THE EARTHIAN  —  31       


THE EARTHIAN, Number Thirty-One, June 24, 2022, Effective Learning Publications , 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, specializing in Adult education.

THE EARTHIAN is an approximately monthly digest of articles written by free-thinking truth-seeking critical-thinking creative-thinking truth-accepting hard-hitting independent writers in linked Internet journals containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about psychological, moral, ethical, philosophical, social, economic, political, military, religious, and ecological states of affairs affecting the existential well-being of all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth, especially the human species.


Individuals Are Not to Praise or Blame for How Earthian Economic, Social, and Political States of Affairs Evolve



Several articles featured as SOURCES for this issue of THE EARTHIAN are concerned about the Earthian economic chess game now being played by nations around Spaceship Earth. Michael Hudson in his article “The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages” and Alastair Crooke’s article “Zugzwang” shed new light on the precarious state of economic and political states of affairs now existing on the international chessboard, as do several recently-published articles sourced below.

No Earthian human knows how this chess game is going to end. Would it do any good for all Earthian humans to pay attention to the moves of the game? Probably not. As matters now stand, one can build a case the best strategy for most Earthian humans would be to do their jobs day in and day out and hope for the best, trusting their superiors in their various organizations and groups, including their families, to act in their best interests. On the other hand, some Earthian humans might take satisfaction in knowing something about what is really going on around Spaceship Earth. If so, they might gain some satisfaction from reading articles such as those sourced in THE EARTHIAN.

A participant in the imaginary seminar I conducted in Richard John Stapleton’s novel As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases wanted to know how the new computerized Earthian management system recommended for Spaceship Earth, Inc. in the Rooster novel could possibly be implemented. I did not know at the time how it could be done. I still do not know of course, but I have at least imagined a system that might have some chance of working in the long run. If the system were magically implemented it would eliminate the causes of constantly repeating international chess games like the one now being played by political leaders around Spaceship Earth,

As published in As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases–if thousands of democracy chapters should be established around Spaceship Earth in which ordinary Earthian humans would be randomly-selected to lead democratic discussions about Earthian existential problems to develop consensual answers about what should be done–Earthian humans having somehow figured out a way to significantly change the fascist systems always used around Spaceship Earth that entailed allowing empowered nationalistic leaders to make existential decisions–such as Putin of Russia deciding to invade and bomb Ukraine and Bush II of the US deciding to bomb and invade Iraq–regardless of where their marching orders actually came from–they might eliminate the worst consequences of zero-sum chess-playing by nationalistic leaders .

Should Spaceship Earth, Inc. democracy chapters be established around Earth, the chapters could develop consensual answers regarding existential matters from the bottom up that would filter up to randomly-selected humans who would summarize the consensual answers and implement consensual tactics, strategies, and policies developed around Earth for dealing with the whole computerized Spaceship Earth management system, that could be operated and controlled using artificial intelligence programming in magnum computer systems. Randomly-selected groups of Earthian humans of high intelligence with impeccable moral and ethical character and credentials would control codes for changing the Earthian Magnum Computer System programming. Each member of these groups, who would serve limited terms, would have one vote for every change in all Earthian management system tactics, strategies, policies, and procedures that were programmed and instantiated to maximize the economic, political, psychological, and social OKness of all Earthian humans, based on a count of the number of times a particular idea for change from around Spaceship Earth was recommended by thousands or millions of Earthian democracy chapters.

This magnum computerized management system would require a strict system of security controls like the current codes of nations possessing nuclear weapons, hopefully providing security several magnitudes more secure than current nuclear codes, to make sure a madman could not get in control of any aspect of the Magnum Spaceship Earth Management System.

A management system such as this would be significantly better than previous systems used around Spaceship Earth that have empowered fickle, egotistical, greedy, power mad, insane, grandiose, not-very-bright Earthian human individuals to make existential decisions affecting the OKness of thousands, millions, and billions of humans around Spaceship Earth.

A tough lesson for Earthian humans to accept propositioned in Effective Learning Publications books is that everything that happens in human states of affairs is either predetermined or accidental and therefore individuals are not to blame or praise for what happens in human states of affairs. This is easier to swallow after accepting that believing and acting otherwise will support and perpetuate the I’m OK–You’re Not OK life position that has bedeviled, sabotaged, and undermined Earthian humans since time immemorial, making losers out of most of them. This is another reason why large group consensual answers such as those described above are vastly superior to what has previously existed.

