Please Be Patient

A five-part series

by Milo Clark

June 25, 2001

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A premise: "Attempting to solve problems using the tools, techniques and thoughts which create them is silly."

My perspectives related to this premise are rooted in systems and strategies. A logical response to this premise is "So what?" or "Then what?" To which I reply, "We need not only to re-think but also to dig deeply into fundamental, structural assumptions." I assume that delving deeply into systems will lead to more relevant strategies. Now what?

From which it follows that even superficial examination of whatever it is that is in much of the world and with much of humankind is a set of examples strongly suggesting that unintended consequences dominate, yet revealing a deeply etched pattern with many connections. This is a tricky sentence in that the assumption of "unintended" is questionable.

A common shibboleth holds that militaries tend to fight the last war and are, therefore, unlikely to be prepared for this war. Extend that to nearly all fields of human endeavor as politicians tend to do the same as do business leaders, educators, clergy, writers, et al. Any scan of history, meaning that part of human existence encapsulated in written languages, tends to show the tenacity of following past much too far into present.

Swans is obsessed with events in the former Yugoslavia, the Balkans. A part of Southeastern Europe, in itself a set of assumptions, tucked up against Transylvania redolent with Frankenstein and vampires and echoing with the tumults also tearing both near and mid-East into the depths of human catastrophes lasting from before history to today.

I read the continuing strings of comments about the former Yugoslavia and Balkans published in Swans. I become more and more impressed that these comments are symptoms pervading the human experience and rooted beyond time. For the most part, we Swans scanners are living history vicariously.

My recent Swans commentary, "Events," reflected a tiny, somewhat random set which, in a sense, illustrate the pervasiveness of such symptoms. They also suggest to me that the collective "we" are stuck in fighting myriad versions of the last war. Few appear to be thinking like a mountain, that is, attempting perspectives adequate to the challenges at hand.

I will plead guilty, guilty, guilty. Years of rage, rants and raves are revealed as reactions founded in a set of beliefs, assumptions, shibboleths decrying, if you will, the core of human consistency in electing polymorphous perversities — nearly continuously fucking up at nearly every opportunity. Notice, if you will, the assumption.

And, then, I remember yet again that everyone, in their own perspectives, is doing their best, doing what they can, doing what they believe to be consistent unto themselves.

What are the threads, the patterns which connect? "Fighting the last war" is another way of saying that attempting to solve problems using the tools, techniques and thoughts which create them is silly. Technological acceleration and exponential compressions of time lead us, inexorably it seems, to exceeding excesses as a matter of course rather than exception.

We are awash in whatevers.

Mountains persist. -- which, in itself, is an inadequate assumption.

In coming weeks, I am going to work on thinking more like a mountain, perhaps as a step to getting past mountain into . . . .

Please be patient.


Please Be Patient II


       Milo Clark, a founding member of Swans, had it all: Harvard MBA, big house, three-car garage, top management... Yet, once he had seemingly achieved the famed American dream he felt something was missing somewhere. As any good executive he decided to investigate. Since then, he has become a curmudgeon and, after living in Berkeley, California, where he was growing bamboos, making water gardens, listening to muses, writing, cogitating and pondering, he has moved on to the Big Island in Hawaii where he creates thought forms about sunshine. Milo can be reached at Swans.

       Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Milo G. Clark 2001. All rights reserved.

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This Week's Internal Links

The Balkans — That's Us! - by Stevan Konstantinović

Note From the Translator (on The Balkans — That's Us!) - by Alma A. Hromic

The Democratic Dilemma - by Stephen Gowans

Racism - by Aleksandra Priestfield

Let The Old Men Fight - by Deck Deckert

Please Be Patient II - by Milo Clark

Robot Minds - A Poem by Sandy Lulay


Some of Milo Clark's Commentaries on Swans

Events - 05/28/01

Perspective and Perspectives - 05/14/01

Project Re-Think Thinking: Serendipity and Sparks of Genius - 04/30/01

Croatan - 04/2/01

Barbaric Silence - 03/5/01

The Resource Base - 02/5/01

Addendum to ...Dream - 01/8/01

...Dream - 01/8/01


Published June 25, 2001
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