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ContributorThe Contributor in Detail

Sitting at the center of the diagram of mental symmetry, the Contributor person is probably the most complicated individual. He ties together many different aspects of thought, and they do not always blend very well.

The Exhorter person operates in one of two modes, slipping between one mode and the other. The Contributor person also has two major modes of thought, but he generally specializes in one of these two modes and can actually become crippled at using the other mode of thought. The struggle that is involved in joining these two modes of thought plays a major role in the analysis of Christianity.

Thus, the Contributor person can be divided into the two major sub-types of the practical and the intellectual Contributor. If you examine the childhood of the intellectual Contributor, you find that he usually did a lot of reading, filling his head with words and ideas. 

The Practical Contributor

Let us begin by looking at the practical Contributor. He lives in a world of actions and experiences, in which he uses actions to reach desired experiences and avoid unpleasant ones.

The Bottom Line

His thinking is driven by a bottom line. This is the goal that he is trying to achieve; the item that he is trying to improve; the value that he is trying to increase. Everything else is secondary to this bottom line; this is what matters to him. Everything else is seen in the light of this bottom line; he is willing to sacrifice a lot for the sake of the bottom line.

The bottom line is often money, but it does not have to be so. We in North America are so used to money being the bottom line that it is difficult for us to imagine anyone valuing something else. However, I lived for several years in South Korea, and money there is not the only bottom line. Instead, prestige and status also play a major role. Quite often, I would buy something from some merchant, and then as I was paying for the purchase, he would throw in a small extra item as a small bonus, in order to make me feel better. A western store would never do that. Instead, the free item would always be advertised prominently up front in order to sweeten the bottom line. But, not in Korea.

Money, fame, honor, and prestige are very common bottom lines. For the Contributor athlete—and there are many of them—the bottom line is winning the game, beating the clock, getting a gold medal, setting a new record, scaling the rock face, beating the opponent, and so on.

The bottom line comes from Mercy thought. It is some thing or experience within Mercy strategy to which the Contributor person ascribes great value. You would think that the bottom line is the Mercy experience with the strongest emotions, but that is not usually the case in today’s world. That is because computing value requires a combination of Perceiver facts and Mercy experiences. While the bottom line is an emotional Mercy experience, using it as a bottom line means comparing this experience with other experiences, and that comparing requires Perceiver thought.

Everything else takes second place to the bottom line. For instance, the Contributor person hates to do useless, repetitive action. However, it he can make money by opening up a burger stand, then he is willing to spend hours and years flipping patties in order to gain cash. It can literally reach the point where his bottom line colors his other emotions. For example, he may insist upon eating tasteless and uninteresting food simply because it is cheap, and be unable to enjoy a good meal because it costs too much. Metaphorically speaking, his wallet becomes attached to his taste buds.

Notice the difference between value and the bottom line. The bottom line is the Mercy experience that has great emotion. It is the Mercy item that has the greatest priority. Value is a combination of emotional Mercy experiences and Perceiver facts. Value looks at a number of Mercy items and uses Perceiver facts to compare them in the light of the bottom line. For instance, suppose that money is my bottom line. In order to use this as a bottom line, I have to know how much everything costs. I have to be able to compare the price of one item with the price of another. And this comparing needs Perceiver thought. This comparing works out the value of each item.

But, as I describe elsewhere, it is very difficult to use Perceiver thought when Mercy feelings are involved. It takes Perceiver confidence, which can only be built up over time. Therefore, most Contributor persons take some objective standard which represents strong Mercy feelings, and then use this external shadow as their bottom line, while ignoring the actual emotional experience itself.

Take, for example, money. You cannot eat it, wear it, or do anything with it. Instead, it represents value. Economic theory tells you that price is determined by supply and demand; if people want something more strongly, then they will be willing to pay a higher price for it; if people do not want it, then it will have a low price tag. ‘Want’ and ‘not want’ is a Mercy feeling. But, economics never talks about this feeling or analyzes it. Instead, it assumes it. The customer is always right; give the customer what he wants. Do focus groups to figure out exactly what the consumer wants. But, don’t analyze what he wants or ever suggest that maybe he needs to grow up and start wanting something else.

However, that is exactly what I am trying to do with mental symmetry; I am showing how one can program the mind in order to build the internal confidence that is required to calculate true value. If you want a Christian perspective, then as Jesus the Contributor person said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul.” In other words, why run after something that represents value instead of gaining value itself. Why go for the picture when you can have the real thing? But, that is what at least 90% of Contributor persons do.

