The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

God and Judgment and Stuff

August14

I don’t know if God is angry or capricious.

we’ve certainly heard him described as such.

George Landolt, John Stein or Johnny Walker would likely suggest I research the Bible to investigate such a thing. but, reading the Bible is hard. it’s difficult.

I admit it.

but, it’s not that I’m looking for an easy answer; as if I’m seeking instant gratification. the answer to this question could very well take a lifetime to sort-out. and, we may not have that answer until we face Him, fair-and-square.

all that said, God allows really terrible things to happen. John would tell me its all about testing us. that whole “trial in the desert”, thing. but, God seems to let mean people that are willing to take advantage of others prevail quite often.

so, is that the discernment I’ve been going on about on this Blog? some of us have a special gene that allows us to open-up that veritable can of “whup-ass”.

some people are just hurting, and they need to or want to hurt others. and, God appears to stand blithely by. now I’m wondering how judgement works.

speaking of that, all of this, really, I’ll discuss John (a different John, yes) and Sherri, here.

they are in the midst of an ugly divorce. and, of course, the kids are being used as a weapon of mass destruction. all of a sudden, after seven years and two evidently happy kids, John is evil and dangerous. he’s suddenly irresponsible and Sherri has moved a court to only allow him to see his kids under tightly managed supervision.

a date a few weeks back promised to be a milestone as John had been pushing are for a hearing in front of some judge to discuss all of it. by the way… the hearing had been scheduled for months. but, Sherri and her parents decide to take off on a holiday trip with the kids. suddenly the hearing is an inconvenience because sherri will have to interrupt her vacation and fly up for the hearing if it goes through. thusly, her lawyers turn up the heat.

so… here’s an excerpt from a text dialogue John and I had earlier this evening before I took-off for Lacrosse practice.

John: Big win for Sherri today. Looks like I may not get my hearing next week… I will just keep my head up and keep plowing…

Me: How did that happen?

John: Lawyers schedules and judges schedules it seems… It can still happen but there are only two days next week – Wednesday or Friday that may work. Nothing I caqn do about it.

Me: I concur. Too bad a father that wants his children can’t be the priority.

John: Part of dealing with evil. I will get to learn another lesson in life and keep my head high!

Me: Sometimes ignorance and maybe pain is disguised as evil.

John: So sherri is not evil she is just ignorant and full of pain that is why she is keeping [child's name]  and [child's name] from their father?

Me: Time will tell. But, you already know her wight and associated issues weigh (sic) her down with angst.

John: Yep so I have to pray for her every day like I always have that she can find a way to deal with it and make herself happy.

Me: Just ask God to heal. Don’t worry about details. Praying with sincerity is hard enough.

John: I will.

interestingly, as I googled “scales of Justice” looking for an image of, well, scales of justice, the following book on Amazon.com ranked high on the first page, Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight Based Discrimination [paperback].

What rights, if any, do fat people have? If a child is obese, are the parents legally responsible? Can employers treat overweight employees as different, or disabled? Should fat people be protected by disability laws? Cases of illegal hiring practices, workplace prejudice, harassment, unfair treatment, medical malpractice, and denial of public access are being filed in increasing numbers as the nation continues to obsess over, and misunderstand, weight. 

misunderstood weight?

…more later.

but, meanwhile… for Gods sake. what about the kids? that book is going to cite somewhere that the children of Mothers that eat their sorrow until it crushes everyone around them end up like their Moms. and, when a daughter is denied her earthly Father, all hell breaks loose.

here’s a mental image. that judge should have an obese woman sit on him until he can’t breathe, or until he expedites a hearing, research and a decision that reunite a family under reasonable expectations.

what would God have us see in this opportunity to be crushed by the sheer inaneness of it all?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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jumping from the “Burning Platform”

June20

Good morning.

