars, but the US military after spending some five to seven trillion dollars cannot end it. Absurdity of absurdities.

SOURCE: “The United States is a Force for Chaos Across the Planet: The US’s endless war has resulted in endless failures,” by Mark Karlin, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 27

Capitalism run amok, proving it does not work for most people.

SOURCE: “When CEO’s Earn 5,000 Times as Much as a Company’s Workers,” by Sarah Anderson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

May 27

A sad commentary on human nature and life, replete with tragedies, and joys, indiscriminately distributed among the lot, inevitably and accidentally caused, a tale of human lives prematurely ended en masse.

SOURCE: “You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People,” by Robert Fisk, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,

May 27

Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows, because nobody knows what will cause what in international affairs; but here is a man who knows more than almost anyone else.

SOURCE: “Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump and the ‘Me First’ Doctrine,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 27

Not the country I thought I was born in.

SOURCE: “With Haspel Sworn in as CIA Director, Let’s Stop Pretending That Her Atrocitie4s Run Counter to American Values,” by Maha Hilal, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 22

Wish it weren’t so, but it probably is, sad, inevitable, stupid. The human world has always been an unfair screwed-up place, and things are coming to a head. How long it will take for the collapse to happen is another matter. Nobody knows.

SOURCE: “The Coming Collapse,” by Chris Hedges, COMMONDREAMS.ORG,

May 21

You don’t say?

SOURCE: “Fake News No Problem: Internet Totally Dominates Advertising in the US. Only 2 Companies Divvy up nearly 60% of the Spoils,” by Wolf Richter, WOLFSTREET.COM,

May 21

Well said.  No, it’s about a lot more than guns, primarily males who fell through the cracks developmentally caused by not being able to learn how to relate to people in general caused by the social environments in which they accidentally or inevitably had to live as children.

SOURCE: “You Think It’s All About Guns?” by James Howard Kunstler, KUNSTLER.COM,

May 21

Another article on the changing of human consciousness.

SOURCE: “The Friendly Mask Of The Orwellian Oligarchy is Slipping Off,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM.COM,

May 21

Say it ain’t so, Joe

SOURCE: “An Extreme Climate Forces Extreme Measures as Worst-Case Predictions Are Realized,” by Dahr Jamail, TRUTHOUT.ORG,

May 21

Another sermon by Courtenay Barnett on a bad mistake.

SOURCE: “Sermon – East Jerusalem: A capital provocation,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,

May 10

… and all those one tenth of one percent richest people earned all their money by doing honest hard work with their minds and hands, don’t you know, and there’s no reason for them to give you any of it, especially by paying higher tax rates than poor people … and now it’s time to go seepy-seep, and put your pretty little head on your pillow, and don’t you worry about a thing …

SOURCE: “The American Dream is Dead: The top 0.1% owns as many assets as the bottom 90%,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,

Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this issue of The Earthian any way you see fit.  RJS

De-Gaming And Saving Democracy



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

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

A decision was made in June of 2018 to encourage the formation of De-Gaming Democracy groups around Spaceship Earth to facilitate relevant face-to-face discussions about economic and political affairs. Earthians spending more and more time staring at computer and cell phone screens looking at faces, hearing voices, and reading fake news, gossip, and even truthful news has not resulted in economic and political progress. Something new needs to be tried. As Albert Einstein pointed out, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insane.

The Classroom De-Gamer™ is a three-quarter-inch-thick circular board twelve inches in diameter with concentric circles of numbers affixed to accommodate teaching and learning groups of various sizes. I have published articles describing the purpose and use of the device in Research in Education (1978), the Transactional Analysis Journal (1979), and The Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (1990).

The Classroom De-Gamer™ De-games psychological Games in face-to-face learning processes by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims, essential roles for psychological Games, from the discussion. No teacher or learner in a De-gamed process can psychologically feel or think s/he is being persecuted, rescued, or victimized if randomly selected by the Classroom De-Gamer™ to answer questions in the whole group. All group participants have an Adult contract to socially participate in the process using their Adult ego states. The Drama Triangle, a prerequisite for psychological Games, around which Rescuers, Persecutors, and Victims switch roles as they transact with one another, is disallowed in the process.

The De-Gaming process engenders liberty, equality, and fraternity among participants. It engenders response-ability that helps people get their needs met. It causes people not to discount the emotional and intellectual worth and abilities of themselves and others. The process is democratic, not authoritarian.

The De-Gaming teaching and learning process will work regardless of whether you understand transactional analysis concepts such as Parent, Adult, and Child ego states, transactions, scripts, rackets, discounts, the Drama Triangle, OKness, and I’m OK – You’re OK life positions. For more information and understanding of what they are, if interested, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

For more information showing how I applied this De-Gaming process over five years in a US manufacturing corporation doing business internationally involving some three hundred employees from all departments and levels of a plant read my e-book Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare at

The major objective after the Classroom De-Gamer™ has been spun is answering all three Adult Questions below as best you can if the spinner lands on you:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

Most likely some participants will disagree with your answers after you lay them out and the group will then discuss alternative answers, hopefully developing a consensus by the end of the discussion about what is right. If not, that’s OK. Being left hanging at the end of a session may motivate you to think of better answers later, maybe in your dreams. Better answers may be brought up in later sessions. Deciding what is the most important problem you know about is the most difficult decision you will have to make if the spinner lands on you. That’s what leaders do; decide what problem to focus on. Most of the time the spinner will only be spun one time per session, at the very beginning. In most sessions most of the time of the session will be spent discussing answers laid out by the De-Gamer-selected person, the most powerful person in the group that day, the randomly selected leader selected by fate at the beginning of the session, the start of a new day. On the other hand, some days the De-Gamer might be spun more than once, if a discussion runs out of steam, in which case the last person pointed out will spin the De-Gamer again to select another leader and set of answers for a different problem or opportunity.

True democracy entails individual humans having an opportunity to influence and vote for actions and people that reflect their factual experiences, thoughts, decisions, and recommendations regarding how families, schools, businesses, social and civic groups, and political organizations should be run. It seems to me all people should have a fundamental right to think about and discuss problems and opportunities facing the organizations that shape and control their lives.

Spaceship Earth, among many other things, is a giant classroom in which humans learn how to deal with current reality wherever they live.

All humans around Spaceship Earth, Earthians, learn something every day in various ways, working, playing, and merely existing, from others, from various media, from schools and churches, and from being exposed to facts of experience doing life tasks. The problem is most humans do not learn as well as they might qualitatively and as much as they might quantitatively because of getting set in their ways and because of political and social forces that cause them not to learn, forces that cause them not to think about certain problems and opportunities, not to feel what they feel, and not to say and do what they think is right.

Discussing the three reality questions in De-gamed groups will give isolated individuals feedback from others in the group regarding what they feel, think, do, and want, and will teach and enable them to learn alternative ways of feeling, thinking, doing, and wanting.

De-gamed discussion groups importantly are dialectical, meaning people will argue with facts and reasoning about different answers, which tends to develop workable consensual synthetic answers over time, thereby reducing the pernicious effects of dogmatic and doctrinaire polarizations.

Humans are enslaved around Earth in various ways to obsolete scripts, dogmas, and doctrines by familial, religious, business, political, and military forces, having been taught by authoritarian teachers that tell their subjects what to feel, think, and do. They primarily teach their subjects to obey and memorize, not to think and learn.

Conformity is the order of the day in human history, humans feeling, thinking, and doing the same things the same way day after day generation after generation.

A way out of this box is for everyone to become a teacher and a learner in a bottom-up democratic process starting with the basics of reality confronting any child, woman, and man around Spaceship Earth, dealing with three fundamental survival questions:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

And the process starts with you. You have to get people from various walks of life and ages in your community together for face-to-face democratic discussions, and explain the rules:

1 – A leader will be randomly selected to start all discussions by spinning the De-Gamer

2 – All randomly selected leaders will answer the three basic Adult survival questions if pointed out by the spinner

3 – No one may interrupt anyone in the discussions

4 – Holding up your hand to force someone to force everyone to remain silent so you can talk is outlawed

5 – You may say whatever you want after the randomly selected person finishes presenting his or her answers, but you have to assert yourself and start talking before anyone else does

6 – And so it goes throughout the time of the discussion

7 – How long good discussions should last is up to you but they will generally last an hour or so

8 – Verbal and physical attacks are outlawed

9 – All members of the group must listen to what the person currently talking wants to say regardless of whether they agree. After the person currently talking stops talking you can then rebut or say what you want if you can start talking before anyone else does. Otherwise you have to wait until the person beating you to the punch stops talking before you can try to talk again

10 – Communicating with individuals sitting to your left or right, or anywhere in the circle, is outlawed, except when you are responding to an individual about something s/he has said to the whole group or in response to you about something you said to the whole group

11 – Smirking and negative body language messages of all sorts are outlawed

12 – There can be no private conversations during a discussion session

13 – All cell phones and electronic devices must be fully disabled during a discussion session

14 – If you are not willing to abide by the laws and rules of the process then you cannot be a member of the De-Gamed democratic community discussion group.

