Brett McCall

Producer, technoNative

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What idea is worth creating a disruption & what, who, where, how would you disrupt?

It is true that no change ever comes about by remaining comfortable. We must expand the familiar and find new ground, become new people and ultimately disturb the peace (Why change requires a disruption of peace is a whole other subject Ill have to work on another time!).

That's why I am asking the question.. What change is worth making yourself (and maybe others) uncomfortable?

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    Feb 5 2012: I believe that any change that I can make to myself that allows me to be more effective at employing my purpose, is worth making. Also, the more that I can become familiar with my discomfort, the more I'm able to change. Change accelerates when discomfort becomes familiar.
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      Feb 9 2012: Agreed.
      So WHAT idea is worth changing your self in order to make a reality?!

      I really want to know!!
    • Feb 9 2012: Alison, I think you've hit the mark with becoming "familiar with my discomfort". Coming change ( detected by recognizing our discomfort ) slaps us in the face all the time but we don't always rise to the challenge, hence Brett's question.

      Brett. To answer your question, I'd say that in those moments where I begin to feel the twinge of discomfort I try to evaluate the risk. Most of the time the real risk is quite minimal and being a bit uncomfortable myself or challenging someone elses status quo can be enjoyable. Kind of like riding a roller coaster, we'll come out safely on the other side. But, those times where the risk is substantial ie. loss of a friendship, relationship or someone is in physical danger, The brave rise to those occasions, acknowledge their discomfort and move forward anyway.
      Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is realizing there are some things more important than your fear.
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    Feb 7 2012: Sometimes, just by being yourself or telling the truth is deemed to be disruptive enough for a lot of people around you.
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    Feb 11 2012: There are environments and communities in which only one set of beliefs is accepted and in which those with other views learn to suppress them in order not to rock the boat. If I come upon this in an environment in which I am invested in the people- for example if I am a teacher at a school or a participant in a community of practice- I will almost always put myself out there (disruptively) to bring forward a variety of equally legitimate views, whether they are my views or not. I do this as a matter of principle, because I do not like to see members of a community manipulated into sameness or silence out of fear of someone in power. I am not saying I like to pick fights. I dislike conflict. But what I dislike more is seeing people bullied or manipulated out of their individuality.In terms of disrupting myself rather than disrupting others, I find the ability to adapt and to improvise both essential in a changing world and exhilerating. For this reason, I deliberately put myself in situations of seeing and doing unfamiliar things. An unimportant example is that I have not played music in forty years and as of yesterday a melodic drum tuned to E majpr is waiting for my novice attention in the living room. But I am also studying in order to write and teach about some other material that is totally strange to the last half century of my experience. I need to qualify my response in one respect about "disrupting myself" by adding that if one has a habit of jumping into the unfamiliar, it is no longer so uncomfortable. What is familiar is the experience of jumping into new things and one builds something of a toolkit for it.
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    Feb 11 2012: Raising children and grandchildren is what tripped the trigger for me. Whenever they are here with me I have to let them, their needs and desires take over. I help them build the things they want to see like a skate park out of Styrofoam packaging and scrap mat-board, or making Raman noodles into a gourmet feast (boiled egg, Tabasco & mustard) O.K. I get really great ideas and energy from them that I can take to my own work later. Kids are funny, curious, inventive and always smarter than we adults think they are.
    Even when we have tough times I learn from them; how to cope with extreme circumstances how to get the most from small moments. I love the choices they make to have hugs and brief conversation rather than just stand around waiting. I love how they are always thinking a step ahead or off in an unexpected direction. I love how they are willing to entertain the absurd, how easily they laugh at themselves and others. I love the questions they ask>even in public> and I have to configure an answer that will not offend anyone nearby! I hope as long as I live they will bring their children over for me to enjoy.
    Kids have sharp bones, confusing language, startling observations, sticky fingers, odd friends, interesting food choices, uninhibited love for animals, absurdly high expectations, limitless energy, endless love! Thery force me to sacrifice, imagine, invent, speculate -- What could be more disruptive than that?
  • Feb 6 2012: Well I wouldn't say that it makes myself uncomfortable. I have already accepted 'my idea'. But I'll make you feel a bit uncomfortable and try to make you see it my way.
    The largest problem with the world (in my eyes) is that we believe all discrimination is bad. Ofcourse during the past 500 years or so discrimination has gotten a reallly bad name due to the human race discriminating the wrong things.