For more information on the use of Transactional Analysis  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning. 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using transactional analysis read Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds

Read “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”   for some management science ideas on how Earthian humans might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK–You’re OK life position. 

Read As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases. This recently-published novel features a new kind of seminar invented and coordinated by Rout Logger that might reduce the probability of Earthian human extinction that requires participants in a seminar to speak out and up when randomly selected by a Truther rooster positioned in the center of a randomly-selected group of forty humans sitting in a circle. The Truther rooster resembles a spinning weather vane. The rooster is programmed to bob its head up and down and raucously crow after being twirled by a randomly-selected seminar participant, as it spins round and round winding down, letting group members know it’s time to wake up and get to work, before it’s too late. When the Truther rooster stops spinning whoever is at the end of a line of imaginary fire extending from the rooster’s head to her or him sitting in the circle is automatically selected as the Leader of the Moment for the group, proving pure democracy can happen. The Leader of the Moment must then lead the group into a democratic discussion of what s/he considers the most serious existential problem around Spaceship Earth.

According to Effective Learning Publications books, achieving Earthian human sustainability entails such things as Earthian humans peacefully reducing through natural attrition (natural deaths exceeding births) the human population aboard Spaceship Earth, never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers, assuming sufficient quantities of non-human clean energy can be discovered and developed using mind grants.

This is possible managing Spaceship Earth using the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” at  .

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night traveling at four hundred miles an hour at thirty-five thousand feet with clouds, rain, wind, and lightning below, what would you rather have setting the path, speed, and angle of descent of the aircraft for touch-down, the plane’s auto-pilot, radar, and computer system or the pilot and co-pilot, seeing nothing out their windows below but clouds and lightning?

The main reason why delegating the scheduling, production, and distribution of the necessities of life to AI programs and magnum computers would be a good idea is that magnum computers and algorithmic AI programs do not get greedy and power hungry or play psychological Games. Thus far in Earthian human history most leaders and rulers atop large organizations such as nations have become corrupt one way or another playing psychological Games, acting out selfish greedy ego trips, hogging all the power, money, strokes, stimulation, and recognition they could get their hands on for themselves and their cronies, leaving the hindmost to their underlings. Whatever their limitations and possible threats, algorithmic computer programs and super computers are not egotistical, greedy, and power-hungry.

Thanks to Buckminster Fuller for providing the above airplane-landing metaphor in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, first published in 1969, and for planting seeds for other ideas in the essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.,” published in the Effective Learning Report, such as computers being the best hope for mankind and humans not doing work machines can do better, being paid to think instead with what Fuller called mind grants. Fuller said unemployment all around Spaceship Earth could be eliminated overnight with mind grants. Buckminster Fuller was the inventor of the appellations Earthian and Spaceship Earth.   

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum scroll up to and click on the RESPONSES tab at the top of this blog page and speak out about them in writing.

If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN, go to the Internet or any walk-in bookstore around Spaceship Earth and purchase one or more of the above books. As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases is the latest and probably most engaging Effective Learning Publications book. Rout Logger is the protagonist of the novel story. It’s available now as an ebook at for $3.99 .


MAY 13, 2022

Here’s the gist of it

“Consider Enrico Fermi’s famous paradox: In simple words, where are they? A distinguished astrophysicist, Fermi knew that there are a huge number of planets within the reach of potential contact that have the conditions to sustain life and higher intelligence. But with the most assiduous search, we can find no trace of their existence. So where are they?

“One response that has been seriously proposed, and cannot be dismissed, is that higher intelligence has developed innumerable times, but has proven to be lethal: It discovered the means for self-annihilation but did not develop the moral capacity to prevent it. Perhaps that is even an inherent feature of what we call “higher intelligence.”

“We are now engaged in an experiment to determine whether this grim principle holds of modern humans, a very recent arrival on Earth, some 200,000-300,000 years ago, a flick of an eye in evolutionary time. There is not much time to find the answer – or more precisely, to determine the answer, as we will do, one way or the other. That is unavoidable. We will either act to show that our moral capacity reaches as far as to control our technical capacity to destroy, or that it does not.”