You may need other rules for your groups, depending on unique circumstances, but the above rules cover the basics. You get the idea. Everyone should have a chance to be the leader of the day. This is not a novel idea. The Greeks had this idea for how to do democracy as early as the Sixth Century BCE. True enough only free Greeks were eligible for random selection for discussions but at least leaders were freely and democratically chosen from a relatively large pool. The process is known as sortition. Everyone is a free Greek in the De-Gaming democratic process. There are no slaves. All participants, including you, learn by doing, by saying what they truly feel, think, and recommend and by getting feedback from members of the group that generates new Game-free discussion and learning for all participants.

How often should you get your group together for discussions? Ideally several times a week for several years, but any frequency will be better than none, once a week, once a month, once a year, whatever.

In the interests of full disclosure I used the De-Gaming discussion process teaching with the case method thirty-six years in business schools primarily using paper cases written by casewriters at Harvard and Stanford, and the University of Alabama, while using the process using current facts as the case consulting with various groups, such as the above mentioned manufacturing plant. I have described the process in various media, and I have reprinted and included articles, cases, and chapters dealing with complications and conflicts using such a process may entail, caused by agitated threatened teachers and learners in the environment not approving of the De-Gaming discussion process, especially the teacher and learners sitting in circles, also providing data and evidence the democratic De-Gaming discussion process works, in my books Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds and Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, both published by Effective Learning Publications, available at:

You can find four articles I published in 1978, 1979, 1990, and 1998 on De-Gaming democracy processes in the Transactional Analysis Journal, a refereed professional journal at

I also described the De-Gaming process in two out-of-print books of readings and cases I researched, wrote and used in my small business and entrepreneurship courses, published by University Press of America, Managing Creatively: Action Learning in Action (1976) and The Entrepreneur: Concepts and Cases on Creativity in Business (1985) – and in one out-of-print trade book published by Effective Learning Publications, De-Gaming Teaching and Learning: How to Motivate Learners and Invite OKness (1979).

For more information and some of my current thoughts on how I used the De-Gamer in my classrooms read my article, “The Classroom De-Gamer,” published June 6, 2018 in the Effective Learning Report at This article discusses in more detail some of the procedures, problems, opportunities, and advantages of using a Classroom De-Gamer teaching and learning.

It seems to me the best strategy for homo sapiens getting out of their on-going mess, now trending towards global fascism or anarchy, and chaos, is for all humans to become good citizens aboard Spaceship Earth, considering themselves the rightful owners of the planet, and assume responsibility for making political and business decisions necessary to successfully manage planetary affairs in a bottom-up process in the interests of all inhabitants. It seems to me principles of management I espoused in “Academic Entrepreneurship: Using the Case Method and Transactional Analysis to Simulate Competitive Business Markets,” reprinted in full in Business Voyages, apply to citizens and owners of Spaceship Earth as well as they do to business students, small business owners, and employees of large fascist organizations. This article was originally published in the Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (now Journal of Management Education), Vol. XIV, Issue IV, 1989-90.

For more on how to manage Spaceship Earth according to me, read my recent Internet article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” first published in 2013 by MWC News (Media With Conscience) at

Awareness has been growing among independent Internet writers and publishers for several years that democracy in the Western World is in decline. Governments have become increasingly dysfunctional meeting the needs of citizens. The ideals of the French and US revolutions – liberty, equality, and fraternity – incrementally achieved to some degree in the West from about 1800 to about 1980 – are now waning. Since the Reagan administration in the US and the Thatcher administration in the UK in the 1980s the aristocrats have gotten richer and the peasants, serfs, and slaves have gotten poorer, while the bourgeoisie has shrunk. Inequality of incomes, wealth, and quality of life among citizens has skyrocketed in the last few years, while liberty and fraternity have plummeted. Overpopulation, environmental pollution, and global warming increasingly threaten the sustainability of human life itself. It is now obvious that unfettered capitalism does not work for most Earthians. Quasi-communist countries and quasi-dictatorships such as China and Russia are now in some ways as democratic and capitalistic as the US and the UK.

If trends continue … there is a good probability Earthians regardless of what kind of economic and political system they now live under will wind up through time being governed by an authoritarian totalitarian global military police system that rules all countries now geographically delineated aboard Spaceship Earth using a magnum computerized central control system, programmed at the top by a technocratic elite, with robots doing most of the physical work around Earth, with most humans doing what they are told living on handouts in reservations–or after a military nuclear catastrophe what’s left of the human species will atomize into superstitious tribal groups with no control system, with individuals living short hard brutish lives in poisoned inhospitable environments.

There is also some probability a system will evolve that enables humans in groups to democratically decide how to govern and manage their affairs around Spaceship Earth producing consensual approaches that produce peace and prosperity instead of war, and equality of opportunity and respect instead of hatred, while retaining the advantages of life-enhancing scientific and technological discoveries and innovations.

Capitalism in the West and communism in Russia failed because they allowed and encouraged weak-minded greedy unethical individuals at the top of centralized hierarchical organizations to acquire and monopolize more and more power and money through time causing widespread hatred, corruption, and dysfunction in the whole system.

Decentralized ground-up De-Gamed democracy has never been tried around Spaceship Earth. It’s time to give it a shot. Bring out the Classroom De-Gamers and let’s see what real people can come up with.

You don’t need a manufactured circular piece of wood with numbers and a spinner attached to De-Game your face-to-face community democratic discussion groups. Anything that will spin on a firm level surface will work, such as a bottle. The best size for discussion groups in my opinion is from ten to thirty people, but they can be larger. Some case method classes in business schools contain as many as one hundred students.

De-Gamed fact-based teaching and learning processes should not be limited to teaching elite students in elite schools that will use what they learn to manipulate economic and political systems to only benefit themselves after they graduate when they reach the top level of large fascist organizations: De-Gamed fact-based discussion groups can cause effective learning to occur in anyone aboard Spaceship Earth in any community, village, town, or city in any sort of clearing or physical structure.

Have your participants sit in a circle and put your spinner in the middle of the group, spin the spinner, and give it a go, answering the three survival questions and discussing the answers, answering the questions yourself if the spinner lands on you:

What is the problem or opportunity?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

For once give anyone a chance to feel, think, and say what s/he wants face-to-face in a response-able Game-free democratic group of people.

Feel free to forward, share, print, reprint, publish or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit, on the Internet or elsewhere.

Richard John Stapleton, Founder & Owner, Effective Learning Company, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,













Defaming the World’s Fastest Human

Sermon – an interest in Nesta Carter findings; passion; and pain.

By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, I am perplexed and perturbed by the recent International Olympics Committee (IOC) ruling concerning Nesta Carter ( member of the 2008 4 x 100 Jamaican relay team at theBeijing Olympics).

My sermon deals briefly with the background to and the outcome of the findings; and then I shed a few tears, wiped from my computer screen, before I dispatched this lament.

Nesta Carter happens to have been one of Usain Bolt’s team mates in the 4 x 100 meters relay race in which the team won a gold medal ( one of several thereafter) and set a world record ( one of many) and Bolt in the process launched himself further into the stratosphere of athletics international stardom.

Simply stated, the governing body for international athletics accused Carter of cheating by way of having taken a performance enhancing drug in 2008. Subsequently, after an appeal, Carter lost his case and in consequence lost the gold medal which he and his team mates won. Since Carter is compelled, along with Bolt and the other members of the team, to return the medal to the IOC, there is a reduction in Bolt’s overall gold medal haul. ‘Collateral damage’ for Bolt; embarrassment for Jamaica. Carter lost his final appeal to the International Olympic Committee Disciplinary Panel – and- procedurally that is as far as he can go.

However, viewed through a lawyer’s eyes and based on fundamental principles of natural justice, there are a few problems arising, which can honestly be placed and posed as questions:-

A. Why does it take fully eight(8) years before the allegation about drug cheating is raised against Nesta Carter, regarding the Beijing Olympic games?

B. Why is it that prior drug tests effected at the time in 2008 when Carter competed in Beijing gave him and all his team mates a clean slate and did not produce any evidence of drug cheating, but must now be reversed?

C. Was the stimulant methylhexaneamine, said to be found appearing in a retest in 2016, expressly on the ‘ban list’ of substances that athletes were prohibited from using in 2008?

Issues A and B relate mainly to factual content; issue C goes more to substantive and procedural matters.

So far as issue C is concerned an accused person is entitled to have a fair hearing and in matters of serious allegation, such as under the criminal law or where an infraction will have a serious deleterious impact on a person’s reputation and/or life generally, then the rule against retrospectivity applies. In the world of the Olympics and Olympic athletes the rule, as an element of the Rule of Law, would translate in the individual athlete’s mind to mean a reasonable expectation that, in any competition their actions therein must be considered by a future Tribunal or Court only by reference to the Rules or Laws applicable at the time of the competition. One cannot be held guilty of an ‘offence’ which at the material time of the factual event in question, was then not an offence. It is an apparent violation of this Rule, in a somewhat peculiar set of circumstances, which seems to have adversely impacted Mr. Carter.