    This bad name of discrimination made the definition almost like: the prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their membership in a certain group or category. Which is almost the definition as it is written on wikipedia. However the definition I do like (from a dictionairy) is: "To perceive the distinguishing features of; recognize as distinct: discriminate right from wrong.".

    In my eyes not all humans are equal in all aspects, so why are we trying to force this onto people?
    Can't we just accept that all humans are equal however each individual likes to do something else and has a different field of expertise as the other.

    For instance I feel that atm the school system is trying to make people into thinking batteries. Each kid is molded into being the average student even if it doesn't fit their ambition. If someone wants to become a dancer then let's encourage that person to become the best dancer he/she can be. If someone wants to be a world wide respected scientists then make him/her do the extra credit.

    Many women in my direct environment give more value to raising their kids rather than working a full time job (and try to find solutions in either part time job or let the man support the familly). Why are people trying to force full time jobs on them talking about how much ambition for a career they should have.

    We should respectfully discriminate between what people want and what kind of abilities they have.
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      Feb 9 2012: Richard, I love the disruption in your post!! It is certainly a challenge to welcome discrimination as so much of the use of this term is about the first definition you presented.
      I believe the word you are looking for is Distinction. There is great power in drawing distinctions, as in to define one thing separate and independent of another.

      And you are correct, at the root of the word discriminate there is a pure and righteous perspective:
      >> 1620s, from L. discriminatus, pp. of discriminare "to divide, separate," from discrimen (gen. discriminis) "interval, distinction, difference," derived noun from discernere.


      However, it is not enough to simply point to the root of a word when culture surrounds and filters the meaning in our perspectives. I would advise adopting a word that is not discriminated against (:-) OR invent a new word while drawing a distinction to the word in question (i.e. you would more likely reach an audience by using a term like discrimen than discriminate... simply because one has the filters clouding the view).


      LOVE the challenge in perspective!!
      • Feb 9 2012: Hello Brett thanks for your kind reply,

        I actually gave this 'idea' a lot of thought. Which to be fair I don't often do ;).
        Usually I write posts, like this, without thinking much about the words that I use in them.

        However to come back to your post. I think that the use of the word 'discrimination' in combination with positive words makes the reader feel uncomfortable. It awakens a sort of cognitive dissonance if you like. (aka I want to make the reader a bit upset / confused / thinking to himself "these 2 terms don't mix what is he trying to pull")
        As you also say in your post that you "love the disruption" in my post. I think that the word of discrimination helps you (aka the reader) to feel this way.

        Then the explaination comes in of how to come to terms with this dissonance. Which will make peoples mind go at ease again hopefully addopting what I wrote in between ;)
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    Feb 17 2012: Taking all major reality narratives down to the bricks is what's really needed.

    Not as a means of feeding people, or curing disease, or even as a way of promoting world peace. That's important, but this is survival.

    What I know to be true is that for the modern industrialized community of societies, technology has finally advanced to the point of succeeding in debunking all of our foundational notions concerning the true nature of reality and our own unique position within it. If this isn't effectively addressed, then the anxiety that is running through every society as if it were a pandemic viral outbreak will grow more and more malignant and destructive, and who knows where it will lead. The truth is that the human race has never been presented with a complete visceral schism like this on such a massive scale, so we're officially in uncharted territory from here on.

    What a self-aware, intelligent being needs is a narrative of self and reality that is reasonable and is not plagued with obvious contradictions. Without it, the critical notion of self is held in a suspended flux, awaiting acceptable resolution. If no resolution is forthcoming, this effort becomes more and more difficult. And yet, that effort is ultimately necessary, since - at a primal level - that acceptable narrative is key to that sense of self as a survival requirement. Our machines have proven to us that we misunderstood the reality anchors that we've relied on for thousands of years, and millions are now doubling down on their traditional myths and religions as their certainties grow weaker and weaker. The damage is so deep felt that we can't even identify it within ourselves as the loss that it is.