“Chomsky: To Tackle Climate, Our Morality Must Catch Up With Our Intelligence,” by C.J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT,

JUNE 24     

Seems like insider information in this article to me, depressing insider information, from the belly of the beast, in a tony Washington tavern for USian political bigwigs, told by the irrepressible Paul Street. Don’t get your hopes up about the January 6 hearings. Street seems to think based on what he learned in the tony tavern that they will be just another slick Congressional snipe hunt done for show, and Merrick Garland, the Attorney General of the US, will not prosecute Trump regardless of how clearly the hearing leaders and participants show to current TV viewers that Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against the USian government and the attempted murder of Mike Pence.  While their testimonials and replays of phone calls, emails, Tweets, and video clips of what happened shown to current TV watchers are impressive and truthful, told under oath, anyone watching the live January 6 abomination when it happened should already know what happened. These hearings are not about debunking fake news and conspiracy theories; they are an attempt to convince lying eyes and ears that what they saw and heard live on TV January 6, 2021 was real. The hearings of course are also about public servants seeking personal satisfactions of various sorts demonstrating their courage and skills on TV while telling the truth. There is no way to know how much this January 6 abomination has cost USian citizens and taxpayers in wasted time, energy, and money, culminating in this TV truth extravaganza. Meanwhile Trump has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Repug cult members since January 6 by asserting over and over again that all of this is just a “big lie”caused by a stolen election–with no evidence to back it up.     

“Report from Capitol Hill: Still the Trump Era,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH,


Here’s the rub. At issue is whether it’s OK for a bullying thug to be president of the US.

“It will be bad if Merrick Garland prosecutes Trump – and worse if he doesn’t,” by Eugene Robinson, THE WASHINGTON POST,


Let it be heard

“An Open Letter to Biden on Assange’s Extradition,” by Michelle Renee Matisons, COUNTERPUNCH,


Interesting article

“Is universal basic income part of a just transition?,” by John Feffer, INTREPID REPORT,


Say it aint so Joe

“How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex?,” by Eric Zuesse, ZEROHEDGE,


Here’s Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive, again telling it like it is.

“The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH,


“The Age of Stupidity: From Johnson and Biden to Putin and Xi Jinping,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH,



“For those claiming Biden caused the increase in the price of gas, please explain how he caused the increase around the world,” by Fay Easter,


Generally agree

“Zugzwang*: Europe’s future looks bleak. It is now pressed by its own imposition of sanctions, and the resultant spike in commodity prices. The EU is lumbering around in a daze,” by Alastair Crooke, COUNTERPUNCH,


Sounds about right

Why war happens, by Ernest Hemingway,


You don’t say

“Without any Doubt, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Beyond any Doubt: Tribe Declares Trump Committed Attempted Murder,” by Jonathan Turley,


A review

“As the Rooster Crows Earthian OKness Increases: ‘A smart but rambling series of discussions on everything that’s wrong with the world today’,” KIRKUS,


Too bad the Earthian power structure did not follow his advice

“You support atheistic communism! Bertrand Russell you are a traitor,” BERTRAND RUSSELL,


Some hard choices to be made made clear by Paul Street

“Merrick Garland’s ‘Existential’ Choice,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH,


Yes, Pence did the right thing on January 6, 2022 in the capitol building of the USian government. Had he not done what he did January 6 untold miseries would have befallen the US. Yet I agree with William Rivers Pitt that he merely did what he should have done on that day as an elected USian citizen as vice president, and he’s the same Earthian human who slavishly kowtowed to Trump for over four years. He now probably wants Trump’s old job from which Trump was fired by a sizeable majority of USian voters.

“Pence and Trump Aides Are Trying to Project Righteousness. Don’t Be Fooled,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT.


Even China and India are not so smart about this

“Buckle Up! The Arctic’s Sizzling,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH,


Another great article by the indomitable Eve Ottenberg

“Hating Kids the American Way,” by Eve Otttenberg, COUNTERPUNCH,


Say it aint so Joe

“Summit of the Americas Flops While Workers Summit Exposes Cracks in the Imperial Façade,” by Roger Harris, COUNTERPUNCH,


Absurd on the face of it. You’re innocent because of believing lies? Especially when you told them in the first place. What next?

“Trump Saying He Believed Lies About Voter Fraud is No Defense, Legal Experts Say,” by Chris Walker, TRUTHOUT,


Will justice ever be served in Trump’s case?