When issues of banned substances arise then, in the absence of absolute strict liability ( i.e. purely factual culpability as distinct from intentional wrongdoing – as a consideration distinct from the ‘retrospectivity rule’) the following seems to be precursory matters that should be taken into consideration for fair adjudication and fair consideration as regards any alleged infraction:-

i) The substance should be specifically named and be clearly stated on an established accessible standard list which comprises the official list of banned substances.

ii) The scientific tests applied should be rule based, consistent and credible so as to exclude any unintended appearance of the substance in a person’s system, such as being an innocent by product after digestion.

iii) Every alleged finding should be weighed in consideration whether or not the source of any alleged ingestion from a banned substance was from a source wherein the manufacturerhad or had not actually listed the ingredient on the container from which the substance was obtained (i.e. fairly weighing the mental, intentional aspect of the alleged infraction).

I cannot, in my legal mind, find any logical and/or acceptable reason for the IOC applying a ban retrospectively on a substance back to 2008 then penalising an athlete for taking same. Yet, put that one aside for a moment and consider the actual IOC reasoning at points 9 to 11 of its official Decision:-

” 9. This choice was made in view of the fact that during the transfer of the samples from the Beijing laboratory to the Lausanne Laboratory, the A-Samples were not individually resealed nor transported in sealed containers.

10. At that time, resealing of A-Samples (or transport in sealed containers) was not a requirement pursuant to the then applicable ISL (2008).

11. However, it was felt that the option to rely on the B-Sample constituted an additional precaution securing the strength and reliability of the analytical process.”


brt iii – 005 1 international olympic committee ioc disciplinary commission decision regarding nesta carter born on 11 october 1985, jamaica, athlete, athletics

So now there is a double-breach against the rule against evidential integrity and against the rule prohibiting retrospectivity. First, in 2008 there was no procedural requirement of strict evidential integrity of preservation of samples, concerning the nature of transportation of substances due for testing; secondly, there was no ban on the substance said to have been found in Carter’s system. Thus, with that existing factual situation – then – how in jurisprudential terms – is Carter legitimately found to have committed a violation of any then existing IOC rules? The mind boggles.

Finally, the IOC convicted Carter on this basis, as best I can discern:-

” 90….

In prior lists, including the WADA Prohibited List 2008, applicable in this case, methylhexaneamine fell within the scope of the general prohibition of stimulants having a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect as the listed stimulants. Under the then applicable system, stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.

91. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) has confirmed that the presence or use of substances falling within the scope of generic definitions of the Prohibited List, can be used as a basis of establishing anti-doping rules violations.”

N.B. “stimulants which were not expressly listed, were presumed to be Non-Specified Prohibited Substances.”

So, it is “not specifically listed” and “non-specified” but it is still being interpreted as being specifically prohibited? I, at this stage of my life, do not knowingly drink alcohol ( that is a fact and decision of mine). However, I do drink coffee. So, for argument’s sake, I have a drink from a bottle labelled “Coffee Aphrodisiac Black”. I read the label and did not find any indication or statement that it had alcohol in it and then drank the contents. After love-making I am tested and it is found that I have a trace of alcohol in my system. Thus, I am found guilty and banned henceforth from….? Trite? Parallel? But – logical?

Yet, I am a preacher of sermons and a mere humble lawyer ( when not so preaching). Thus, probably an exalted logician and/or person with immaculate scientific training might proffer the explanation and answer to the question that my legal mind has been, so far, unable to fathom.

My concern is that Jamaica’s and the world’s first athlete to have delivered the triple- triple in the 100 – 200 and 4 x 100 meter races in three consecutive Olympics is to have his perfect record compromised and reduced when he has never been found guilty of any drug violation during the course of his some 15 years of an unblemished international career; but, his team mate, under the circumstances here described, is adversely to impact Usain Bolt’s record(s).

At this juncture I am heading to the Privy Council on the first of four matters intended to be heard on appeal. This process shall be making great demands on my time, so I am compelled to have a hiatus from my usual sermons. Interestingly, in the first matter, a murder appeal, I am advancing in argument the Joggee and Ruddock decision* regarding joint enterprise, where after 30 years the Privy Council and Supreme Court reversed their prior decision(s) and said that it had previously gotten the law wrong and were applying the wrong test. I am inclined to inform the IOC in the Carter case, likewise. At a later stage I shall report for resumed duties.

· R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8

In closing and with a heavy heart I cannot, at all, on this occasion say Hallelujah – so:-


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

Something to do in the summertime

By Joyce Wilson

5 Ways Teachers Can Make Summer Side Gigs Last Through the School Year

When you’re a teacher, having whole summers off can be a welcome break. But for many teachers, summer is the perfect chance to supplement their income with side gigs and temporary jobs. But what if you could make a little extra money while you’re teaching as well? If you’re interested, there are plenty of side gigs that will fit in perfectly with the school year. Here are a few ways you can make side gigs work for you without interfering with your normal teacher-related duties.

Tutor Children and Adults

If you absolutely love teaching, why not make a little extra money helping others? You can focus your attention on providing one-on-one lessons for students struggling with traditional subjects like math and science. Some students, and adults, may even benefit from getting a better grasp on English, if it’s the second language in their homes. You can even teach online on your own schedule! Know another language? Try teaching children and adults how to speak it. Conversational language lessons can build skills faster, and you’ll get paid just for talking.

Get Paid to Pet Dogs and Cats

Watching dogs and cats is a great way to make a little extra money. More and more pet owners are turning to in-home pet care to keep their pets safe while they’re away on summer vacations. You can open up your own home or stay in theirs. Don’t have the time to pet sit during the school year? Weekends and holidays are prime pet sitting times, so consider caring for pets then. Advertise your services online or spread the word through family and neighbors.

Put Those Writing Skills to Work

For most teachers, grammar comes naturally, but that isn’t the case for others. Many working professionals struggle when it comes to putting together a cover letter and resume and will pay top dollar to have someone do it for them. So put those writing skills to work and help people land their dream jobs in the process. Not into professional writing? There are lots of ways to make extra income through your words. You can help put together grant proposals or make a little extra cash proofreading textbooks. An added bonus to freelance writing? With a good laptop and internet connection, you can get your work done pretty much anywhere.

Get Extra Income Out of Your Car

Ridesharing has become pretty popular, and it’s a great way to make extra income without overworking your schedule. You can work for companies like Lyft or Uber, and summers are pretty busy with parties and events, making it the perfect time to start your new side gig. When the school year starts, you can choose to work after class or only offer rides on the weekends and special occasions. In fact, you can make more money working on holidays or during busy events. So fill up your tank, crank some tunes, and bring in some extra cash while helping people get around town.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Working over the summer can be a great way to earn extra income, especially if your side gig fits in with your school schedule later. Just make sure you’re not burning yourself out. Schedule hours that don’t leave you exhausted. If you don’t have a functional home office set up already, create a little space where you can focus on your side gig. Get a comfy chair and a calendar to keep your schedule on track. Whether you’re working your side gig over the summer or during the school year, always make time for self-care. Get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods, and make sure you can still get enough sleep at night.

If you want to make some extra money this summer, then a side gig may be a perfect opportunity for you. Whether you want to buy more supplies, grow your savings, or take that dream vacation, side gigs can provide the financial tools to help you reach your goals. So get out there and try one out today to see if it’s right for you!

Joyce Wilson,,


Sermon – reflections on war.

by Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved the topic of war is on my mind.

War has been in people ( psychologically); on people ( bombs); and – all around people for centuries. Why?

At the altar of the almighty truth there is a challenge here. This sermon does not lend itself to any one eternal and/or everlasting truth in answer – but rather – the nature of the question goes more to a series of interpretations as to – why war?

What category of war is being contemplated and considered here? War in the sense of tribes – nationalities – nations in conflict with each other. I rely on the Oxford English Dictionary definition of war and accordingly, “war” is defined as, “A state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country.”

There is a work on war more than a few centuries old written by Sun Tzu, entitled ‘The art of war’. It is Chinese and the thoughts are profound. Although having been written over a thousand years ago, it is still relied upon not only in military matters for strategy but has impacted other spheres of human activity. Consider:-

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

I start here because I realise that the approach of a rationalist academic analysis would potentially launch into a multiplicity of explanations such as considerations of conflict in the context of control of vital global resources : which I single out for special comment – but leave the others merely as being illustrative of the vast nature of the question- such as holding on to power and maintaining the status quo ( Apartheid South Africa); tribal differences ( Rwanda); political jostling for control over state power ( the Vietnam war); nationalism ( Nazi Germany in World War 11); jostling for regional power (Iraq under Saddam Hussein during the 8 year war with Iran); expansion of territory ( Israel); balance of power conflagrations ( the Balkans); religion ( the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s fought between Croatian Christians and Muslim Bosnians) – and on and on and on.

Compress, simplify and explain. How so?