Here is another example. When I shop for a car, I do not buy on impulse. Instead, I visit a number of car dealers, I compare one model with another, I read the reviews, and I check the want ads. For most people, buying a car is a major decision, and so it is taken with care and thought. However, when it comes to the far more important issue of choosing a life partner, then most people do not apply value. Instead, they ‘impulse shop’, waiting to ‘fall in love’ and become ‘swept away by feelings’. What sense is there is applying value to lesser purchases while refusing to use it with the major ‘purchase’ of life.

So, how does the typical practical Contributor person treat emotional Mercy experiences? One option is for him to hide these emotions from others and only share his private feelings with close friends. This option leaves the Contributor person vulnerable. He looks for successful to others, because he is pursuing the appearance of value, but if they ever could see past the veneer to the real person inside, they would be much less impressed.

The other option is for the Contributor person to alter his personal feelings in order to improve the bottom line. Thus, he gets rid of what is truly valuable in order to acquire more of the appearance of value. That is like selling the real thing so that you can buy more pictures of the real thing. If you try to explain this to the Contributor person, then he will invariably ignore your words. That is because he has the ability to concentrate upon his plan and he regards everything that does not fall into this plan as worthless. Therefore, when you point out to him that he destroying the original in order to pursue the copy, then you are talking about mental programming, and that is not part of his current plan and he lacks the Perceiver connections or the Perceiver confidence that is required to compare the value of developing his mind with the value of pursuing his current plan. Therefore, he will reject your words as meaningless and continue to pursue the shadow while ignoring the real thing.

I know that this is true because for decades I have tried to point this out to Contributor persons, and for decades they have regarded my comments as valueless and have treated my research as meaningless and have rejected me as worthless because I refuse to pursue their inadequate bottom line.

What do we call it when someone gets rid of true value in order to pursue the symbol of value? Prostitution. This takes many forms, from the girl who sells her body in order to make money, to the politician who sells his principles in order to get a ‘corporate contribution’, to the worker who sells his soul to the company in order to make a living. In all cases, the greater is being sacrificed for the sake of the lesser. If you want an analogy, prostitutionm is like selling your eyes in order to buy a camera.

Only a few Contributor persons prostitute themselves to such an extent. Instead, the thinking of most Contributors is guided by constraints. A constraint is an item which is priceless. It cannot be assigned a price because it is not for sale. There is an American saying that ‘everything has its price’. Offer a person enough money and he will eventually sell. This concept is both right and wrong.

It is right to suggest that the map of value should include all Mercy experiences. It should not just deal with things and objects, but it should extend to include people, relationships, and personal integrity. If the price is right, I should be willing to ‘sell my grandmother’.

But, when dealing with such subjective issues such as people and relationships, the bottom line is notmoney. Again, quoting Jesus, ‘What will a man offer in exchange for his soul?’ Instead, the bottom line, I suggest, is life. Physical life? No. Mental life. If you want to possess an adult mind that is capable of determining true value and not just the appearance of value, then you must die to childish identity and be mentally reborn as an adult. While this is obviously a ‘spiritual’ topic, there is nothing mystical about it. Instead, ‘dying to self’ simply means falling apart, whereas ‘experiencing rebirth’ simply means reintegrating. But, because it is the mental network of personal identity that is being torn apart and put back together again, this is experienced as mental death and rebirth. This process is discussed in much more detail in the analysis of Christianity.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Value requires a combination of Perceiver facts and emotional Mercy experiences. Cost-benefit adds Server actions to the mix. Notice from the diagram of mental symmetry that Contributor thought ties together Perceiver facts with Server actions. Therefore, what really interests the Contributor person is not building a map of value, but rather using a map of value. It is the Perceiver person that is best at building a map of value. The Contributor person takes the map of value and adds Server actions to the Perceiver facts. In essence, Contributor thought takes the Perceiver generated map of value, gets in the car, picks out a goal, and starts driving there. If you want more information, see the chapter on walls versus roads in the book on Christianity.

Cost-benefit has two aspects: the cost and the benefit. The benefit describes the value of the goal. It is the pleasure that I will experience if I reach the Mercy destination. The cost is the hurt of leaving my present Mercy state combined with the pain of takings the Server steps that are required to reach the goal.

The content of cost-benefit analysis comes from Perceiver facts and Server skills. This provides the mental road map that must be followed to reach the destination; Perceiver facts construct the map, and Server actions add roads to this map.