“As coup evidence mounts, progressives eye Georgia to jail Trump, not feds,” by Steven Rosenfeld, INTREPID REPORT,


Might be the thing to do

“Diving Down to Earth,” by Paul Gilk, COUNTERPUNCH,


Another great article by William Rivers Pitt

“Almost Every Square Inch of the US is Being Battered by Climate Change Today,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT,


The rule of law that’s what’s at stake here

“Merrick Garland’s ‘Existential’ Choice,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH,


The de-intellectualizing of USian society

“Adjunct and Tenured Faculty Must Unite to Resist Pandemic Opportunism on Campus,” by Jennifer Ruth, TRUTHOUT,


One injustice after another in the case of the Kurds

“Turkey’s Assault on Syrian Kurds: A Secondary Crisis of the Ukraine War?,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH,


Good article covering all sides of the Ukraine war

“The Ukraine War,” by Noam Chomsky, COUNTERPUNCH,


They got greedy and corrupt that’s what, and they have about ruined free enterprise capitalism

“The ‘Secret’ That Gets CEOs Rich: Keeps Workers Poor,” by Sam Pizzigati, COUNTERPUNCH,


Good point by Buckminster Fuller, a great intellectual

“You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe,” by Buckminster Fuller, THE BUCKMINSTER FULLER INSTITUTE,


Leave it to Ellen Brown, one of the brightest writers around, a lawyer and a money and banking expert, now hitting the nail right on the head again, advocating growing your own food.

“The food shortage solution in your own backyard,” by Ellen Brown, INTREPID REPORT,


Another USian diplomatic nothing burger

“Storms at the Summit of the Americas,” by Rosa Miriam Elizalde, INTREPID REPORT,


This engineer claims a computerized Artificial Intelligence robot talked back to him, telling him s/he was afraid someone would unplug him or her or it.

“Google engineer goes public after suspension: warned AI is sentient,” by James Gordon, DAILY MAIL,


I never imagined this would happen in the US, a major political party turning into an amoral street gang, with no compunction about destroying democracy, led by gang leaders caring for nothing but their own plunder and power over others.

“Election subversion is replacing voter suppression as new GOP threat,” by Steven Rosenfeld, INTREPID REPORT,


More on the gun trade and its probable aftermath

“The Arsenal, but Not of Democracy,” by Mel Gurton, COUNTERPUNCH,


Did not know this. Say it aint so Joe

“Mapping U.S. imperialism,” by THE MAPPING PROJECT, COUNTERPUNCH,


Playing psychological Games

“U.S. Military Spending is Undebatable Because Indefensible,” by David Swanson, COUNTERPUNCH,


Another enlightening article by Richard Wolff, another outstanding economist

“There are Better Ways for Societies to Address Inflation Than by Hiking Interest Rates,” by Richard Wolff, COUNTERPUNCH,


Aint that somethin’, for $4.65 billion no less

“The NFL’s Denver Broncos have agreed to sell the team to a Walmart heir and his family,” CNBC,


Psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been the most significant and pervasive psychological Game played in business, economics, sports, and politics, along with endless iterations of Games such as MINE’S BETTER, BALANCE SHEET, CORNER, I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU, and IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU played throughout Earthian human history. Playing a third-degree tissue-tearing Game of IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU thanks to nuclear weapons proliferation might finally cause Earthian humans to stop playing psychological Games forever by causing the extinction of the human species.

“War is a Psychological Game,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


They just don’t give a rip. They’ve got it the way they want it and nothing you say matters. This Monty Python dead parrot story in this article is by far the funniest one I have read in my internet reading. Paul Street has done it again. When you think he could not write a better article than he already has he does it again.

“American ‘Democracy’ as a Dead Parrot: Constitutions, Killing floors, an Unhatched Egg, and Forced Motherhood,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH,


Say it aint so Joe

“Two Nations Joined at the Hip by English…and Inequality,” by Sam Pizzigati, COUNTERPUNCH,


Snipe hunts–yes, that’s what’s been goin’ on. Thanks to William Rivers Pitt, for labeling it like it is. All these investigations, impeachments, hearings, judicial proceedings against Trump–the Mueller committee, etc.–so far, have been nothin’ but snipe hunts, and it’s gettin’ old. If this January 6 hearing process and the Georgia DA investigation does not work nothing will. Anyone who watched the January 6 hearings live should know the current hearings are not a snipe hunt.

“Damning Leaks Provide Grim Preview of Thursday’s January 6 Hearing, by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT,


Want a high IQ anyone? Better think twice. This article has seventy-seven comments on the question.

“Is a high IQ sometimes a handicap?” by Matthew Adair, QUORA,


Here’s an early model of my de-Gamer.