Since Sun Tzu dealt with the inevitability of conflict as a state of being and Machiavelli, in his famous work ‘ The Prince’ wrote of self -serving, brutal, realistic and amoral conduct at its ‘best’, I use that duality. It was no less a person than former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger who made it appear that ‘The Prince’ was his ‘Bible’ for diplomacy, scheming, conniving and duplicity( see: footnote 1). Here, I am compressing as between Eastern versus Western thought processes based on dualistic modes of thought in the latter instance. The West sees and focuses primarily on the outer while the East starts with the inner, in the sense of conquest over one’s self as a first step to reach the victory in the external broader worldly sense. And so the attempt at a compressed explanation as to – why conflict – flows from these three, identified initial steps.

Compression at the extreme would take us – stones – spears – bow and arrow – cross bow – explosives – advancing stages of bombs – guns – canons – missiles – atomic – nuclear – and any other sorts of weaponry the human mind dreams up.

Simplification thus – the cave man, like the ape, has a physical fight over the woman he wants. The tribe has a fight with the neighbouring tribe. The nation seeks control over territory – and so on.

Explanation accompanied by compression and simplification might be this. Let’s use only two motivational factors and parameters for warfare. Our human historical experiences and our psychological motivators. History encompasses the geopolitics of war. Our inherent human motivational triggers such as need, greed, conceptual constructs such as ‘Empire’ and fulfillment of religious fate explains a lot, but there is more. So, as much as we explain, there remains something outside the box. So be it – we have already put quite a lot in the box in a very short time – so let us then transfer from the conceptual, confined and contained box to the world out there.

For purposes of illustration, the sermon confines itself to the post World War 11 era and contiguous decolonisation period from 1945 onwards. The Iraq war of 2003 will serve later as an illustrative talking point.

The war to end all wars ( and another one nevertheless). Some good however, after World War 11, in that there is the establishment of the United Nations and a number of Geneva Conventions setting out at an international level attempts to ‘civilize warfare’. I am born after these events and so walk a path along my birth line.

In the 1960s I attended St. Georges College, a Jesuit institution in Jamaica. The teachers were a mix of priests from Boston and some Jamaican lay teachers. At the time of the Vietnam War we had two sets of priests who made comment on the war. The older ones in the main could see no wrong with America’s war in Vietnam. Their logic ran that America was seeking to do good and was fighting the ungodly communists who wanted fully to take over Vietnam. The younger Jesuits, without any exceptions as far as I recall, were vocally and staunchly against the war. They taught us that napalm was being used and agent orange also; while the older Jesuits told us stories of how evil the Communists were because they told little children to ask God for ice cream and after none came then they were instructed to ask Uncle Ho for ice cream and they were rewarded. One group saw a war of liberation; while the other saw a war of profiteering and oppression. Not much has changed over the years as I amble towards the Iraq war many years later.

In the years between the 1972 end of the Vietnam War and the onset of the 2003 Iraq war, I did a lot of growing up while advancing into adulthood towards a better understanding of just how the world really works (see again: my commentary at footnote 1).

There is in every war a plethora of lies told; hypocrisy; tremendous economic cost; and – of course – killing, maiming and lasting psychological trauma. Yet, over and over again states set off to war. In 1959, an academic, Kenneth Waltz, published an analysis entitled, ‘Man, the State, and War’. Stated succinctly, he said that, “wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them”. Atruism. He has much more to say and it is accurate to say that every advanced student studying international relations in the Western world would have to contend with Waltz’s ideas. To compress his thoughts, he is saying that the international system lacks any central sovereign authority and so competition becomes endemic. A nice way of saying that if a state is powerful enough it will use its power for reason of lack of effective constraints on use of said power. Again, the Iraq war becomes my reference point in deference to Waltz and out of an acknowledgement of realism.

In purely theoretical terms, states, based on the application of rational thought, should never go to war. The human cost is too great and in the end no one really is the victor. The doubting Thomases will shout that if there had not been a war against Adolph Hitler, then the world would have been a sorry place faced with post-war Nazi victory. If a pre-war negotiated truce is not possible ( and here we invoke Mr. Chamberlain’s name) then of course, self-preservation; self-defence; and the ‘just war’ doctrine all dictate that war is inevitable in response to an aggressor and Article 51 of the UN Charter so condones:-

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

But, before returning to contemplation of the madness which war is, let us use a little rationality.

Leonardo da Vince had worked in Venice designing munitions. It is recorded that he shelved some of his designs, having weighed the implications that if man devised a flying machine then the destruction from dropping munitions from such heights would be devastating for humans. Maybe footnote 2 reflects this ( see below).He was correct, but time overtook him, as did rationalistcompassion and the lunacy has extended to even greater heights. Some questions might be posed:-

  1. If two nuclear armed powers can each blow the world up one time over, and they then proceed to acquire more ‘un-useable nuclear arms’ to be able to blow the world up five or ten times over – then what is the advantage of such additional weapons considering that the use of the first set would be MAD and lead to( Mutually Assured Destruction)?
  2. If a nuclear power demonstrates that it can and will destroy other countries which do not have the capacity for retaliatory nuclear strikes – then – what incentive does any country have to engage in a denuclearisation agreement?

Note: The obvious and immediate cases in point are – Iraq – Libya – North Korea vis- a- vis – the United States of America.

  1. Is there more sense in increasing the production of:-
  2. i) Internationally banned and/or prohibited chemicals and biological capacity for warfare; and
  3. ii) WMDs generally; and

iii) Nuclear weaponry in particular; and

  1. iv) Shouldn’t there be a global treaty prohibiting climate manipulation as an instrument of warfare;

and, via treaty and agreements de-escalating each of the above and safely and sensibly redeploying resources on the welfare of a nation’s people? The US can be noted, as a case in point, in Afghanistan and Iraq, for in just those two wars the US has lost over 7,000 lives, expended over US$ 6 trillion and not yet, counting or including the maimed, psychologically damaged and over 1 million Iraqi lives lost. All of this is just numbers, one can say. Just numbers. Yet, behind each number is a human face, a person, a family – an actual person and many people stacked high in those numbers. Is this rational; does this make sense; is this desirable – and – even if desirable for some – is it over time sustainable?

Having posed the questions – I doubt that I am likely to obtain any rational justifications. Explanations as to why wars break out – yes – as regards consciously doing the following:-

  1. Spanish American war commenced with a staged explosion in Havana Harbour.
  2. The Vietnam War commenced with a falsehood. It was announced the day before that in the Bay of Tongkin, the USS Maddox was attacked by the North Vietnamese. The only problem was that President Johnson announced the incident that day before it actually happened, having failed to take into account the international date line for the right time to announce the “attack”.
  3. The 2003 Iraq war based on the allegation and falsehood that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in violation of UN resolutions.

The 2003 Iraq war. This resonates with me in memory, in terms of international law ( violations thereof) and in straightforward human and humanitarian terms. Let’s consider.

Just before the Iraq war I made a bet with an ex US Navy man I knew. I told him that there would be no invasion of Iraq and bet him US$100 with 4 to 1 odds. I lost; he won.

My thinking was based on strictly legal analysis and not on the realpolitik motivating the illegal invasion of Iraq. I had studiously followed the work of the UN Chief Weapons Inspector, an international lawyer named Hans Blix. He was not willing to tell lies and he informed accurately what his team had found and been convinced by, which did not tally with what President George Bush Jr. wanted to hear. Blix went as far as offering a final, further six weeks to do additional investigations then make an ultimate report, with a view not to rush to war. Bush rejected the offer and – as they say – the rest is history ( see: footnote 3).

I observed in the United Kingdom at the time that two prominent persons lost their lives with reference to the Iraq invasion. Robin Cook was the British Foreign Secretary who resigned in March 2003 in protest over the invasion of Iraq:-

“The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner–not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council”

Professor Waltz was correct in his analysis; it is about power; not legality. They can do it – so – just do it.

Dr. David Kelly was a distinguished scientist on biological warfare, in the service of the British Government.

Cook died allegedly from a heart attack suffered in August, 2005. There was never any serious investigation into the nature and cause of his death. Cook seems to have been divulging confidential information going back to the Iraq invasion, contrary to the prohibition placed on him by the Official Secrets Act. Kelly died supposedly from suicide. He had spoken to a BBC journalist named Andrew Gilligan. Gilligan made reference to details provided by Kelly and to the UK Government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Parliament summoned Kelly to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee while investigating Gilligan’s report and Kelly, two days later, was found dead.

So, there you have it. He who tells the truth may pay with his life.

My moral position is one of forever seeking a road to peace as the first recourse. If all else fails then self-defence becomes inevitable for logical reasons of self-preservation. I do not relish conflict; do not glorify militarism, yet seek to understand – why war? Sun Tzu is particularly helpful to me in comprehending on a philosophical level – the reasons why. He sees conflict as inevitable and war thus as a necessary evil. He also notes philosophically ways to avoid “war” in the extreme: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – and – he penetrates the inner self in response to the outer confrontation with warfare – for as he says – “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

At this juncture I have very little left to say.

My sermon, on this occasion, was compelled to abandon its normal mission of truth seeking. My absolutist approach, if one can call it that. “War” by its pervasiveness and existence as a global reality has directed me along a path of an appreciation of relativist reality. Noting the reality that war was here before me – has persisted all my life – and – shall be here after I close my eyes for the final time.

To the extent that I have pursued the truths behind the Iraq war, my piece was said back in 2006 when I published ‘Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies’. Having revisited it, there is nothing I wish to change and continue to note reality as it is ( see footnote 6).

Having come to those conclusions, my farewell adopts a realistic tone:-

War – Oh hell! – AMEN!


  2. The American Muslim (TAM)

    Alfred Nobel and the Real Prize – Peace “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankin

  4. Leonardo da Vinci’s Aerial Screw Invention

    Nearly four hundred years before the invention of the helicopter, Leonardo da Vinci invented a flying machine that used a revolving platform to gain flight.

  5. ‘Disarming Iraq’ by Hans Blix ( published 2004).


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

The Classroom De-Gamer

By Richard John Stapleton

Here is a way to make students more responsible in class and citizens more responsible for elections, by teaching leadership and democratic skills, through learning by doing, by giving everyone a chance to study facts, think, make decisions, and be leader. What follows is a revised reprint of Chapter Eight of my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning, as shown at


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


The Classroom De-Gamer is a “roulette” device I developed that enables teachers to get feedback from students regarding homework assignments without giving written tests every day and without setting up the Drama Triangle by calling on students to answer specific questions using a nonrandom selection process.

The Classroom De-Gamer is constructed of a three-quarter-inch-thick circular board that is twelve inches in diameter, with numbers affixed to allow for varying class sizes. I have published articles describing the device in Research in Education (1978), the Transactional Analysis Journal (1979), and The Organizational Behavior Teaching Review (1990).

To use the De-Gamer, I like to have students position their desks in an Orbit Layout. I place the De-Gamer in the center of the room.

I spin the arrow the first time myself. This is only time I will spin the arrow, barring absences of students.

All students have a contract to read before class whatever has been assigned for the day. Most days in my classes the assigned reading is a business case laden with facts and numbers. If the De-Gamer catches a student unprepared s/he loses a whole letter grade from the final course grade.

I spin the arrow the first time myself. This is only time I will spin the arrow, barring absences of students.

The student the arrow lands on has the responsibility of talking about the assigned material. If specific questions are asked of De-Gamer-selected students, the questions are announced to the class as a whole before the spinning takes place.

The student initially pointed out spins the arrow next, and so it goes throughout the course. The last person pointed out spins the De-Gamer next.

If the room must be set up in the sometimes-unavoidable row-and-column layout, each student is assigned a number corresponding to numbers on the De-Gamer, and whoever’s number the arrow lands on has the responsibility of saying what’s what.

Advantages of the De-Gamer

The primary advantage of the De-Gamer is that it enables a teacher to get concrete feedback regarding material learned as part of the Adult learning contract without setting up the Drama Triangle.

In a classroom in which the De-Gamer is used properly, all ego states in students can see and feel that the teacher is not manipulating who gets called on for ulterior reasons. All ego states in students can see and feel that they are not being Persecuted or Rescued by a teacher playing a Game when they are called on to respond to classroom requirements and challenges.

Perhaps the major advantage of a De-Gamer is that it cathects Adult ego states, especially if group members are instructed to answer the following Adult Questions if randomly selected:

What is/are the problem/s? What are the alternatives? What do you recommend?

While no one should be taught to use the Adult ego state all the time, teaching business students to use the Adult ego state is especially appropriate, since, in the long run, being able to see current reality for what it is and assess and predict probabilities of recommended actions happening relatively accurately is a major determinant of satisfaction in competitive business environments.

Another advantage of the De-Gamer is that it brings about a more efficient utilization of class time. Less time is spent rehashing what the students know by emphasizing already-learned points.

Another advantage is that the De-Gamer focuses the attention of the class upon the Adult learning contract. Since less energy is now being spent playing Games, more energy is available for learning what is actually supposed to be learned.

I find that the De-Gamer also reduces the amount of time I spend on rituals and pastimes.

Disadvantages of the Classroom De-Gamer

The De-Gamer is at first threatening to many students. Ironically, while actual Persecuting or Rescuing has been banished from the classroom, some students psychologically view the probabilistic selection process facilitated by the De- Gamer as Persecuting or Rescuing. Some students are apparently so used to partiality of some sort (i.e. Games) being shown by teachers when they are called on in class that they are threatened when singled out by the obviously impartial De-Gamer.

I have participated with students as a student when the De-Gamer was used. When the De-Gamer landed on me, even though I was the teacher and should have known the material, I had an uneasy feeling. I felt as though some metaphysical force had caused the arrow to land on me.

Students tell me they feel some fear when the De-Gamer is spinning at the start of the class. When asked “what do you feel when the De-Gamer is being spun?” the almost-unanimous answer was “anxiety.” Some of the students thought the anxiety (or “adrenalin,” as one of them put it) helped them learn.

I teach college students. The reactions of high school, junior high, or grade school students (or learners anywhere, in homes, businesses, organizations, etc.) may be different to some degree. I doubt the difference is extensive. Based on my experience, I believe the De-Gamer will work at any level.

Due to the adrenalin factor, perhaps the De-Gamer should be used less frequently at lower educational levels. There are a number of creative approaches that innovative teachers can use in conjunction with the De-Gamer at all educational levels to alleviate anxiety.

Evidence the De-Gamer Works

I have acquired data indicating the effectiveness of the Classroom De-Gamer. At the end of the winter quarter 1978 and spring quarter 1978, I passed out the following questionnaire to my students.

  1. I think the De-Gamer caused me to prepare more for this course than I would have had the De-Gamer not been used.ӬYes_____ No____
  2. I think the De-Gamer caused me to learn more than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used.ӬYes____ No_____
  3. I believe the De-Gamer made the learning process in this class more fair and just than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used.ӬYes_____ No______
  4. I believe the De-Gamer reduced psychological Game playing in this class.

Yes____ No_____

I taught Small Business Management and Production Management I in winter 1978 and Business Policy and Production Management II in spring 1978. There were 24 students in Small Business Management, 26 in Production Management I, 35 in Business Policy, and 19 in Production Management II.

Taking the 111 students as a group, regarding question 1, 94 percent said the De-Gamer caused them to prepare more for class than they would have had the De-Gamer not been used. Regarding question 2, 80 percent said the De-Gamer caused them to learn more than they would have had the De-Gamer not been used. Regarding question 3, 82 percent said they believed the De-Gamer caused the learning process to be more fair and just than would have been the case had the De-Gamer not been used. On question 4, 72 percent said they thought the De-Gamer reduced psychological Game playing.

Analysis of the Findings

The questionnaires were anonymous and were placed in an envelope when I was not in the room. The students merely checked the appropriate blanks. There is no Adult reason that the students should not have been straight and Game-free in their transactions in filling out the questionnaire. There is some chance that bias entered into their responses, but it is minimal.

I think the findings from the above samples are valid and reliable. I believe the findings indicate that the De-Gamer does cause students to prepare more for homework assignments and learn more. I believe the findings indicate that the De-Gamer reduces Game playing in class and creates a more fair and just situation.

I think I can make two additional valid and reliable generalizations from an analysis of the findings by course. One is that the De-Gamer works better in “hard” courses than in “soft” courses. The other is that the smaller the class, the greater the De-Gamer’s effects.

Small-business-management and business-policy courses are “softer” than Production courses. By hard and soft, I do not mean easier or less valuable. I see a soft course as one in which there is little that can be proved with hard data, where most of the generalizations or concepts are of the synthetic, inductive-opinion type. A hard course, on the other hand, is one in which many of the ideas, generalizations, and so on can be demonstrated by deductive logic and mathematics, based on the analysis of concrete facts and data.

Small business and business policy courses are, to a large extent, concerned with setting goals and objectives for businesses and determining basic purposes. This activity, a significant part of the business process, necessarily involves primarily intuitive abilities. It is easier for students to just make something up to say in class without reading the case beforehand in these courses than in the more mathematical courses. This is not to say that “just making something up” (i.e., creating something) is not a valuable part of a learning process, and some people are definitely better at doing it than others.

This opens a Pandora’s box of suboptimal OKness in schools. Much Game playing goes on regarding whose and which courses are hard, easy, interesting, boring, useful, and worthless. Some teachers deliberately attempt to make inherently soft courses into hard ones so they won’t be considered easy Santa Clauses. There are hundreds of combinations of hard, soft, easy, hard-to-learn, useful, interesting, and worthless courses. Just because a course is hard, this doesn’t mean it is valuable, and just because a course is easy, this does not mean it is not valuable. I am sure a course in Egyptian hieroglyphics would be hard, but it would be next to worthless for most students.

The De-Gamer and Other Matters in My Human Relations Course

The smaller the course, the higher the probability the arrow will land on a particular student on a given day, and, therefore, there is more pressure on students to do their homework in small classes than in large ones.

