Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The Trimtab Principle

by metavision Sat Oct 13th, 2007 at 08:51:48 AM EST

Just read my iShift newsletter (http://www.noetic.org/publications/iShift_current.htm --if you don´t find something interesting in it, you are sleep!)  and expected to quickly skim down to Swami´s humor piece, but I found this and the search ensued...  Two hours later, I remember why I don´t find time to read many books:  I´m like a butterfly and the internet, ET included, is the biggest library I can handle.

http://challenge.bfi.org/main.php and http://challenge.bfi.org/faq/#trimtab

"Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little ()man could do. Think of the Queen Mary -- the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trimtab.

See the boat image at www.trimtabcommunications.com/about.html


It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

So I said, call me Trimtab."  -- R. Buckminster Fuller, Barry Farrell (Playboy Interview, Feb 1972)

In design science, the trimtab metaphor is used to describe an artifact, or system, specifically designed and placed in the environment at such a time, in such a place, where its effects would be maximized, thereby effecting the most advantageous change with the least resources, time and energy. Doing more with less.

It is this kind of thinking that will help us achieve change with much less wear and tear in our lives because being in the minority, we may frustrate ourselves to death if we try to make  change, force change, or impose change, as the elites do.  The elites have the resources and the channels we don´t, so we must find a way to turn those means around, without waiting for a chance to own and control them.  

I´d rather have ´the right to play my part´ influencing society, than owning or controlling a whole lot of power blings.  It will be a lot more satisfying to improve well-being by using somebody else´s system, than trying to keep, defend and maintain one myself.  

I have to hope that we will see change, if we practice it ourselves, act as role models and fine tune our beliefs enough, to apply them at the right pressure points.  More inspiration/in-spirit-action and less frustration.  Turn the negative against itself.  More ETenergy, less force.  Verrrry zeny, meta zeny...  

Buckminster Fuller referred to the function of a trimtab in nautical and aeronautical design to demonstrate how small amounts of energy and resources precisely applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.

A large ship moving through the ocean has great momentum. Turning the rudder changes the direction of the ship but with great effort. Turning the trimtab -- a tiny rudder on the trailing edge of the main rudder -- causes an initial momentum allowing the main rudder to turn with less effort in pulling the whole ship around.

Buckminster Fuller said, "When I thought about steering the course of the 'Spaceship Earth' and all of humanity, I saw most people trying to turn the boat by pushing the bow around."

"I saw that by being all the way at the tail of the ship, by just kicking my foot to one side or the other, I could create the 'low pressure' which would turn the whole ship. If ever someone wanted to write my epitaph, I would want it to say 'Call me Trimtab'."
...
An emphasis on
individual initiative and
integrity with
    whole systems thinking,
    scientific rigor and
    faithful reliance on nature's underlying principles.
...
Solutions should be:
Comprehensive -- a clear demonstration of holistic systems thinking.
Anticipatory -- projectively tracking critical trends and needs; identifying and assessing long term consequences of proposed solutions.
Ecologically responsible -- reflective and supportive of nature's underlying processes, patterns and principles.
Verifiable -- able to withstand rigorous empirical testing.
Replicable -- capable of being readily undertaken by others.
Achievable -- likely to be implemented successfully and broadly adopted.

On http://bfi.org/ there is also a tribute to the exciting example of Paul MacCready:
"Doing more with less is a vital feature of a world that works, where our increasing demands are met, yet do not overwhelm the limits of the earth."

"If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do ... How would I be? What would I do?"  -- Buckminster Fuller.

Display:
What's the trimtab of the West?

Otherwise, this is just like saying "give me a fulcrum and I'll carry the Earth"? (with what lever, I always wondered, as well)

Things are not usually so simple. The trimtab is designed as such. How do you become one?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 13th, 2007 at 12:41:47 PM EST
There are trimtabs we can use everywhere, everyday, if we have ´whole perspective vision´ and define them in detail.  Your appearances and press quotes, LTE´s, petitions, putting pressure on weakpoints at the right time, using the right combination of circumstances, or impasses to act, turning tactics around...