“The Classroom De-Gamer,” by Richard John Stapleton,


Burn, baby, burn, one of the most comprehensive perspectives on the Ukraine showdown I have read

“Petroleum Wars in the Age of Climate Disaster: a Bridge Fuel Too Far,” by John K. White, COUNTERPUNCH,,


An artistic representation of war

“Guernica and Bucha,” by Stephan F. Eisenman, COUNTERPUNCH,


Horrible optics alright

“The 2022 Bilderberg Agenda: Disinformation, Deglobalization, & Disruption of the Global Financial System,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE,


According to the standard USian deep state narrative about why and how John F. Kennedy was assassinated, he was shot by a lone insane USian gunman who had ties to Russia.

But the narrative based on the story that JFK was assassinated by a lone insane gunman is now out of date. The official US government narrative was written by the Warren Commission in 1963 and did say Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman. Subsequent developments however changed this original official narrative, at least in the National Archives, if not in the minds of most USians. For the full story go to the National Archives JFK Assassination Records at…/warren-commission…/chapter-1 .

Here is an updated narrative of the USian government regarding the JFK assassination, pursuant to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, according to the Assassination Records Review Board, at :


“The Committee believes on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The Committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy.

“Go to the footnotes for this chapter.

“The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Soviet Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy

“The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Cuban Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy

“The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved

“The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved

“The Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Central Intelligence Agency were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy .”

“Earthian Humans Experience Less OKness,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING PUBLICATIONS,

MAY 31

A dangerous move in a dangerous psychological Game

“Russia threatens to wipe out entire US with just four Satan II missles,” by Will Porter, THE SUN,

MAY 30

“David Deutsch, a physicist at Oxford, has for several years been seeking to avoid this dilemma by developing a theory of (as he puts it) “a world in which probability and randomness are totally absent from physical processes.” His project, on which Marletto is now collaborating, is called constructor theory. It aims to establish not just which processes probably can and can’t happen, but which are possible and which are forbidden outright.”

“Physicists Trace the Rise in Entropy to Quantum Information,” QUANTA MAGAZINE,–jL0C9PwnH2WJ8YvQqbrUXvYE.

MAY 30

Say it aint so Joe

“Roaming Charges: The End of the Innocents,” by Jeffrey St. Clair, COUNTERPUNCH,

MAY 30

Of course

“To End Mass Shootings, We Need to Change the Deeper Structure of the US,” by Henry A. Giroux, TRUTHOUT,

MAY 26

And the last straw

“No Way Out but War, by Chris Hedges, SCHEERPOST,

Please forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian anyway you see fit.


Here’s Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA in his office at Georgia Southern University the year he retired in 2005, the senior professor of the university that year. The photo was shot by Lori Grice, a former student, founder of Lori Grice Photography.

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

The object under his left hand is a Classroom De- Gamer™ he invented in 1978.

He would spin the spinner of the De-Gamer in his classes to randomly select a student at the beginning of each class session to lead a discussion of the case assigned for that day, a case taken from a real business prepared by professional casewriters at Georgia Southern, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Alabama. Grades were based eighty percent on class participation; the rest of the final grade was based on two case write-ups. One write-up was about what the student observed, researched, analyzed, and wrote about an existing business in the local environment or a business plan the student created. The other write- up was an analysis of a professionally written case about a real business assigned as the final exam. Cases used in his courses were taken from all functional areas of business, such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, operations management, control, management information systems, and business policy and strategy.

He learned how the case method works teaching with Bernard Bienvenu, DBA and Rexford Hauser, DBA (Harvard Business School doctorates) at what is now known as the University of Louisiana– Lafayette in 1969-70.

He has published refereed journal articles and books explaining how his democratic Game-free Adult-Adult I’m OK–You’re OK case method system works, by banishing Persecutors, Rescuers, and Victims playing psychological Games from the teaching and learning process, first documented in an article titled “The Classroom De-Gamer” he published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal.

He studied TA with Martin Groder, MD; Graham Barnes, PhD; Vann Joines, PhD; and many others at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina (1975-1978).

He has degrees in economics, organizational behavior, and management science from Texas Tech University (1962-1969), and an organizational and educational certification in transactional analysis from the International Transactional Analysis Association (1978).

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

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

About ten percent of his students made A’s and about five percent made D’s. Most made C’s, which is about right, since C = Average. There were almost no F’s in his courses. The main criterion for course grades was the quantity and quality of ideas sold by students in case method discussions. He used peer ratings to give students feedback showing what their fellow students thought about the quantity and quality of their ideas sold in class, having made it clear the final decision about final grades was his. He did not believe in Lake Wobegon grading.