I miss Colorado. but, I don’t know if I miss that place, or its potential, more. that’s also where I became a fireman and EMT. That was when and where some of the most vitally GREAT moments of my life were realized. I probably would still be there, but my life blew up when I lost control of my company and the regulators stepped-in. thank God for all of it, maybe.

while still there, I recall that a very wise and older man once said to me, “this is God’s country (Colorado), but, the Devil is in it”. so, I always take the position that Colorado is “Chinese Interesting”.

I’m on something of a new and scary-interesting path that has a lot to do with a squirrel and the “burning platform” memo.

…a squirrel?

and, then another crazy twist in the road occurred this very morning when once of my coaching clients  failed to appear but I met Doug and Al. for months Al was the guy that just pissed me off because he smoked near my table. today he’s an example of how I want to live much of my life. damn… thirty minutes can shift an entire lifetime. I need to be mindful of that every time I meet or work with everyone. every minute counts when you’re on a “burning platform”.

man, the latter is galvanizing and life-changing.

I have so many questions. and, oddly, I’m realizing more and more each day that the simplest answers are literally all around me, and just, and agonizingly so, within reach. it’s almost like drowning with the promise of the surface achingly close to ones fingertips.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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brian cork, blogs, sex, Life, and stuff

September18

the title of this particular post is misleading.

I won’t be discussing sex. in fact, Joanne (my wife) just looked over my shoulder and was a bit alarmed by the reference to “sex”. in fact, it’s another experiment around Search Engine Optimization (SEO) [fascinating, gripping stuff]. by simply adding words like “sex” (even the word: “butt”), or my name (seriously) to a subject line and then in the opening paragraphs of a blog post can increase viewership dramatically.

so… you are had, in a manner of speaking.

meanwhile, as I approach my more salient point, here, I’ll reveal that I was recently asked how and why my blog has become so widely read. they could hardly conceal their irritation.

the timing for this missive is likely good because I recently ruffled feathers around another recent post: the distortion field of social media and marketing and it’s impact on networking. I was also interviewed by Malcolm Teasdale for his Malcolm Out Loud show not long ago – and more recently by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine, the latter with something to do about being a “king-maker”. that might not make much sense either. however, on that show, those media points, as with this blog, questions are asked; statements made. a platform for fist-shaking is thusly created. and more often than not, solutions gleefully championed.

it’s not that I’m an award winning blogger. I’m simply followed by a lot of people that are apparently interested in me, what I do, say, and possibly think.

I’ll amicably submit that it’s possible they just like the videos and music I actualize, periodically. I also use words in interesting ways to help me draw correlations in-and-amongst world events. everything, everything, I tell you, is connected. and, I strive to prove it diligently on this blog – and, almost daily.

nonetheless, with that question, I’ll take the firm position that I’m stumped. usually, I am not without an answer. most of the time, any answer is better than no answer at all. one must simply be able to defend a point. NOTE: there is nothing stupider sounding (less so, transparent) than someone saying, “I don’t know.” also, it suggests you have no ability to think on your feet. I can do that. I’m actually quite good at it.

So, how did I end up being a widely-read blogger?

we did a bit of research. in fact, we did more than that… we did a LOT of research. see.. that’s a significant element to who and what I am. I try to know and relate to a great many things. I think about what is happening in the world, and take it oh so seriously. my Nana said I was a, “deep thinker”. maybe that’s the case. but, more likely I care deeply (endlessly). my passion and commitment to people around me (in an ever-growing circle) is fueled by reserves that could possibly keep the earth spinning on it’s very axis.

here are a few tips:

I like to write.

and, it does not hurt that the title of my blog is a witty twist around my surname. I’ve had heady victories in my day, with more to follow, I’m certain. but. I’ve also had my ass severely kicked. I suspect my daughters take the former for granted. my friends and business partners certainly do, by example. but, it’s the manner in which I work hard to manage the scary challenges is how I want my daughters to understand me. character is often best when tested, eh.

that said, if you decide to write a blog about how toilet paper gets made, you might not get an award or get read very often.

