Formulating a theory and methodology for improving society and communication…

Ideas are solutions to problems.

They are not always the best solution to a problem.

It is assumed that all humans always want the best solution.

In my opinion, the path towards achieving the best solution is to:

  • Define the problem very clearly.
  • Define the question within the problem very clearly.
  • Embed a desired result within the question.

Intelligent questions create intelligent answers.

When we hear people express an idea, we are hearing the end product of a process — a solution to a problem.

Often we do not know the upstream context of an idea.

The upstream context can be understood by answering these questions:

  • What was the initial problem encountered?
  • What resources were available to the individual to create a solution (this includes their education and experiences)?
  • What values does the individual hold?
  • What is the individual’s ideal outcome?
  • (Have they defined an ideal outcome?)

The ideal outcome can be referred to as the downstream result.

The ideal outcome does not have to be a practical, set in stone, result but rather indicates the nature of the ideal outcome, understood by the individual’s intuitive sense.

As you can see from this explanation, the downstream result lies in the upstream context, and thus cause is related to consequence, and upstream to downstream.

It is often easier to judge the validity of an idea by looking at its upstream context, as opposed to the latter manifestation as an idea.

For example, when a Republican expresses the idea:

“I will stop immigrants coming to this country”.

This is a latter manifestation.

I am interested to know what the upstream context of this statement is.

I think society would benefit from politicians running their ideas through this method of understanding and definition to not only achieve higher quality solutions but also to make it easier to collaborate with and understand other politicians.

Below is an example of applying this methodology to an idea:

The Idea:

I think we need to create a theory and methodology for improving society and communication.

Upstream Context:

Problem: There is suffering in the world caused by lack of cooperation with and support of each other.

Resources: I have had a spiritual upbringing which has enabled me to experience spiritual understandings and look towards spiritual leaders of the past for wisdom and examples of behavior that I respected.

I am motivated to provide a system that assists people to clarify the motivations and mechanics within their lives to reduce suffering.

I have skills in computer programming, analytical thinking and have also trained in dance and the creative arts.

I have lived or traveled in six countries.

I am from a low/medium class upbringing.

I am against violence and want to stop people from suffering.

I believe our ultimate wisdom and nature lies in our spiritual essence.

Values: Non-violence, cultivation, care, health, dance, creativity, order, accountability, process.

Downstream Result:

I believe eventually we will all spiritually ascend to higher states. I have no idea how this will happen, nor do I feel a particular need to force it to happen in a particular way, but I think that as we engage in more mindful and healthy behavior this will just naturally occur.

Between the upstream context and the downstream result lie one or more practical manifestations of an individual’s activities.

If the upstream context and downstream result match in their nature, then the practical manifestations will also match this nature.

With such an understanding of both the upstream context and downstream result of an individual’s idea, it would be much easier, for the individual and others, to understand where they are coming from, what they want to achieve and assess the validity of their idea.