The main reason the De-Gamer works is that students know their fellow students know they had an Adult contract to read and study the assigned material and they will lose points and face if caught unprepared. Even the most negative Parent and Child ego states in the room feel there is a positive reason to read and discuss homework under these conditions.

I have evidence the De- Gamer works based on true-false/multiple-choice tests.

During summer quarter 1978, using a standard textbook, I taught a human-relations course for junior-year business majors. There were about forty students in the course. The author placed some short cases in the course textbook to embellish his text material, which consisted primarily of research findings. The cases were too short to facilitate any real analytical work, so we used essentially a Learning-the-Textbook Method.

As it turns out, practically nothing is always true regarding human behavior in the field of business. Most textbook authors in the field present the disjointed findings of behavior researchers from various areas that are qualified almost into nothingness. The author of the summer human relations course textbook, like all textbook writers, also wrote an instructor’s manual telling teachers how to teach using his book. The instructor’s manual, like all good instructor’s manuals, also contained hundreds of true-false/multiple-choice/fill-in-the-blank/matching test questions, complete with answers for the teacher showing on which page of the textbook the answer was found. Since human behavior research studies have not found any answers that apply in all cases, the “answers” to the test questions in the instructor’s manual were of the order that so-and-so found that such and such was almost an answer and that so-and-so said such and such, regardless of whether what he or she said was true or relevant. Various numbers were found in the book from place to place, and lots of declarative sentences were used, which could be turned into test questions.

Since the students and I decided to use the Learning-the-Textbook Method in this course, with true-false and multiple-choice test questions prepared by the author for tests, the students would have to learn what was in the book. It took me some doing to get them to agree to honor this learning contract, especially after the first test.

Most students in the course did poorly on the first test. They got 40 or 50 percent of the textbook author’s questions wrong. Correcting the test in class, I had my instructor’s manual and the textbook page numbers for answers in front of me so that I could look up the answers when students complained that they got points taken off that shouldn’t have been taken off. Many points were taken off that shouldn’t have been, because our management department’s secretary left an answer off my answer key sheet. Consequently when I marked the Xs in the circles on the students’ answer sheets, most of the Xs were for questions the students really got right. To say the least, this set loose a hornet’s nest of Parent indignation and Child anguish in the students. Needless to say, I took all the tests back and corrected the error.

Some students were already disgusted with me in class, and the above incident added more fuel to the fire. I had said very little in class up to that point. I had come in every day and set the De-Gamer up in the center of the room. I used the Orbit Layout. I had made a few comments from time to time. On one or two days, I didn’t say a single word. A student would spin the arrow of the Classroom De-Gamer at the beginning of the period, and the selected student would start a discussion of the assigned material; if I thought the students understood what was talked about in the chapter, I said nothing.

The first test was taken about three weeks into the quarter. By this time, many of the students were beginning to criticize the course in class. They didn’t like the book. The author wasn’t clear, they said. The test questions weren’t fair. They wanted to use some other book or learning method. I replied, “We’ve got an Adult learning contract to do it this way. It may not be any good or fair, but we all agreed to it, so let’s keep it up.”

Any student who disagreed with the learning contract could have dropped the course and gotten another teacher using other methods after the first day of class. We had alternative teachers and methods for the course. At the same time, any student taking severe umbrage to the course could drop it with no prejudice up until midquarter. I told them I thought they were doing pretty well, given the handicaps and unfairness they were exposed to in this course.

They did better on the second test. Two or three students made A’s on this test. They had learned how to answer 90 percent or more of the textbook author’s questions right, according to the answer key taken from the instructor’s manual.

During this interlude, after several invitations for me to lecture by various members of the class, I took a vote on whether I should lecture to them, and the almost-unanimous wish was that I would lecture. I then began to do some lecturing, which consisted of drawing some transactional analysis models on the chalkboard and adding my opinions on human behavior to those the textbook author gave.

I used true-false, multiple-choice questions taken from the instructor’s manual for the third test. My TA and personal-opinion lectures on human behavior were freebies, I said. I told them I hoped they found my lectures interesting and useful. I was amazed at how well the students did on the third test. There were four or five A’s and no grades lower than C. I gave them several positive strokes for their achievement.

I told them that some of them did better on the test than I probably could or would have, and here I was an expert on human behavior. I became a little concerned when I found out how much time some of the A students spent cramming for the test–something like eight hours. It was obvious that many of the students were doing their best to memorize the book for the test.

In the meantime, I had assigned the students the task of writing some cases of their own, taken from their work experience or current field research, which they distributed to each class member. They then discussed these cases using the De-Gamer in the normal manner, i.e., spinning the De-Gamer to start the discussion of each case. After five or so weeks into the ten-week course, they began to discuss their cases along with the textbook.

At the first of the quarter, the students were covering a chapter a day in the book and had to have more material to fill out the quarter. They could discuss one of the textbook chapters in the Adult mode using the De-Gaming process in about fifteen minutes. The textbook, a normal-sized textbook of about five hundred pages, had only about twenty chapters, and we had fifty class sessions of fifty minutes each for the course. The remaining class time was devoted to their written cases and my occasional lectures. Rarely were they turned out early.

Final grades were determined 50 percent by scores on the true-false/ multiple-choice tests and 50 percent by class participation. I always place a heavy weight on class participation–normally 80 percent of the final grade. Most (95 percent or so) of my courses entail the Case Method and no memorization for tests. I normally use case write-ups for tests. Students know–once you tell them what Games are–that playing Games will hurt their class participation grades. This procedure alone precludes a lot of Games.

I use peer ratings on a scale of 0-4 (4 being equivalent to an A) to give students feedback regarding how the class as a whole saw each student. I think it is important that students know what students think about their performance. This teaches students how others perceive them in communication episodes similar to those of the class. This gives students potent Adult feedback that they can use to make decisions about how to communicate.

I have all students write down on a form a 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each class member, corresponding to whether they think the student deserves an F, a D, a C, a B, or an A for class participation. I sum these numbers for each student and write them on the inside of a folded slip of paper with the student’s name on the outside and pass them out in class. Students dividing their scores by the number of evaluators provides them a class grade point average, which is usually valid, in my opinion. Some students are irresponsible, poor evaluators, but most are not. In my courses, it is obvious to the Adults of most students what grades most students deserve for class participation.

I consider it my responsibility to ultimately determine the class-participation grade. I use various criteria. The most important criteria are how well informed the student is; how accurate are his or her observations, analyses, and recommendations are; and what sort of an impact has the student had on the class. Was the student a leader of the class? Did the student motivate the class to learn or have fun or play Games? Was the motivation positive or negative? Did the student listen well? Or did he or she habitually discount the class by sleeping, yawning, slouching down in his or her desk or chair, or whispering covertly to other students?

I tell students at the beginning of the quarter they will be evaluated on the basis of their total participation in class, which includes not only what and how much they say but how well they motivate others by how well they listen. It comes as a surprise to most people that they can learn listening skills, but once they see what these skills are, they are not difficult to learn. A certain amount of effort is required to maintain an effective body posture and control ego states in such a way as to be congruent with what is going on. Since students are supposed to do some work in classes, it is not unreasonable to teach them to control their verbal and nonverbal transactions in order to contribute to the class.

Grading the active listening skills of students causes helping behavior to exist in the classroom among students, which increases learning. Students are graded not only on the basis of what they selfishly learn for themselves to further their own success in life–they are also graded on the basis of how they help their fellow class members learn and grow and be successful, which is, after all, the best way to get successful and make it big in life anyway. This is what successful leaders and managers do in the business world.

Students, trainees, and employees have to be taught (sometimes with much repetition) that being smart and selfishly learning or memorizing material to further one’s own ends is not necessarily excellent. I had some students in the above human relations course who had A averages on the tests but C averages for class participation, and they thus received B’s in the course. There were some students who made C’s on the tests but who had A’s for class participation, who also received B’s.

Students in the human relations course proved that students could memorize material for tests quite well when the Classroom De-Gamer is used and when the teacher does no emphasizing of the material in the text.

One of the most interesting things I learned in that course had to do with how students normally study for tests. The consensus of the class was that in most courses, they did not have to read the book word for word. They felt that most teachers who use the Lecture Method tell students, in one way or another, what will be on the tests. They do this by what they emphasize and spend extra time on and through the body language they use when lecturing about certain things. Thus, students don’t have to pay much attention to the book. They mainly memorize their notes from the teacher’s lectures, which, according to the students in the above class, did not require as much time or work as my classroom structure configuration.

All too often, students’ attitude is “just tell me what’s going to be on the test.”

Another interesting thing about this human relations class is that it was generally too Critical Parent and Adapted Child. There was not enough Natural Child and Nurturing Parent energy in the room. About midway through the course, it became apparent that most of the students had decided to do a good job of memorizing the material for the tests from Critical Parent and Adapted Child, but the class was boring and stiff.