unfortunately, just because you can write doesn’t mean you should. Pretty much everyone can write. Except for the illiterate, of course. think about that.

just so we are clear, I think Mary Guthrie should fire up a blog and talk about her family and co-workers. I don’t book mark much of anything. but, I would subscribe to her stories about her Irish-influenced family.

the point is, it helps if you can write well. if you can’t, take a night class once a week at the local junior college. pick up a copy of Finnegans Wake and grind your way through it. I’d prefer you to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, mind you. more on that later, especially with a movie on it’s way.

that said, I’m not claiming to write well. I simply write interesting.

In blogging, all you have is words, and if your words can’t. don’t or won’t resonate, your blog suffocates. and, if your blog is stagnate, nobody will read your thoughts because nobody likes reading a blog that sucks.

can you imagine foreigners (or extra terrestrials) that might read writing such as my own and become confused by the utilization of the English language? just ponder the word, “sucks” and it’s multiple uses.

I make blogging sound easier said than done, right? well, hell, it’s part of my life’s mission to make easy seems appear difficult, and herculean things seems simple. that’s my nature. I don’t look for “easy buttons”. I just know where they are. I’m no leperchaun. but, people read my blog.

but here is the truth. If you just write random stuff and post it to your blog, your friends will read it, and your wife (okay… not mine, so much), or husband, or whatever will read it, and nobody else will. then you’ll have, like, one hundred readers a month (according to WordPress that’s about average), and you’ll be like, Why, God, did I start a blog? I hate blogging! Blogging sucks. then you’ll stop blogging because your blog only confirms your deepest fear about yourself, about life, about humanity:

nobody cares what you have to say, or do.

essentially, you have to express an intelligent opinion (facts help) in an interesting way about stuff people care about. maybe that’s Wikileaks. perhaps urban farming. but, you have to write about what you genuinely care about, not some drivel that you think other people will care about.

blogging reality: whatever you think potential readers will or should care about, they won’t. and, whatever you think they won’t care about, they likely will. the latter part of that thinking is possibly the key, here. we, that collective (the what?) we, don’t understand how important everyone, everywhere, really is. so, we don’t value ourselves enough to work daily to be change agents or interesting. well… I do. I take enormous (calculated) risks each and every day.

more on that last bit, later.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork 

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DON’T PANIC

January24

right then.

all of this seemed a good idea, in my head, it had such terrific promise. but, I’ll warn you straight away, that this post is going to be eye-rolling in its lack of anything related to being interesting, in it’s entirety.

however, the epic nature of this particular exercise is precisely why I allowed for the change of the theme (look and feel) of this blog altogether. …perhaps the other information and pretty colors will distract you from the entirely impractical nature of this post.

all that said, there is a lot going on, here. so, just dig in. but, don’t take notes. you’ll end up knowing less if you make the effort.

NOTE: as I was plotting this treatise on self-indulgence, I really did have high expectations. then Haley Anne, all of fourteen mind you, gave it a look-over and came to the conclusion that:

“its too complicated Daddy. can’t you talk about something funny. or, Usher?”

so…

I’ll begin in the middle of all the touch points that might hope to bring sense to this carnage, as I was witness to a touch-and-go situation that was a dilemma for a bloke, recently where I’d venture to propose he had two viable options:

he could offer a correct answer that would result in appropriate and decisive action. or, he could panic. chaos, pure and simple would certainly follow (for him, and his kind). don’t be overly concerned, this has a lot to do with a tire iron, an old tire, and an unfortunate incident alongside a busy road.

…oh, and an apparent deadline.

all of this brings me to something of a point.

you don’t know what you don’t know.

this is often (perhaps too often – but who knows) attributed to Mezirow’s Concept.

which, in-or-out-of-turn, may or not having nothing to do with the concept of:

DON’T PANIC.