    Until we deal with this, and return to reexamine our initial misinterpretations about reality, our world will grow more and more dangerous. This one change is worth obliterating entire commercial sectors over. Especially those that promote fear and amplify the destruction for profit.
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    Feb 16 2012: Revolution, Juntas, etc ... Change through violance, blood, and loss of life all of this can only be judged by the participant. My opinion, my freedom is worth fighting for. I have been to Socialist / Communist countries and to countries ran by dictators and that life is not for me. I would probally be shot. I would also fight for my family. Most wars historically are either political or religious. As a member of the military I was sent to fight because I was told to. Not all men in uniforms are indoctrinated enough to believe the fight is right. We recently had a movement for Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and the media interviews showed that there was no clear "cause". Some said it was against the rich, some said it was about immigration, some said it was racial, some just came for the beer. To disrupt anything means that the biggest impact will always be on people you are not mad at.
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    Feb 12 2012: Oh for me crowd sourced banking is the first idea popping in my mind.

    When one thinks about the whole idea of banking, it is about keeping your money in a safe place, helping every John Doe to buy a house and the like. "Banks for people" to sum up.

    In some cases, we are far from this. After all, some corrupt (I use this strong word for a reason) bankers sold mortgages to people who would never be able to pay their loans. Then transformed it into a financial product, which led us to the sub-primes crisis we are all suffering from right now.

    Micro credit works but as of today, it is more developed in developing countries than in our Western world.

    So yes, banks by the people and for the people!
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    Feb 11 2012: The only change worth making yourself and others uncomfortable for, has to be based in truth. That of course is the basis of all misunderstanding, wars and uprisings. We all see truth relative to our own feelings, interests, backgrounds and circumstances in relation to other people. So we live in personal discontent and anger and create public chaos and harm if we can't resolve it for ourselves.

    For centuries now, we have been taught to be enlightened, to think that truth is relative. That creates a lack of basis to know what's right from wrong, differing values, or for some no values at all. So life becomes chaotic and what makes sense for one, does not for another.

    The reality is that there is one truth whether we like it or not. It sure isn't easy to admit to ourselves when we want something that is bad for us, because it feels right or justifies our pain. Truth doesn't come from us, it is not of man, but of God and it needs to be taught with love to inspire people to see the change they need to make. Just like Martin Luther King did. He had a beautiful core belief from God that all men were created equal. Unfortunately so many after him have tried to twist his intent to serve their own agendas, causing more backward movement than forward in setting many people free from their bondage.

    I realize to some that I sound very limited in my thinking. However, after 60 years of lying to myself in many areas, and going thru 'my personal desert' for many of those years, I am glad to be set free and living in relationship with God and learning how to see the real truth and how it applies to me and my life. It's the kind of change that sets us free from our own lies, misconceptions and lack of responsibility in our lives.

    No more passing on the lies, trying to make change according to our own agenda is sick. What is 'right or just' is far too much for man to decide. Leave it to the creator God and seek the change of truth. Deuteronomy 4:29
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    Feb 9 2012: A panelist at a recent Trinity Church Wall Street seminar referred to occupy as the "rude dinner guest"..pointing out that we need "rude dinner guests" to disrupt our habitual ways of thinking, complying, adjusting, accepting and interpreting.

    The challenge in living awake,living dynamically and creatively is to surrender everything we have allowed to become blindly rooted in us to the possibility of disruption in any moment..in every moment

    allowing disruption in every moment is a habit we should allow to become automatic in our lives along side compassion.
    • Feb 9 2012: Nice idea on the surface... but concentration is an important tool in helping us process cognitively taxing tasks (either devising solutions or learning something new), but can be easily disrupted... internally and externally.

      The better way for us to go about it, is to be simply more aware more understanding of the variety of mental states we can inhabit, empathize for them, and allow for an appropriate, context based, empathetic response.