One day, I told them I thought they were a dull group, which they were, relative to most of my classes. From quarter to quarter, semester-to-semester, or year-to-year, most classes will be populated with generally the same percentages of all ego states, but it will sometimes happen that some classes are overdeveloped or underdeveloped in various ego states, depending on the type of early conditioning the students in the class had. In this human relations class, it appeared that 80 percent or so of the students must have been reared in families almost devoid of Natural Child fun and Nurturing Parent helping behavior. It seemed the only thing they cared about in class was their grade. There was little laughter or fun, and almost no one asked for or received any help or support.

A no-stroke economy had been set up, as they had apparently decided that the only thing that counted was memorizing the material for the tests. Another problem in this class was that the natural leaders were these Critical Parent/Adapted Child types. If there had been three or four leaders in the class who were better endowed with Nurturing Parent/Natural Child, the culture of the class would have been less dull.

When I told them they were dull, several of the Critical Parents were concerned. What Critical Parent wants their Adapted Child to be dull? I explained they needed to use more Natural Child and Nurturing Parent during class.

I also explained what Natural Child–Natural Child transactions were, and after I finished this, one shocked, indignant student from Critical Parent blurted out, “What do you want us to do, just sit here and bullshit”

I explained that I didn’t think it would be a good idea for them to spend all their time bullshooting but that it would be a good idea to spend some time bullshooting.

“Not in the classroom!” the Critical Parent snapped back.

“Why not in the classroom?” I replied. I explained that in business school, we were training people to be business managers and salespeople and that out in the real world, if you don’t know how to bullshoot, you won’t get very far. I explained that bullshooting is a valuable skill for managers and salespeople.

Although some of the Critical Parents never bought this idea, most of the Adults got the point. The class began to spend more time in Natural Child pastiming. They started out spending maybe five minutes a day at it; by the end of the course, they spent fifteen or twenty minutes a day at it some days.

Telling the class they were a dull group caused them to be less dull. Near the end of the course, one student said from Adapted Child to my Critical Parent, “Dr. Stapleton, do you still think we’re a dull group?”

“Not as dull as you were,” I replied from my Adult to the student’s Adult.

Some of the students, including the student who asked if I still thought they were a dull group, were pleased that I thought they had made some progress in becoming less dull.

The problem is that if you are trying to be not dull from Adapted Child to get your Critical Parent off your back, because a teacher thinks you are dull (when your Critical Parent wanted you to be dull in the first place), you are still operating from Adapted Child and are not spontaneously and joyfully saying and doing things from Natural Child. Therefore, a certain amount of dullness is still involved. While this class had become more lively than they were, they were still duller than most of my classes.

This lesson about being dull turned out to be very interesting to the students. It seemed to intensify their efforts to memorize the book. Apparently, they decided if they couldn’t be not dull in their communicating in class, then they would at least be good scholars.

An exceptionally intense contest had somehow been set up among the students to see who could score highest on the tests, regardless of how unfair they thought the tests were. It seemed to me that even the least interested students in the class were drawn into this contest. It seems to me this indicates students will work to gain achievement strokes when they are denied Game strokes.

All in all, it was an interesting learning experience. I learned something from the course, and I think the students got something valuable from it. It wound up a generally OK class. Some of the students thought various students in the class and I were not OK, but most of us came out of the course in a winner position, i.e., I’m OK–you’re OK. Some of the students told me they thought the course was one of the best they had had. One student had a 4.0 grade point average going into the course, having made a point to let me know about it during the course. She made a low A on the tests, but had a high C or low B in class participation, and, therefore, she got a B in the course. I haven’t seen her since the course. I had some concerns about how she would react when she received the B and what effect this would have on her OKness, but my job is to enforce the Adult learning contract. I do not have a contract to see to it that 4.0 students keep a perfect average.

What Kind of Teacher Am I?

I don’t show up well on numerical-average faculty evaluations filled out by undergraduates. I am highly appreciated by some students and highly criticized by others.

I appeal to tough-minded students with good Adult ego states. Students who like to play Games don’t like me. I am a competent teacher in the eyes of my colleagues, as evidenced by my promotion to full professor at age thirty-five. I develop good relationships with some students. Each year, I sent twenty or so graduates out into the world who essentially majored in me. These are students who have taken courses with me for most or all of their free electives, from four to six courses, because they like the Classroom De-Gamer and the case method.

One of these students came by to see me four days before graduation. Since he was about to graduate, he decided to tell me how he saw the lay of the land at Georgia Southern. He was convinced I had the right approach to teaching. He wanted to know why more teachers don’t use the case method. “That De-Gamer really works. In a lot of the courses you take, you don’t learn anything,” he said.

He had flunked some sort of exit exam and was in jeopardy of not gradu- ating. He had retaken the exam but didn’t know whether he had passed it the second time. I think this exam had to do with the constitution. At any rate, he thought it was ridiculous that he even had to take the exam. He was down on the test administrator and generally all college administrators. “Here I am, the customer,” he said, “and they act like they’re doing you a favor to let you out of here.”

He was switching back and forth from Victim to Persecutor and was inviting me to Rescue him and join in the Persecution his Parent wanted to inflict on some administrators. This was a good student–with a 2.8 or so gradepoint–and I personally liked him. He was a well-motivated, generally positive, go-getter type. I had observed him in class for five or six courses, and he generally stayed in an OK position, was well prepared, and had good things to say when he talked about the material. I decided to play some first-degree “ain’t it awful” and “let’s you and him fight” (Berne 1964) with him.

I pointed out he could go talk to the college president about the poor administrative performance he had seen, and that regarding the exit exam he had retaken, it might be a good idea to go talk to the “punk” administrator who would grade the thing and see if he passed it the second time.

“I just might do that,” he said. “Just walk right in the president’s office and talk to him like an Adult. You don’t have to come on Child to these administrators, even the president, do you?”

“Not if you’ve graduated,” I said.

“Yeah, well, I think I’ll just go talk to the president.”

I told him I thought that students had an Adult right to evaluate teachers and administrators, that no one was exempt from evaluation, that it goes on all the time everywhere.

“It sure is nice to have some teachers you can talk to,” he said. “There aren’t many teachers around here you can talk to.”

This led him into wondering why I wasn’t more popular with students. “You know,” he said, “these freshmen and sophomores ask me, ‘What’s Stapleton like? Is he hard?’ I tell them, ‘No, he’s not hard, but it’s like having a test every day.'”

This student and I talked for thirty or so minutes in my office. We played some first-degree Games, did some pastiming and some Adult problem solving, exchanged positive strokes, and achieved a higher degree of intimacy than normally exists between students and teachers. We ended our encounter in an I’m OK–You’re OK position.

The student was coming from a position of I’m OK–You’re OK, but some of the administrators and other teachers are not OK. From an Adult standpoint, he was correct and accurately perceptive regarding some of the not OKness he had seen, but his Parent and Child had set up some Games around it. Before he talked to me, he had been more interested in enjoying the drama of the situation than taking some Adult action steps to correct the problem.

Despite his playing some Games, this was still a good student. I told him that I thought he was a good student and that I thought he would do well in his career. He told me about the job he already had lined up in first-level management at a good salary. Everything was rosy except the problem of getting out of the place. Most likely this student will wind up more successful than most graduates. He will make it and be successful and powerful.

Many of my graduates report back that they have made it and are powerful and successful. Rightly or wrongly, they say my teaching helped them. I enjoy teaching and generally find it satisfying. I enjoy engaging in Adult-Adult discussions with students in a relatively Game-free atmosphere. This happens frequently in my classes. What is most satisfying about teaching to me is watching students figure things out and decide to become more capable.


Games vary in degrees of seriousness. As pointed out in a previous chapter, there are first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree Games. First-degree Games are relatively innocuous, and third-degree Games are dangerous. I have encountered only one student whom I consider a potential third-degree Game player. In class, this student glared and glowered and absolutely refused to positively participate throughout the whole course. I gave him the D in the course he earned, giving him credit for his written work and the fact he was there in body. He then unleashed his full arsenal of Games, playing them not only with me but with my department head, the dean, and anyone else he thought could or would help Persecute me. He stopped me in the hall one day and escalated to the second degree. The white-hot anger showing in his face indicated he could have gone on to the third degree. The student did poorly not only in my course but also in several others. He flunked out of school and faded off into the sunset. I haven’t seen the student for several years, but I have some scare whenever I think of him. I hope has he found a niche where he can be productive and has not been a menace to people around him.

Encountering one potential third-degree Game player is not bad. This indicates that the majority of college students are reasonably well-off in an OKness, Game-playing sense. I estimate that 80–90 percent of all college students play first-degree Games in classrooms and offices with teachers. Most students “brownnose” to a certain extent. This reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of learning activities, but it does not result in serious harm. I estimate that 30–40 percent of all college students play some second-degree Games outside of the classroom with friends, family members, and so on, but this still will not put anyone in a hospital. I think college teachers and organizational trainers encounter fewer second and third degree Games among students and trainees than elementary, junior high, or high school teachers. Most of the heavy Game players drop out of the learning process before college and cannot function in most organizations that reward participants on the basis of outward, positive contributions and merit. On the other hand, based on my experience with public school learning situations, third-degree Games are rare in these situations. In general, teachers and trainers don’t need to worry about third-degree Game players in ordinary learning situations. What teachers and trainers need to primarily do about Games is reduce first-degree Games so more learning can take place.