Note: in the series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, “DON’T PANIC” (always upper-case) is a phrase written on the cover of the first book. the novel explains that this was partly because the device (the book, itself) “looked insanely complicated” to operate, and partly to keep intergalactic travelers from panicking. it is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words “Don’t Panic” in large, friendly letters on the cover.

that information might not be comforting. but, it might be good to know.

and, you probably might care to know that Arthur C. Clarke, himself, said: Adams’ use of “don’t panic” was perhaps the best advice that could be given to humanity.

I’ll add fictional, or not.

meanwhile, consider and likely ponder the following…

“He that knows not,
and knows not that he knows not
is a fool.
Shun him

He that knows not,
and knows  that he knows not
is a pupil.
Teach him.

He that knows,
and knows not that he knows
is asleep
Wake him.

He that knows,
and knows that he knows
is a teacher.
Follow him.”

- Apparently an Arabic proverb, as apparently translated by NEIGHBOUR R (1992) in his The Inner Apprentice London; Kluwer Academic Publishers. p.xvii

for good counter and corollary measure, we’ll add:

“We know what we know, we know that there are things we do not know, and we know that there are things we don’t know we don’t know” - Donald Rumsfeld (4 Sept 2002) (Woodward, 2004: 171)

it is ironic, perhaps, that the initial insight is honest-to-God Arabic.

this post is playing around with a conceit: a minimum of two senses of the term “know”. however, it is all in the form of a professional cause.

thusly, the two senses are those of:

awareness of self; and,
knowledge of the world.

however… for the purposes of this post, we’re facing four (it’s not simple of easy to discern where the four begin or end. so just roll with it. do it!) possible combinations of knowing, which are explored below:

“Knowledge” but not simply as Bloom understands it:

potentially this is the whole cognitive domain that you may find parallels with the witting and willing practice model, and also with the familiar “unconscious incompetence” to “unconscious competence” model, which relates primarily to practical skills:

here we are genuinely exploring the core of  knowledge. Laing’s almost poetic exploration of its interpersonal convolutions cited above (it goes on for another 21 pages), and the citation of the idea by Neighbour (1992) credited as an Arabic proverb demonstrate that it has a considerable provenance.

by the way… since I did not know a lot of this until I’d begun my investigation, I lifted much of this information from elsewhere, so you would know more than you did.

not knowing you don’t know

the first possibility is that of being unaware that you don’t know something. this is the “ignorance is bliss” state, enjoyed by anyone who pontificates about politics in the pubs. it’s also the position of many people on “soft” occupations (such as presidents of world-power nations, or social work) which look from the outside as if “any fool could do it”. (note: some do, evidently.) and, it is engendered by consummate professionals who make what they do look easy (such as plasterers and chefs and popular novelists, hollywood elite, and…).

in any event, many students start from this (sophomoric) position, and although the Neighbour proverb calls them “fools”, that can’t be fair; not in the least.

here’s something of a test… perhaps the first move is often to make learners aware of their ignorance. This is particularly tricky, in practice as evidenced by missionaries. unless they are a captive audience it is quite easy to frighten them off (in keeping with the Hitchhikers Guide, just have a towel and toothbrush handy). this is also rather seductive, because it is a chance to show off your own level of knowledge or competence. On the other hand, it is a crucial step in developing motivation to learn. here’s an example:

you can pose a problem which has a seemingly simple answer (political, economic, legal – or, in Neighbour’s case, medical), and then show the problems in reaching that simple solution, which stem from ignorance of the context.

knowing you don’t know

this moves us (or you)  from “knowing that you don’t know” to “knowing that you know”, and is what most learning, and hence, teaching, is all about, eh.

knowing and not knowing that you know

it’s my view, here, that the interaction between knowing and not knowing that you know is ever so much more complex, and much neglected.

it’s neither fair nor realistic to expect you, any of you to have read all the background work I’ve cited above. so, allow me to drop in a summary thought, here:

there are two kinds of knowledge (in a third sense) or practice involved here.