      Patience is important to exercise, as is consideration. Together, they create better, more positive human experiences for those blessed enough to have the wherewithal to exercise it.
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        Feb 9 2012: Yes, I agree George, cultivating focus is critical..but not at all incompatible with allowing for disruption ( ie all possibility) in every moment)

        ... in fact they are perfect partners

        being open to total disruption in any moment ( ie complete fredom from all externalities to that moment)s allows our focus, our concentration not to be limiited by pre-concevied ideas or unconcsious pre disposition to seeing or understanding

        I agree completely that without habit of focus allowing for that total disruption in any moment might result only in chaos instead of greater understanding or broader seeing.

        Thank you for your wisdom .
        • Feb 9 2012: Perhaps perfect partners in the sense that they'll need a careful dance in order to elicit their maximum potential.

          But it's (concentration and focus) a skill that needs to be cultivated... while it is weak, you can't bash it in with unnecessary interruptions!

          That said, your initial point goes beyond simply concentration and focus - I simply mention them as an example of why a bit of balance and moderation is needed... and as why I disagree with the phrasing of 'allow for in every moment'.
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        Feb 9 2012: Ok..I'll go along with that..the alignment of all our faculties and each faculty being excercised the way we excercise the muscles of our bodies , honed.determines the outcome. No arguement here against t balance and moderation.

        Going back to to the Bretts original question and my premise that disruption can be a powerful creative force when we allow it to be..how do you reconcile disruption and concentration?

        Bretts phrasing of the question recognizes in the reference to "discomfort", the "disruption" that sort of uneasy feeling of letting go of ideas and ways of understanding and navigating before we can clearly see what's next. A word sometimes used to describe that is "liminal space" ..that uncertainty when we let go of what we've been hanging on to unquestioningly (Brett says complacecy) but don't have anything already formed or apparent to replace it..sort of like limbo.disruption as Brett says.

        Usually I don't choose to be set adrift from my complacency..I don't consciously say wow that's such a good idea I'm going to abandon my old idea" I just suddenly realize the old idea isn't working very well and I have to let go of it even if I can't clearly see where that might lead.When I encounter disruptions of this sort the focus and concentration comes ..eventually, through asknig the right question, forming questions that don't contain what we think the answer is. For example, "why do I suddenly feel this disruptiion..why isn't my customary response feel right any more?"

        These surprise disruptions, in my life, have almost always opened new and more productive pathways.

        What I think Brett means by "disruption" is that gap that is suddenly there when we realize we have to abandon what we've been depending on or clinging to or habitutally going on auto pilot from.I think my original point was that lots of moments offer us this opportunity but we don't see it because we take the easy way on auto pilot.
  • Feb 9 2012: Post scarcity... a possible human future, fantastically utopian, but also dizzyingly counter-intuitive. The prevailing wisdom is that it is a castle in the sky... a thought to admire, but impossible, unachievable, and at very best, very far out from our life times.

    Our technology and our imagination is already moving in the direction that will make a post scarcity future possible. The technology will be there... but will we be ready to recognize their potential? Or will we allow it to be coopted and framed within our current societal paradigms?

    The promise is exceptional... a new epoch of humanity, where we are not at the mercy of limitations. Where life is lived to maximize happiness and experience. Where learning is an end unto itself.

    This... is worth making my life uncomfortable - going outside of my comfort zone to bring it into consciousness, the understanding of possibility and the pitfalls that may face this possibility.
    And it is worth making you and others uncomfortable - intimating that the way we think about the world, the way we do things... the trajectory that we are on, the way we think about human possibility is short sighted, perhaps even a little cowardly.
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    Feb 9 2012: The change I want to make to me is behave and relate to others and myself in a way that considers the long term, not just right now. I want the way I relate to my son, my husband, my family, my friends, to consider not just the small petty thing that has hold of me now, but the importance they have in my life. That's the biggest change I want to make. And it's totally worth it. And it's a work in progress. :) And it's VERY uncomfortable in that petty moment.
  • Feb 9 2012: Brett....reading the other entries, especially yours and Manue's I have to say that as someone who loves change, it was very very hard to settle down to living in just one area for many years.

    So to accept the idea of "bloom where you are planted", I had to disrupt my world traveler lifestyle.....

