June 2004
* "Loose Cannons": A Missing Piece to Tradition - Archives of Humankind - Cosmic Order

(This text is a continuation of Tradition - Archives of Humankind - Cosmic Order... Help to Explain and Overcome Human Differences)

The fact that some people seem to score so very low - from 0 to 20% - on each of the three mentioned scales (T-AH-CO) had bugged me ever since I finished the text (on T-AH-CO)... and provoked reaction from one kind reader as well.

What does a low scoring on all three scales actually mean? Did I omit another important scale/category of interpretation of human experience, on which these people would score extremely high?

I gave it a lot of thought...and dowsing… and here is what I got:

I couldn't find any additional category that would show the way these low "scorers" interpret their personal experience and that would explain their behavior and choices in life and the values they relate themselves to. It seems rather that they just lack any systematic interpretations of their experience and any systematic criteria for their behavior and choices.

The best name for this group of people, as it seems to me... with all due respect... would be "LOOSE CANNONS". So I evaluated the low scorers from the original article on a fourth scale, "LC", and got what seem to be very consistent outcomes.

Then I made quite a long list of other individuals who scored low or zero on the first three scales... and sure enough what they had in common (besides the low score in all three categories) was the high score in LOOSE CANNON-ness...that's what truly unites them!!!!

And who belongs to this LC category?

Basically all contemporary dictators as well as pseudo-populists seem to score very high on this LOOSE CANNON scale (by 'pseudo-populists' I mean politicians who disingenuously say and promise what people want to hear and believe, and when elected to power, find ways to ignore or retreat from their unrealistic and never-intended-to -fulfill promises). Not only these worst of all political animals score high on LC; many politicians (though thankfully not the majority -- see below) also score high on this scale.

Quite a few highly successful (and unscrupulous) business people from the new democracies of Eastern Europe are also high LCs. In these countries, only recently released from totalitarianism, many sources of interpretation of personal experience and criteria for behavior that are prominent in countries with longer periods of peaceful, healthier and more natural development, became somehow old fashioned, obsolete, naive or even illusory or just awkward during the years of communist hypocrisy and cynicism. The fall of dictatorship released a strong "anything goes" reaction.

I think this idea can be generalized to many post-totalitarian countries.

Not so surprisingly one can notice similar trends of LOOSE CANNON-ness in top positions of superpowers where people seem to have been appointed by and serve the needs of big omnipotent corporations. This role gives the politicians freedom from responsibility and accountability to their voters. While pretending to respect and serve the needs of their nation, they seem to serve mostly the plutocrats. They more or less fake democracy... with the same hypocrisy and cynicism and attitude of being above law as I remember the communist leaders had.

The common denominator for all so far mentioned LOOSE CANNONS seems to be: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

And... to stop sounding so gloomy: I got a very optimistic and soothing intuitive reading on contemporary business people and people in politics around the world. In both cases - against my expectation - the average of their LOOSE CANNON-ness seems to be rather low. My guess is that there are only about 10% LCs in politics and 1% LCs in business and finances.

Unfortunately, LOOSE CANNONS of the world surely sell newspapers and TV time, so the media tend to popularize LOOSE CANNONS heavily and completely out of proportion by exposing them to public repeatedly and ad nauseam. This media exposure creates a bias that makes us often despair and believe there are at least 50% of LCs in politics and at least 30% of them in business and finances. Fortunately, this high prevalence appears to be an illusion.

And - not to forget - there seems to be one big professional group whose best representatives tend to score 100% in LOOSE CANNON-ness: ARTISTS. At least 90% of them seem to qualify to the LC club... in the best sense of this category.

Art... all kinds of art... heavily leans towards originality, creativity, uniqueness, inventiveness, unexpectedness, playfulness, surprise and lightness... which surely makes my own life on this planet much more bearable and happy. The artist's task seems to involve questioning "tradition", "archives of humanity" and even "cosmic order" and dismantling them, ridiculing them, and creating new worlds, artificial cultures, and visions, materializing fantasy, catching dreams, and broadening the boundaries of what's possible and thinkable.

I must acknowledge that I am very thankful to people who dedicated their lives to discoveries in and through art. It makes me glad and fills me with joy to meet these people (and their productions) who dared to use their already existing LC-ness and risked to develop it further in order to make this planet a more interesting and enjoyable place... and I mean this very seriously.

I just wish that people on both ends - protagonists on one end as well as audience on the other - would be able to tell the truly fatal difference between show business and art, and between service politics and the quest for power... That's all... and then, maybe, LOOSE CANNON-buffoons would be prevented any more from giving orders to police and armies and deciding about life and death and about happiness and freedom and other things dear to me in this world. Amen!

Prague, Czech Republic, June 2004

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Text by Jan Jilek, http://www.auguring.com/worknotes
Copyright © Jan Jilek, contact jilek@auguring.com