the first is that for which the move to “not knowing that you know” or “unconscious competence” is the highest stage of development. see the Learning Curve page. this applies to the basic skills of driving, or knitting; the kind of thing you can “do without thinking”.

the second is where people who have informally learned a great deal mistakenly put themelves in the “knowing that they don’t know” category because they have never received any academic or professional accreditation for their learning. this is the downside of our qualification-driven culture, which dismisses those whom Gramsci called “organic intellectuals” (he really did, just trust me) because they do not have the recognition of the formal educational system.

can you see it all coming together in your minds eye? Neighbour’s Arabic proverb now, finally, enjoins us to “awaken” someone in this position, which means to take them back, to an awareness of their knowledge. there is a link here with the aforementioned Mezirow’s concept of “transformative learning”, in which education leads to a re-evaluation of life so far.

believe it or not I can make an argument for my ongoing dissertations on, “being pleased, or being satisfied”. really. just go to the search bar and tap in those words and see what happens. do it. do it!

what I won’t approach, here is all the shenanigans around willing but unwitting.

because… then there’s the…

problematic expert

this is where the fourth possibility is touched on in the discussion of expertise. this is that very person who (…wait for it… …wait…) knows that she knows but does not know how she knows. or, cannot express it!

just so we’re clear, this is where you might ask about a particularly brilliant bit of practice, and you will get a banal trite answer which might have come out of an outdated textbook, and which totally fails to do justice to the complexity of what she has done. so… sometimes that answer will be exercised because she does not want to appear a “smart-arse” (“ass” if you are American (I am, mostly, but I wouldn’t wish to confuse you with references to donkeys.) sometimes, though, she might claim that it is a matter of “not being able to put it into words” or even, disconcertingly, of a “hunch”. she may even be afraid of trying to express her expertise, for fear that an inadequate exposition will somehow jeopardise fragile knowledge. once she has said it, it might become ossified. she might feel obliged to live up to her exposition and limit that insight and creativity which goes beyond words.

just relax. here is a line in the sand, for you. some things we can teach, and some we can’t. I learned that as a futbol (soccer) coach.

so, that’s the whole story. or, is it? there is not botom-line, here. clearly we have to get people to realise what they don’t know, if necessary. I feel that need, and often. but fascinating though it is, the inarticulate expertise of not knowing that you know is a dead-end from the learning and teaching point of view. the only open position, with potential for development, is that of knowing what you know.

in any event, knowledge probably requires having questions ands relevant answers to these information gaps. however, some times we just seem to know the truth – but, that’s not always the best answer under some prickly circumstances. maybe if you don’t like something that’s happening you can change the circumstances, or change the rules. But, we’re going to bump into an answer, eventually.

So… under the cover of the Hitchhikers Guide, lacking a real question, the mice (you’ll need to read the book, or remember what I’m going on about, here), decide not to go through the whole thing again and settle for the out-of-thin-air suggestion for the answer, “How many roads must a man walk down?” from Bob Dylan‘s protest song “Blowin’ in the Wind“.

watch it, here, and see if you can divine the same:

but, then again, maybe you don’t care, or don’t care to know.

I’ll keep going, later. it’s the pursuit of knowing that is the ultimate key to any answer. that’s the realm of the Heterodox.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

NOTE: some, but not nearly every conceivable references might include:

http://www.trainer.org.uk/members/theory/ process/stages_of_learning.htm
http://www.neurosemantics.com/Articles/ Unconscious.htm

http://www.nlp.org/glossary.html#U

and, the following sources have been cited as original, although I have not so far been able to get hold of them to check them out:

Dubin, P (1962) ‘Human Relations in Administration’, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall
Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1971). A practical guide for supervisory training and development. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
There’s a fascinating exploration of the whole story at: http://www.businessballs.com/consciouscompetencelearningmodel.htm

also… ref:  B (2004) Plan of Attack New York; Simon and Schuster [Back]

enough!

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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