Sermon – My Civilising Mission


That for his long stay;

Abroad and away in a distant land.

Turned a helpful hand;

With non-barbaric plan: night long.

Tame as of the shrew; headlong

He sprung to civilize the Britons ’till farewell song.


By Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, we are again at the altar of the Almighty Truth. Gathered for delivery and receipt of words of enlightening and everlasting truth.

Our topic today is the mission of civilization which saw me trying to redeem the British from lives of drudgery and stoic resolution.

The beginning is normally the correct place to start, but here already steadily advancing towards the peroration and already at the third paragraph might do just as well – so let us begin.

In the beginning I lived in Jamaica. When I was sixteen, I was shipped off to England to further my education. Projecting that I would be doing a first degree and post-grad studies, I was the fortunate recipient of a flat ( ‘apartment’ as the Americans term it). My father sagaciously and with considerable financial foresight, bought a place in a well appointed part of London – south east London in Upper Norwood where I lived during the course of my studies.

Now, the shift from the Caribbean to England was initially a culture shock. ‘They’ were not me and I was not them. Despite the differences I quickly learned the ways and largely adjusted to patterns of behaviour and alternate ways of living and doing that were quite different to me than the way we did things back home. However, I vowed to remain civilized and refused toconvert to certain barbaric and insularly withdrawn ways accompanied by antiquated and dowdy existential practices.

Barbaric is a strong word, but at its worst, it was actually a form of villainoussadisticintrospection accompanied by withdrawal into one’s own personality. Simply put, the majority of people were not gregarious andnotinstinctively and/or habitually warmly open. They were not unduly hostile, but the personality was one of cautious rectitude accompanied bypoliteness. At its best, politeness was present to a fault. Of course I am reflecting loosely and collectively, but the general at times can nevertheless sum up the specific. Watching the cricket crowd at Lords and observing the English is quite a different tell on cultural disposition, be it at Lords or the Oval, of being within the West Indian stands, versus watching the game with the stiff and stoic upper lip. In those days much of that was needed by the Englishin great quantity for it was then that under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd the West Indies was on a fifteen to eighteen year winning streak. But back to the point and the mission.The best summary of English cultural traits is written by a Hungariantravel author, George Mikes, in ‘ How to be an alien’,being the most successful of all his many humourous books. Mikes wrote, “the English have no soul; they have the understatement instead.” To sum up what I was getting at earlier, they are a reserved lot of people, and so the West Indian cricket ground cavorting is simply not British. The English will sit quietly, intelligently, and in a deliberately studied fashion watch the game whilethe spirited West Indians can do what the bloody hell they want to; they simply are not British. There I stared the problem in its faceand I wasdetermined to fix it.But how so?

When I moved into my flat, it took me far too long to get to know my neighbours. There we were coming in and out – seeing the same faces week in and week out and it took so bloody long to get to know people. Not that they were impolite ( far from it) – much too polite and withdrawn. Time for a change.

I like parties. Nothing like a few drinks, friends, music and dancing to raise the spirits. Good start. My first party in true West Indian style got going around 11p.m. and went all the way through into the morning.Those who drove were heading home somewhere between 5 or 6 in the morning and the buses for others would start running around 6 a.m. ( no all night services back then in the 1970s). So, a neighbour rings the bell and comes in and marches to the record player and takes the record off and complains to me that he has to go to work early next morning. I turn the music down a bit, the food is served around 2:00 a.m. and we party all night and morning long. Not the best start, but a start nevertheless. How can I civilize them? How can I introduce levity, laughter, humour of an effervescent type and not studied, wry or intellectually clever humour with subtle undertones and the ol’double entendre ? How can I make them all in all less dull and dreary people? That was my challenge – that was my mission, hard as it may seem, I was determined to give it my best.

New party and new strategy and this time I invite everyone in earshot of my flat. They all get in the groove and love it, curry goat, chicken, rice and peasand more and music like they had not heard before. Ah, I am making progress.And so it continued over the years with eager inquiries coming as to when would be the next one. They were finally letting their hair down andwere realising that there is more to life than work and home and vice versa each day.

I was not the first from the Caribbean who had this concern,for there was the well established Notting Hill Carnival addressing the problem on a mass scale each year. It had become, during my years in London,the largest carnival in all of Europe. All a part of the civilizing mission born of care and concern for responding tothe hungry needs of the backwardBritish psyche.

Face it, being reserved, very reserved,can be and is astoundingly boring and ultimately of no good for one’s psychological well-being. It takes forever and a day to get to know one’s neighbours and making good acquaintances and developing friendships are both in the general English milieu – laborious tasks instead of joyous endeavours which are supposed to feed the heart and enliven the spirit. Face it, life is not long enough along the English trajectory to have a happy life with such great distances between meeting a person to thereafterwalking the verylong road to friendship . How does one get them to open up spontaneously and– well – to put it bluntly – simply learn habitually to live as happy human beings?All a part of the hard task taken on.

So, there was this particularly good party. College friends, flat mate’s friends and acquaintances, the wholly bloody adjoining neighborhood of inhabitants of flats and a truly cosmopolitan bunch of people with music blaring in merriment. Then there is my friend Trevor’s Uncle Bert. Trevor was also from Jamaica and in England studying and he lived with his uncle, not far down the road from me in Croydon. Uncle Bert accompanies Trevor and jumps right into it. Did he now. Ol’ Bert ends up dancing ( if dancing it can be so termed) with this Mayfair Playboy Bunny in a secluded corner for about 5 or 6 songs. She happened to be the live in girlfriend of my immediate neighbour who had been to my parties before; before he and she met Bert that is. Well, Bert seemed to be making the breast of it – sorry – best of it, and she seemed to be enjoying every moment, but then, there was this boyfriend whowas not amused. For some strange reason, once the music took a little break and Bert too, the boyfriend, it appears, made a hasty dash for his girlfriend followed by an equally hasty retreat home, next door. If Bert ever came to another party, I cannot recall that the neighbor ever did – or – if he did it was a quick hi and goodbye. I wonder why? Ah well, despite the interlocutor meeting such as with ol’ Bert,the mission overallproceeded over the years, quite well.

Over time, my parties became a staple. The English ( at least those who could attend my entertainment college) learned in rapid order how to be open, warm, friendly and even indulgent at times ( someone said “Uncle Bert”?).

Yet as the years wore on, I noticed that there seemed to be an overarching depression within Britain. I was perturbed for I had been doing my best to assist the people uplift in spirits from their psychological plight. So, I investigated. It turned out that during my years abroad, this coincided with the West Indies consistently, for an extended period, beating England in their national game, cricket. This led to great depression. What could I do? The mission, not only in my flat, but in places such as Dalston, Brixton, and up north in Birmingham and Manchester and across the country the mission had effective and active volunteers engaging the English, with considerable success over a number of years. We could not permit West Indian cricket success to defeat the mission. Churchill’s words came to mind, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;…”

TheWest Indies cricket team did all that and not even in beach cricket could England then defeat us. But, the victories were havinga deleterious effect on the national psyche which was in turn adversely affecting the civilizing mission. There simply had to be an answer and a reversal before the several years of “blood, toil, tears and sweat” were expended all for nought. Blood in Brixton rioting against racist mistreatment; toil in factories rebuilding Britain after World War 11; tears at how West Indians were so badly mistreated; and my sweat in a hot flat throwing parties in diligent service to and support of the noble cause of civilization.

The solution came as a flash of inspiration. The West Indies, for the greater good of Britain, would simply have to stop winning in playing thenational game of cricket. After all, they did invent the game; we merely showed them how to play it masterfully.So said, so done. Once more, Winston Churchill came to the rescue of his people, for as he said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We were successful in the extreme; English failures in cricket,with us being humane people of conscience, care and concern, simply could not permitthis to be fatal for the English psyche; and so in volunteering and discretely desisting from winning, we reinstilled in the English the courage to continue playing the game of cricket. It was a joyous period to see what we had done once the smiles started to shine once more on English faces at Lords, the Oval and elsewhere.

I can reflect now after more than four decades having finally departed London to resume residence in the Caribbean. Just goes to show that it takes all types to make a world convivial and pleasant;and, culturalconversion is not always a bad thing. I learned how to be serious about my studies and advanced myself to a worthy profession and in exchange I gave some to the best years of my life to naturalising the British into being human. I don’t takefull credit,nor for that matter, claim any exclusivity on applying the mission’s methodology. Last time I checked the mission was still in progress and others seemed to have also made great headway; for here is but one recent example as proof:-

Fair cop ol’ Blighty?And a jolly good time was had by many in the best spirit of the civilizing mission.

One love and no Amen for this sermon.



Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.