Part I – Defeating Kolrami
Steve Pavlina embraces encomium excessively, but he’s smart. His recent article on “How to Defeat Kolrami” hit home. http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2011/06/how-to-defeat-kolrami/
The salient quote:
“In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance,” the master strategist Kolrami competes with the android character Data in a game of Strategema. The crew expects Data to win, just as you’d expect a modern chess-playing computer to kick your ass at chess. They confidently advise Data to take the shortest path to victory in order to put a dent in Kolrami’s smugness. However, Kolrami soundly defeats Data without breaking a sweat. Data is stunned by the loss and assumes he must have some kind of programming defect, going so far as to remove himself from active duty until he can figure out what’s wrong with him.
Later in that episode, Captain Picard informs Data that it’s possible to make no mistakes and still lose. This leads Data to challenge his assumptions about the game. He accepts Kolrami’s offer of a rematch, and this time he plays Kolrami to an endless stalemate, leading Kolrami to eventually surrender in disgust. The crew celebrates Data’s victory and asks how he did it.
Data confesses that he couldn’t defeat Kolrami by playing to win because that’s what Kolrami expected him to do. Every advantage-maximizing move that Data attempted was blocked by a superior counter-move from Kolrami. So in the rematch, Data used a different strategy. He bypassed obvious avenues of advancement and played for a draw instead of trying to win. This visibly frustrated Kolrami and allowed Data to theoretically play the game indefinitely, rendering defeat impossible.
This episode may contradict game theory and minimax algorithms, assuming that Data could search ahead more moves than Kolrami could, but setting aside that issue, I found tremendous value in this lesson. It seemed like the perfect analogy for my own situation. I felt like I’d made no serious mistakes, but I still lost. When I reviewed my previous moves, they still seemed reasonable even though they led to failure, and pondering whether I might have a defective brain proved as unhelpful to me as it did to Data.
During my first 5 years in business, I played to improve my financial score. I saw each business negotiation partly as a competition. If I got more money out of a deal, it meant that the other party got less. The more I succeeded in setting things up to maximize my financial score, the more I had to diminish the scores of others. In order to maximally win, someone else had to lose, at least a little bit. The harder I tried to win, the more friction I created that would ultimately cause me to lose.
Maybe some people are good at playing this kind of game. I wasn’t. Someone always had more resources, more time, or more expensive lawyers. The more I pressed for gains, the more I felt an opposing force pushing back against me.”
In a spiritual sense, it is proper to be wholeheartedly dedicated to one’s rightful ambitions.
However, the soul, body and mind are a different matter.
They cannot sustain maximum hyperfocused effort; nor can the human social fabric that embeds both business and pleasure.
Your spirit is an indefagitable marathon runner. More properly, it is timeless.
However, your soul et al, like your body, is more suited to bursts of effort, periods of low output, and rest.
Likewise, the human social fabric does not support extreme goal directedness, continually expressed. Instead, one punctuates less intentional troughs with occasional “moves.”
This leads to the koan, “Kolrami.” Patience, unhurriedness and relaxation are forms of confidence. But “Kolrami” allows me to square those behaviors against my spirit’s impatient determination.
Part II – Sunyata
Vox Day, when asked, said his defining work was the song “Sunyata” by Basic Pleasure Model.
The song is about how our lives are “little more than ephemeral flame,” that in “100 years everything will be the same.” Sunyata means emptiness, the absence of meaning. “You’re just a crack in the wall, just a link in the chain.” The vocals and music make clear that it’s a beautiful emptiness… when you die you enter the shining void and then you disappear.
There is deep truth in this, as any student of history or pleasure/depravity knows.
Part III – Koanic Soul
My previous Koanic Soul designs failed to account for Kolrami. They attempted to achieve permanent state spikes, constant peak emotional output. It was unsustainable, and the strain of it then caused failure cascades. It was reactive and outcome dependent. Unintentionally, but also inherently so.
The default state must be simple peace… interspersed with the appropriate spikes, colored the appropriate way, at the appropriate moment.
I currently achieve that peace by mixing four components:
3. The blue-green soulish sincere affective emotion at the center of the koanic symbol
4. Intermittent muted tongues prayer in the mental monologue
This is internally non-strenuous. It creates a relaxed, genuine vibe.
Yet because it’s so low key, it leaves plenty of surplus energy to channel spontaneously appearing spikes of yellow, red, brown or blue with judicious koanic spin.
Conclusion – Not a Panacea
This doesn’t do everything, but I’m happy with what it does do.