    Am I making sense?

    It has taken me 3 days to post a comment to your question. I just didn't get it until I read your replies to everyone's comments.

    Be Well. Great question.....finally I can say it with all sincerity.
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    Feb 7 2012: Cry.
    You will change.
  • Feb 7 2012: I think that the only way to make a disruption that worth for make something valuable for your life is when you get out of your comfort zone and try different things in your daily life, giving you the option to admire and understand much more things that inevitable would attract the idea that you need to disrupt the others life.
    Remember that the human being is an habits animal that always is seeking for be the most comfortable as possible as it could be, so the only way that you force the people around you to keep moving and creating something new is getting them out of the comfort life and evade a sedentary life that only make us and useless beings.
    Remember that the energy is always in movement, keep you in movement and the answer will flow so easy to your mind
  • Feb 7 2012: I have lived in six different countries in the last eleven years.
    I can confidently tell you that I have grown very fast thanks to all those years abroad. I am not saying that everyone should change countries, but that change can be a very good way to learn and evolve.
    My daughter told me when I asked her about our last move. Don't worry, it is going to be ok... there is skype. Now the class she used to be in thailand and her new class in china are corresponding via the Internet.
    People around me used to think my weak point was that I loved doing everything and would always change my subjects of interest. I turned that weakness a quality. I am lucky that this century focuses on crossing disciplines.
    Egypt taught me about archeology. I taught English to very happy and enthousiastic poor children and took care of an very sad rich little girl. North of Thailand taught me about Quieting my thoughts, keeping calm inside. My kids taught me loads...A handicapped little girl taught me how even one of the tiniest and most dependable human on earth could have a positive impact on many people's life... I learned new languages, new ways of thinking... Etc..
    I believe in a way that Everything is linked. No matter who we are, we have an impact on the rest of the world.
    Now, IMMANUEL KANT for example, did not change one thing to his way of life during years. doing so helped him to concentrate on his work. And with his new ideas, he changed the world of philosophy, justice, astronomy and so on.
    And I agree that Often in my life, I found myself wasting time finding a new home again, settling,etc when I could have been doing something more constructive.
    I think a good change for some of us would be to not only Invest ourselves in careers and accomplish amazing popular things but to also acknowledge the importance of attitude. A great attitude in day to day's life has a major impact on people around you.
    I think I should start changing less and settling a bit... for a change
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      Feb 9 2012: Manue, thank you for the insight.. are you saying that "settling" would be a disruption for you? And it is how you would create change in your own life?
      If so, I can totally relate!! I too traveled all over from city to city, country to country and found that when I finally settled in Western North Carolina, USA, I was surprised by the amount of discomfort I felt, and still feel today just by being still, in one place!!
      • Feb 9 2012: I think that going back to France would probably be challenging (except Paris?) it would probably be more challenging than moving in some other "foreign country". If we lived in France, our kids might not be able to go to an International school, and they might have to get adapted to a very different old educational system. And I might find it more difficult to find foreigners from all over the world to share experiences abroad with. I feel, that after a few months spent in France, I would feel the urge to go and discover a new place. I did not feel ready to leave thailand to go to china, but now that I am there, I am having such a good time visitng china, sharing ideas and stories daily with my Chinese neighbor and learning Chinese.
        How many times have I heard that in general, people coming back to their home country after years abroad have more difficulties to get adapted than when they just arrived abroad! I can imagine this could to be also true for me.
        Now, I have to say that changing countries every two years when you have children is not that easy. And I am getting tired. I feel I am spending far too much time on practical issues (housing, shipment, new circle of friends) when I could be focusing on projects and staying with my old friends. Last year, I spent months writing every single day for hours, with very strict habits to get things done. However, I have not been able to do so with such a regularity during the past months, before and after moving. But, my writing is fed by my life experiences, so that is ok! There is a time for everything. I feel I am a global citizen and I sometimes imagine I could go and travel in space! Anyhow, I feel there will be a time to settle.... Maybe not in France.
        How about you? Is western north Carolina your home region? Are you planning to move again? Why? Why not?