Mercy strategy fills in this map with experiences and feelings, just as reality populates a map with real sites to see and real places to avoid. The cost of the trip is like the state of the road. Doing out a certain plan may be ‘an uphill struggle’ in which ‘every step is a major effort’. Or, a plan may be ‘downlhill all the way’. The path may be ‘narrow and full of dangerous curves’, or it may be a ‘wide road with smooth sailing all the way.’ 

Contingency Planning

Exploring this map requires the cooperation of Exhorter and Contributor thought. Think of these two as the rider on a horse. Exhorter strategy is the horse that runs towards excitement and Contributor strategy is like the rider that directs the path of the horse.

Seeing an opportunity is easy for the Contributor. It occurs spontaneously, almost without thinking, and happens whenever the Exhorter ‘horse’ smells something exciting and takes the Contributor ‘rider’ along imaginary roads to an interesting possible goal.

Exploring this landscape takes much more effort. That is what happens during contingency planning. Contributor strategy allows the Exhorter ‘horse’ to gallop down the road until an intersection is reached. Then, Contributor strategy uses its controls on the reins to make sure that the Exhorter ‘horse’ runs down every possible road that leads from that junction.

Exhorter strategy finds both pain and pleasure equally excited. Therefore, some of these roads will lead to good results, while others will end in possible disaster. For each potential problem, Contributor strategy will come up with a contingency—a Server path that can be followed to lead away from disaster and back to the main path.

For instance, suppose that I am taking a car trip through the prairies during the winter. What happens if I run off the road? Will I get hurt? Probably not, because the landscape is flat. Therefore, there is no need for a contingency. But, what if my car breaks down. Then I need to take along a cell phone. However, suppose that I am on a side road where there is no cell phone coverage and I get stuck and it is cold outside. Then, I need to take along a blanket and some candles.

When the entire mental landscape has been explored and there is a contingency for every possible disaster, then the Contributor person will have confidence in the plan. Nothing can go wrong…go wrong…go wrong…

The contingency planning of the Contributor has two potential flaws: First, it is only as good as the underlying map of reality. The Contributor person may assume he can use a tire wrench to remove the bolts from his wheel if he gets a flat tire, but what if the bolts stick, or what if it is so cold outside that the wrench gets brittle and snaps. Many a Contributor person has literally died because some unforeseen circumstance messed up his plan.

Second, the Contributor person is unable to ‘see around the corner’. The Exhorter ‘horse’ may be able to ‘sniff out’ every potential pothole within the current valley, but what about all of the potential problems that lie over the hill and around the corner. The localthinking of the Contributor person will be unable to see them. And, if you want an example, just look at the behavior of the stock market.


Optimization is a variation on contingency planning. For contingency planning, the goal is to make sure that you arrive at the destination and that nothing derails you from this path. In contrast, optimization replaces elements of a plan with alternatives that either cost less or else produce better benefits.

For instance, suppose that I drive a car to work. I could optimize this task in several ways: I could try to find a different route that takes less time, or I could leave at a different time when there is less traffic. Another alternative is for me to tune up my car so that I get better gas mileage. Or, I could sell my gasoline powered car and replace it with a diesel or hybrid vehicle. Notice that all of these alternatives leave my journey unchanged while altering the way that I reach this goal.

Thinking along a totally different track, I could find a job that did not require me to drive to work but permitted me to work at home. Here I am stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. My real goal is not getting to work, but rather making a living. If my job keeps me at home, then I don’t need to worry about finding a better route. In fact, trying to improve the trip is just a waste of time.

Optimization is almost always a tradeoff. For instance, driving a car to work is convenient, but it is also expensive. Using a bicycle is far cheaper, but it is much less convenient and it is not as safe.

And that describes the basic problem with Contributor optimization. As long as the primary goal does not change, then optimization makes sense. But, if the goal itself is altered, then what was a good tradeoff suddenly becomes a rotten choice. Something that was thrown something away as useless may suddenly become quite valuable. But optimization always involves throwing things away. It inevitably means letting go of the superfluous in order to pursue what is essential.

And, optimization, by its very nature, cannot see around the corner. As those who have studied the simplex method know, optimization can only lead you to a local optimal; it can only show you the best alternative within the current context. 

This is where Facilitator thought can help. Facilitator strategy is the third step in the ‘three-stage pump’ that drives thought and action. Facilitator thought takes the ‘digital’ plans of the Contributor and smoothes them out. Among other things, it blends plan A with plan B. Instead of throwing away the useless part because it is no longer necessary, it saves it just in case that plan A fails and plan B has to be followed.