No student was ever forced to take one of his courses to graduate, and the most hardened Game- players in the school did not sign up for his courses after he issued his Edict of 1972 in which he clearly spelled out in his syllabi the penalty for getting caught unprepared. His Classroom De-Gamer™ was roundly discussed by students in bull sessions across campus every year and was labeled various things, such as The Wheel of Fate and The Death Wheel. Most students near the end of his career called it The Spinner. He appreciated the fact Georgia Southern honored his academic freedom as a tenured professor, allowing him control of his teaching methods, classroom layouts, grading procedures, and course books, cases, and materials.

He conducted primary survey research in 1992 that discovered longitudinal data (published in “Evidence the Case Method Works” in Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds, 2008, pg. 475) that showed his case method students during 1972-1982 reported higher yearly incomes in 1992 than students electing the same courses in 1972-1982 taught by professors using the authoritarian lecture method and the row and column classroom layout, who graded students based on how well they memorized “right answers” for so-called objective multiple-choice tests, indicating learners learning in Adult–Adult I’m OK–You’re OK Game-free learning processes graded subjectively became more successful in the real world of business than learners lectured to in Parent–Child I’m OK– You’re Not-OK un-De-Gamed learning processes. Only former students who had worked in the real world ten or more years after graduating from the Georgia Southern business school were included in the study.

For more information on these classroom management ethical issues see Stapleton, R.J. and Murkison, G. (2001), “Optimizing the fairness of student evaluations: A study of correlations between instructor excellence, study production, learning production, and expected grades,” the Journal of Management Education, 25(3), 269-292. Stapleton had one of the lowest student grade point averages among professors in the business school and was one of the lowest-ranked professors as an instructor on computerized campus-wide student evaluations weighting only instructor excellence scores up to about 2000; but he was one of the highest-ranked professors in a computerized student evaluation he designed that generated data also showing and weighting study production, learning production, and expected grades scores for each professor, published in “Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations.”

To read the article in full, go to evaluations/ . After this research was published, Georgia Southern in 2001 added study production, learning production, and expected grades questions to the student evaluation form used campus-wide.

“Optimizing the Fairness of Student Evaluations” has by now (March 28, 2022)) been cited as a reference in 83 refereed journal articles concerned about student evaluations in several academic disciplines, including eight new citations since April 2021, proving the article is still being read and cited by serious academics twenty-one years after publication.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned, “The case is all there is.”

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

For more on Stapleton’s cultural, educational, and professional experiences go to  






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

If you’re thinking here I go again with more of that TA crap, looking at the world through a transactional analysis lens, I guess I have to plead guilty. I got hooked on TA back in the 1970s and have used it ever since. Here is a new application of transactional analysis using TA jargon to shed new light on the nature of economic and political behavior.

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

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players also switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”.

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

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for a large organization such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation, or even most small businesses; or the Federal Reserve System, the FBI, CIA, or Pentagon, or the US government, to be fully OK?

Probably not, for long.

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

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

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

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

I was a decent football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it incredibly satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when we were winning, in total control of the team on offense, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. I don’t recall feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents but I seriously wanted to beat them, badly.

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

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

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

Maybe so, maybe no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words in almost all restaurants to get the show started: “How many?”, “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political races entail opponents playing psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders – vested interests, candidates, and voters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on the here and now, caring little about achieving better imaginary states of being in the future.

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

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot; extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip.

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

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

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It


Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong

Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject)

Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think

Don’t Feel

Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc.

Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel (Goulding & Goulding, 1976).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 – What is the problem?

2 – What are the alternatives?

3 – What do you recommend?

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

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

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is doing a good job of playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran and Venezuela right now, and one can build a case about all he does is play psychological Games with his supporters and opponents.

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

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds

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

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

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

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at

SOURCES for this article are provided in THE EARTHIAN FORUM with links to recent Internet articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth. I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so.

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

There is such a thing as Positive Critical Parent Ego State energy, and Critical Parent economic, political, and religious criticism is necessary and rational to stave off dire consequences staring humanity in the face.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

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

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

Political parties, the US government, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, presumably to protect national security and their corporate revenues, in many cases socially presenting true facts about states of affairs but omitting analysis about why they happened or what should have happened, enabling group-think mental illnesses.


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Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus Professor of Management at Georgia Southern University specializing in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy. See for a full listing of credentials