Problem Solving 101 Versus Man’s Inhumanity to Man

(Revision Three, copyleft 6-16-2016 by Peter Voluntaryistic Walker)
“Learn from everyone, but follow no one.” (author unknown)
1. By Man’s Inhumanity to Man I mean the gap between our species’ present overall low quality of life and the life we could have were it not for toxic culture; especially the overlapping social institutions of superstition and politics.
1.a. Superstition is most obvious as the world’s larger religious followings each claiming theirs’ is the only nonsuperstitious one. Superstitious culture also means to believe unproven or disproven concepts are true for illogical reasons such as a concept being repeated to the point of subconscious acceptance, or to the point of it being sacred. An example is believing the social institution of government/The State has no alternative for solving social problems. My essays/FB Notes “Examples of Successful Anarchy in History” and “Definitions of the Word Government” further address this and the concepts in the next paragraph.
1.b. The social institution of The State has and does abuse its monopoly status. From 1900 to 2000, governments democided over a quarter of a billion people, incarcerated and tortured millions more, practiced eugenics and involuntary medical experimentation, and caused tens of thousands to unnecessarily die daily from disease and starvation. The institutionalized inhumanity continues under ever more creative forms of fraud. ( 1.c. Inhumanity also occurs as individual psychopathy, but toxic culture helps creates many more psychopaths than would otherwise occur, and government/The State, a social institution legitimized to initiate violence, attracts them as members and exponentially multiplies their capabilities. Such political problems have lead to replacing old regimes with new ones, only to find the new to be another version of the old. Regimes are symptoms, not root causes or solutions. (I discuss root cause several paragraphs from now. Also see and my essay/ FB Note about culture “How Concepts Versus Instances Separate Free and Unfree Minds”)
2. A, if not the, primary obstacle to problem solving is parochialism.
2.a. A textbook example is Europe taking from the 10th to the 17th century to convert from Roman to Arabic numerals as the standard number system. Some causes of the delay were natural, such as the illiterate and isolated nature of medieval times. But even if we discount for natural cause, artificial cause remains as hundreds of years. The artificial cause was a culture of extreme resistance to change. It included cultural exceptionalism, worship of the past, and other superstitions such as believing the number zero stood for The Devil.
2.b. Present forms of parochialism are much stealthier but equally status quo preserving. A typical example is to not talk politics, religion, or money in polite company. Upon closer examination, intelligently discussing such issues questions status quo comfort zones and challenges people to think rather than process concepts according to instructions from mainstream media and other pseudo intellectual sources (discussed more in detail in my essay/FB Note “Court and Other Pseudo Intellectuals”). Intelligently discussing such issues also provides the human brain with exercise and thus counters the mainstream culture trend of dumbing it down.
2.c. The opposite of parochialism: “Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases… Eclecticism was first recorded to have been practiced by a group of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers who attached themselves to no real system, but selected from existing philosophical beliefs those doctrines that seemed most reasonable to them. Out of this collected material they constructed their new system of philosophy” ( as of 09-15-2013). Thus eclecticism is key to problem solving because it’s unproductive to ignore knowledge for secondary reasons such as differing political orientations within a team of researchers.
3. Root cause:
3.a. Effective problem solving address root cause, meaning that cause that when removed results in the problem stopping and not repeating. An example is pulling up weeds by their roots rather than mowing, which only addresses symptoms. The root cause concept would be simple if life wasn’t messy. But removing a cause may reveal deeper causes, a removed cause may return, some solutions create new problems, etc. There may be no such thing as a 100% solved problem, but many can be mitigated to almost 100%; others at least to a much less problematic state.
3.b. Inhumanity has multiple causes at the root level, beginning with miscommunication. People can’t accurately communicate to solve problems if they don’t first discard euphemisms and agree upon the meaning of key discussion terms. Science partially addresses this problem by using Latin for key terms such as status quo. As a dead language, Latin’s meanings don’t change over time, differ from person to person, or have widely varying contextual meanings the way living language words do (e.g. anarchist, capitalist, terrorist, and freedom fighter). 3.c. The scientific method further guards communication among scientists because it’s an agreed-upon protocol enabling those from differing individual/cultural/linguistic backgrounds to coordinate problem solving. A prominent example is Jonas Salk discovering the polio vaccine, then other scientists coordinating to test it and improve its manufacture and distribution. The scientifically arrived at facts trumped personal and cultural tangents such as emotions, opinions, and doctrine/dogma/policy. 3.d. The polio problem fits the second of the three core problem categories: Simple, complex, and issues. The weeds problem is relatively simple. The polio vaccine problem is complex, but not an issue because there are little to no personal or cultural clashes resisting solutions. A textbook example of an issue is the moral and legal details of abortion. 3.e. The scientific method can solve most if not all simple and complex problems, but issues include abstractions such as morality, the meaning of life, spirituality, religion, and the interpretation of history/current events. The scientific method is a subset of philosophy’s branch of logic, but solving/mitigating issues requires philosophy’s full scope. Its other branches are metaphysics, epistemology (the nature of knowledge), ethics (moral and political philosophy), aesthetics, and specialized branches such as language. (The specialized branches are each subcategories or subcategory combinations of the other branches, but are specialized in as if each were a branch. I use the acronym MEELAS to remember the branches).
3.f. Philosophy isn’t as complicated or sanctimonious as mainstream culture presents it, and is better learned through eclectic independent research than second hand regurgitation. A primary agenda of cradle-to-grave government approved schooling and media is filter first principles from the individual. Status quo threatening subject areas such as philosophy, history/current events, and economics are presented in their perverted doctrinal forms. Schooled victims typically conclude such subjects are irrelevant and boring, to be put aside once tests are passed. Thus public schooling is to education what sawdust is to bread. 3.g. The social institution of democide (death by government) illustrates the nonproblem side of issues. That is, democide is a problem for most but not all people. Where preventing polio was a 99% win-win event, democide is a win-lose event where large numbers of perpetrators and accomplices reap huge wealth and personal gratification. 3.h. When attempting to communicate about solving issues, those with an opposing agenda usually begin their coercion with linguistic fraud, aka sophistry. Explanations and examples are available in sources such as and, so I’ll simply relate such sources to the polio vaccine example of scientifically arrived at facts trumping personal and cultural tangents, and add that once sophism enters a discussion, you know an agenda other than win-win problem solving is present. 4. The five core types of solutions: Quarantine, contain, repair, regrade, and scrap.
4.a. Identification of these five originated in the science of manufacturing, but I conclude they also apply to personal and social problems. The main difference is whether or not an issue such as war is recognized as a problem that can be solved. 4.b. To quarantine is to buy time by isolating previously created problems so they don’t do further damage, and decide on further action later.
4.c. To contain is to stop production so new problems aren’t created; similar to “Do no further harm.”
4.d. To repair is to correct the problem source so production can continue; it can include repairing earlier created problematic product.
4.e. To regrade is to re-identify a problematic product for a use where the problem is irrelevant.
4.f. To scrap is to discard, and can apply to problematic systems and products. These core solution types can be mixed and matched as needed, an eclectic approach. (These explanations may differ from others’, but any such criticism is a tangent unless terms need to be clarified within a group problem solvers.)
5. Problem solving techniques such as the Pareto Principal and methodologies of how to sequence and apply them such as the Shewhart Cycle of plan-do-check-act-repeat, the scientific method, etc., are widely available on the Internet. Presently the most basic/universal problem-solving model has the core steps identify, contain, analyze, determine, implement, monitor, and continually improve (example section 8.5 of also at
6. The points I’ve attempted to make in paragraphs 1. through 4. go against present mainstream culture and thus are nongeneric. I wrote this essay to help move towards the day when they will be generic.
This essay/mini-essay posted at and
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