2016 November

Presumption of good faith…

Something stuck me when the President spoke today…he said something like the “presumption of good faith” is key to… the success of our democracy…” (paraphrased)

I recognized my system was having an immune response…probably triggered from my perspective on my experience (certainly not just knowledge and skills;) the past 15 years abroad…because the “presumption of good faith” cost me dearly and continues to have high personal costs today.

In reality, people do not act in good faith wholly, but as a recognition of good faith as it relates to their self-interests.

Let me explain.

I believe “that” form (presumption of good faith) of optimism is “probably” wired in to me (as an optimist) and belongs mostly to optimists and the memetic structure emergent from optimism.

So in spite of my KSEs and in full view of reality, I continue to hold to the non sense of those hardwired beliefs, EVEN in the face of high costs in personal, professional, business, and network design.

However, in reality, I challenge the president’s use and validation of the meme, as its stated and probably intended, as true in reality, both from the standpoint of success or democracy.

From how it’s intended by him, as both an optimist and one who “may” hold the interests of others, as self interest, I want to not make him wrong, but incomplete, as I show how vertical complexity must enter our realm of leadership, both in terms of how we make meaning and sense, but how we metalead.

First of all, the vote proved yesterday we have a republic, not a democracy, which I’m clearly in favor of noting and reaffirming to myself, as a nuance and metadesign element.

Second, a presumption of good faith must be “earned” as freedom is, rather than conferred by optimism.


A presumption of good faith needs to be defined as a presumption of good faith where good people will penultimately act in their own (good) best interests, and that is not bad, but essentially good, even though, it’s not politically correct!

I’m 100% sure, that the president did not mean it that way, which to me, continues to show inefficient, ineffective, and unsustainable metadesign, although it was meant as gracious and generous.


I think this is part of the problem at FS-GREEN*, that will emerge “differently” at GT-YELLOW*, as a focus on the express self system at the core of GT-YELLOW* coalesces out of the “sacrifice of self” (other) system present in the exiting system of FS-GREEN.

(TRUMP is not what I refer to as having “necessary, nor sufficient density and frequency in GT-YELLOW, but a perturber/disrupter whose core in ER-ORANGE, will regress the system back out of FS-GREEN cul de sac that had formed, AND allow for the block that remained as a result of FS-GREEN density and frequency in the system to be challenged from less complex memes held mostly in the electorate rather than the elite to interrupt the harmonic resonance that is holding the country hostage to the elite presence in FS-GREEN….whew!)

GT-YELLOW is also the first time we will see a conscious metasystematic approach to understanding broadly how the world works; with conscious metadesign at the core rather than bolted on, as symbiont or scaffolding.

I think also because of this emergent phenomena I’m describing as occurring naturally as GT-YELLOW accumulates density and frequency in people and social interaction–which is capacity-wise–also the signal of the first time that people in general will not be able to participate in the metadesign work…as 2nd Tier unfolds in the surgent renaissance of the new world of technology, finance, biology and body politick which will NOT be democratized; although in service of the masses.

(Which is why a regression is/was required and was the only possibility. Regression is usually emergent by default, not volition and you can argue both ways based on what happened in the US election of 2016. We are lucky (some might eventually believe that the regression out of “elite” FS-GREEN is fortunate, rather than being forced by default through large economic, social and political dysfunction, a rare phenomena colluded to produce a regression without the normal entrapment!)

A basic assumption (sorry it took so long to get here): Is that the “assumptions” of a previous (less complex) basin of memes–such as, a presumption of good faith–without a clear distinction based on a renewal of self-interest, will continue and has  blocked the emergence of more vertical–hierarchically complex–metadesign to serve out of those self interests, for those interests, which are in ALL OF OUR INTERESTS, is good.

[For the hard core, or curious, write me for the short 3 min video I made from comments in the movie THE BEAUTIFUL MIND, which showed this nuance in another way using Adam Smith.)

IF, you can grok this nuance of why a presumption of good faith is not that people will act in the interests of others EXCEPT when hardwiring dictates, but that underlying the action of a presumption of good faith @F-L-O-W means that “good faith” is not only a communal expectation for some, but personal in nature, and different; thus MUST include self-interest in the notion of good faith where it will not be in the interests of the whole but part, and still remain “good and true.”

Redefining “goodness” and removing what most likely is the politically correct (PC) sense making, that at the heart of our behavior or beliefs are those self-interests which may be wholly such, even as “some” hold the interests of others and the whole, as self-interest.

(I’m sorry this reads like mud, and I’ve done my best to explain it for you, yet I can’t understand it for you; channeling Mayor Koch.)

It will probably require others to help make this ordering of complexity real for those who are serious about what is required to organize, coordinate and integrate the less complex order into the more complex order, I’ve introduced.)

While it’s NOT PC to hold this belief I’ve shared, IMHO it allows more efficient, effective and sustainable metadesign in the face of emergent metadiversity.

*FS-GREEN, GT-YELLOW, and ER-ORANGE are notation used from a combinatorial approach derived from the research of Dr. Clare W. Graves and Dr. Don Beck in Spiral Dynamics®, which i have for my own practical purposes labeled as SPIRAL GRAVESIAN DYNAMICS, or SGD, for short,

SGD is defined as a metasystem for organizing, coordinating and integrating orders of memes into networked hierarchical artifacts, values and beliefs, emerging in people and society, through technology, which have bio, psycho, social, economic and technological developmental consequences.

“Graves’ work observes that the emergence within humans of new bio-psycho-social systems in response to the interplay of external conditions with neurology follows a hierarchy in several dimensions, though without guarantees as to time lines or even direction: both progression and regression are possibilities in his model.

Furthermore, each level in the hierarchy alternates as the human is either trying to make the environment adapt to the self, or the human is adapting the self to the existential conditions. He called these ‘express self’ and ‘deny self’ systems, and the swing between them is the cyclic aspect of his theory. Graves saw this process of stable plateaus interspersed with change intervals as never ending, up to the limits of the brain of Homo sapiens, something he viewed as far greater than we have yet imagined.”



10 replies on “Presumption of good faith…”

Mike –

1. I’m really curious about the republic-democracy difference that you’ve called out in many posts over the past year or two. I get the difference between the two. But what difference does that difference make? What about it is so significant to you?

2. I would say there is some “presumption of good faith” in Western culture. I became aware of it from experiencing its absence in Russia. I was told there that the presumption is that if a stranger approaches you with a smile, they want something from you. (At the end of my first two weeks there I finally realized that it wasn’t anything I was doing wrong that kept everyone but colleagues from smiling at me. They don’t smile at anyone.) A colleague in Toronto told me of a colleague of theirs who was sent to Moscow to open their company’s branch in Russia. To lure in new business, they offered – I forget – deep discounts or free stuff or some other form of loss leader. The result was that people took the free stuff but did no real business with the branch. Yes, “people act in good faith as a recognition of good faith as it relates to their self-interests” but I would say there is some degree of out-and-out good faith in the West. Likely more in rural than urban areas. I do wonder if the reset with Russia that Obama talked about early would there have been considered weakness or foolishness rather than good faith.


“I would say there is some “presumption of good faith” in Western culture.”

Of course there is, do you know why?


Sorry don’t know what graves thinks;(

The west has already developed DQ-BLUE neurology where trust density and frequency is beyond self-interest and is necessary for “transaction” social and business. Where expectations are a presumption of good faith beyond my own self-interest.

Other parts of the world have not acquired necessary and sufficient density and frequency (entering) and the west has ventured beyond it so far that density and frequency (exiting) is no longer bright except as required by law.

Ph, as an example is 116 in enforcing contracts and agreements–do not presume good faith, and if you do, they can’t pay, a big lesson that hurts from Russia, again lack of support for that presumption;)

Thanks for playing as long as u did, I know it was annoying;)

The second idea regarding Russia/good faith and your final comment:

“I do wonder if the reset with Russia that Obama talked about early would there have been considered weakness or foolishness rather than good faith.”

Good initial point, but what would have been required–is the same thing OBAMA failed to do in ph–is to recognize the way sense is made in cultures other than ours.


Mike writes: “(TRUMP is not what I refer to as having “necessary, nor sufficient density and frequency in GT-YELLOW, but a perturber/disrupter whose core in ER-ORANGE, will regress the system back out of FS-GREEN cul de sac that had formed, AND allow for the block that remained as a result of FS-GREEN density and frequency in the system to be challenged from less complex memes held mostly in the electorate rather than the elite to interrupt the harmonic resonance that is holding the country hostage to the elite presence in FS-GREEN….whew!)”

On that theme, here is a coherent case for a part of what that FS-Green cultural cul de saq looks like: “Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash: What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand.”
“Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness. More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.”


The segment of the electorate who flocked to Trump because he positioned himself as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness” think it means this: smug, entitled, elitist, privileged leftists jumping down the throats of ordinary folks who aren’t up-to-date on the latest requirements of progressive society.

Example: A lot of people think there are only two genders—boy and girl. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they should change that view. Maybe it’s insensitive to the trans community. Maybe it even flies in the face of modern social psychology. But people think it. Political correctness is the social force that holds them in contempt for that, or punishes them outright.

A number of other reasons, but this a big one. I would align to this being a key part of the political landscape, especially in rural areas of the US where Trump won by a landslide. Individuals like a Jordan Peterson who I mentioned earlier are seeing it as the greatest risk to a liberal democracy (ironically) and are willingly standing in front of the metaphoric tank trying to stop it. Trump, an immensely flawed vehicle for sure, is the first major presidential candidate to have channeled this political anti-wave.

Mo, not so quickly off the hook, it is raging across Europe too.

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