Not simple, but ET develops full vision on some topic everyday, as many add their part.  We just don´t take them far enough because the number of issues is so overwhelming, we don´t believe we can affect any.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sat Oct 13th, 2007 at 05:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, no one has ever proved the claim about the earth, but the exaggeration explains an easily verifiable mechanical principle by taking it all the way to the absurd.

a trimtab is already a proven fact!

...and a brilliant metaphor.

thanks bucky, and thanks metavision for a great diary!

i think we're all trying to turn the ship around, in our own ways.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 13th, 2007 at 06:25:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 The trimtab is designed as such. How do you become one?

by coming to ET and sharpening our collective awareness!

same as you...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 13th, 2007 at 06:35:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that site ishift has some good stuff on it...

f'rexample http://www.shiftinaction.com/discover/transcripts/john_hagelin/intention_downloads

i especially liked this

...that the field has its own intention?
JH: That's a very good point. It's a subtle point; we could almost say that, the field you could almost say has some specificity about it because it's always good, good, good, good.  And even at the dawning of peace, increasing peace in the world surrounding these meditating groups, lack of crime in society, reduction of violence, war deaths, terrorism, all that you could say is the influence of pure positivity, reduced negativity, reduced stress, reduced hostility, but in some respects there is some quality to this field, just like, even though this field is the source of everything, source of good and source of evil, it's nature is more good. It's like light, light, a candle is a source of light, it's also the source of darkness because without light there are no shadows, but the shadows don't have much substance, they're just the lack of light, evil doesn't have much substance, it's just the lack of good. So if you want to describe a candle you can say it's the source of darkness, but probably better to say it's the source of light, in that way the field of being is the source of good, pure life, not the source of death, even though it is, because without life there is no death, but what we're enlivening is the life, the light, and that's the sort of thing we see, goodness everywhere.

and this:

...if anyone in their program for self development isn't very efficiently experiencing this field of pure unbounded awareness, bliss consciousness, you might consider doing something that is more effective in at least one respect, there are lots of ways to develop the mind, there are lots of ways to develop the body, you can do muscle training to develop your upper body, you can do aerobics to develop your cardio-vascular health, and they're all good, but if there was one thing that I'd like to see people do is to turn up the rheostat of consciousness, turn up the dimmer switch that determines how much life we've got, how much intelligence, how much creativity, how much good fortune, how much support of nature, how powerful is our intention, and for that, I think, you have to really contact, and enliven the field of being, so something that will take the mind to the transcendental level beyond thought, to experience being, that will strengthen anything you do, and whatever techniques you also do, do something that gives the experience of transcendental pure universal consciousness.

i can see how to a rational materialist, this comes across as new age gobbleygook.

does it take courage and honesty (to admit there is much more to knowledge than is presently comprehensible), or naivete and 'magical', 'wishful' thinking to surrender resistance to the possibility of this being true?

and if we are skeptical, are we willing to look hard at the source of the skepticism, (skepsis?)?

did it birth wholeheaded from our own fear of change, did we inherit it from listening to respected elders poo-pooing what they were not equipped to understand, or is there a 'cool factor' in being a 'hard nut to crack', a hero for the cause of quantifiable, double-blind  methodology?

what exactly is 'lost' by believing?

control? of what?

surrender and defeat are not synonyms. tibet is a good example.

science and mysticism are not mutually inimical, imo, they're two horns of the same dilemma.

thanks metavision, ya did good


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 14th, 2007 at 02:53:59 AM EST
I'm really glad you like it.

Books are great, but the moving edge of discovery is right here and I can't even keep up with all the newsletters I link to.  

Sites like the Noetic Institute are actually a trimtab themselves, aren´t they?  They are the moving piece at the limit of their field by incorporating many views into a form and direction.  I think ET has that potential and it´s taking shape!

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Oct 14th, 2007 at 06:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes i agree, and yes there aren't enough hours in the day to read all that i feel is necessary....

as for books, i hardly ever read them anymore, ditto newspapers, i like it fresh and hot out of the tubes!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Oct 15th, 2007 at 12:21:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries