October 10, 2008

Is it impossible to truely plan our future? Truth or Lie?

Posted in America, Blame, Business, capitalism, decision making, lie of the day, life, lobbyists, opinion, planning, Politicians, Politics, progress, societies, The Economy, voting, Wall Street tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:01 pm by jimwilbur

For over twenty years of my working life I designed large scale custom homes and developed working drawings and specifications for those homes. I can tell you based on my life experience that planning is very hard and that the hardest part of planning has to do with people. For instance, once after having spent hundreds of hours developing – first a written design program then a series of schematic designs then several versions of preliminary designs, designs that included detailed floor plans, elevations, site plan and sections; the owner was finally ready to sign off on the design so we could start the working drawings, and specifications, the actual documents a builder would use as a guide to build the house.

The married couple who was planning on having this house built was just about to sign off when the wife said, “before I sign off on this design, I have one question”. She pointed to a symbol on the floor plan and said, “my husband and I have both been wondering what this symbol means”. The symbol she was pointing to was one of the most basic floor plan symbols used to communicate an important element of home design, it was the symbol representing a door. So, I quizzed them a bit and I started to realize that they didn’t understand what many of the symbols on the floor plan meant but had been wasting many hours of their time and my time pretending they did and giving me written approval for this design.

At the time, I was a seasoned designer and had designed at least 100+ homes that were built. I began to wonder, how many times I had gone through this design process with people and they really didn’t understand what I was showing them.

I sometimes wonder if that is not a big part of the problem that we as humans have. We are lead down a certain path of planning by well meaning people or not so well meaning people, we think we know what we are approving when we approve it but we do not. We do not really understand and although we are included in decision making through a democratic process, we really have no idea what we are getting, we don’t even understand the basics but we are so opinionated about what we don’t understand!

And the well meaning try to lead us but we foil their plans because we are so opinionated and because we can be so easily mislead by those who are not well meaning or who are only driven by their own self interest and; although you have elected them and paid them to represent you, they expertly misguide you and persuade you to make decisions that help them personally and may very well be against your best interests.

How is it possible for a well meaning leader to succeed in a situation like this that is so deeply rooted in our own human nature? Are we capable of planning our future in any kind of a meaningful way? I don’t know the answer to this, I am curious what others like you might think.

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