The Facilitator person can do this because Facilitator strategy has a wider awareness than the Contributor person. Contributor thought specializes, narrows down, ignores anything that is outside of the current plan, and that throws away everything that does not lead directly to the goal.

Facilitator strategy sees beyond the current context and uses this wider awareness to include some of what Contributor planning ignores and retrieve some of what Contributor thought throws away.

Now think of the Contributor person who pursues an objective bottom line, optimizing his pursuit after the symbols of value while throwing away as useless that which would bring him closer to true value, buying the best camera that money can afford, while at the same time allowing his eyes to degenerate.

Ultimately, his body will start deteriorating, his family and friends will start seeing through his façade, and he will to go beyond just acquiring money and possessions. But, he has spent all of his time avoiding the weighty and pursuing the trivial. He may know how to ‘make friends and influence people’, but how much wisdom has he acquired? This is when the mid-life crisis hits. The Contributor person climbs to the top of the ‘ladder of success’, looks around, and then realizes that he has climbed the wrong ladder.

The Contributor person is then faced with the task of doing something more difficult than anything else that he has done in his entire life: admit that he was wrong. Not just mistaken, but wrong. Not just wrong, but fundamentally wrong; not just fundamentally wrong, but ‘pursuing the wrong goal for most of my life and despising those who were following the correct goal’ wrong.

The Contributor person who reaches this point in his life is finally capable of experiencing Christian salvation. Unfortunately, given the manner in which this salvation is presented, along with the mental specialization of the Contributor person, this salvation is usually misunderstood and childishly followed, but at least the Contributor person finally begins to comprehend the true meaning of value. I describe this mental transition in more detail in the book on Christianity. 

The Intellectual Contributor

The practical Contributor is easy to understand. That is because he tends to use physical actions with real objects. Intellectual Contributor thought, in contrast, is both more internal and more abstract. It is much more difficult to illustrate this way of thinking with examples from real life. If we want illustrations, we have to look at education, technology, bureaucracy, or professionalism.

It is easy to confuse the intellectual Contributor with the Teacher person. That is because they both live in the abstract world of ideas and theories. But, the Teacher person is more emotional while the intellectual Contributor is more encyclopedic. The Teacher person focuses more upon the theory itself. His ultimate goal is to construct a mental castle within which he can live; a safe haven from the emotional forces of irrationalism and subjective emotion. The intellectual Contributor, in contrast, is  more the technical expert who knows all the facts and studies all of the books. He is not as good at coming up with an original theory, but he excels at being an expert in his field.

The Teacher person lives in theories but works with his hands in order to relax. He may avoid dealing with the real world but he can do it when necessary. The intellectual Contributor, however, can become the absent-minded professor, spending so much time in theory that he literally becomes physically clumsy, unable to perform everyday tasks or remember his daily appointments.

The Bottom Line

For the intellectual Contributor, the bottom line is not Mercy experience but rather Teacher theory. His goal is to build a better understanding, a superior system of organization. Remember that Teacher thought functions emotionally, Teacher strategy feels good when many items fit together smoothly and feels bad when some item is out of place or when there is intellectual chaos.

A Teacher ‘bottom line’ can take many different forms. It could be a desire to craft the perfect paragraph, chapter, or book, in which all of the words and concepts come together perfectly. It could also be the construction or fine-tuning of some assembly line or production process, in which all of the various steps flow together efficiently. It could also be the delivery of a perfect lecture or speech, in which every word and phrase comes together to communicate effectively and coherently. Or, it could be the detective story, in which he manages to assemble all of the data of some historical period, all of the facts of some event, or all of the elements of some crime into a unified, rational explanation. Thinking more academically, science and mathematics are also driven by a Teacher bottom line, motivated by a desire to build data into theories and equations into theorems.

For the practical Contributor, the tendency is for him to avoid dealing with real value and work instead with the external symbols of value. That is because calculating value requires Perceiver thought, and Perceiver strategy finds it much easier to work with Mercy experiences that do not have strong emotions.

For intellectual thought, the danger lies in divorcing the Teacher bottom line from real life. When one lives in words, it is very difficult to stoop down to the messy world of actions: Words are far more general than actions. You can leap lightly from one concept to another and construct massive edifices with minimal effort. Action, in contrast, forces you to plod one step at a time to the goal. Teacher strategy loves general concepts; they feel good. Actions are specific. Specifics do not feel good to Teacher thought. Stepping away from theory to action means leaving the Teacher pleasure of general concepts and working with the boring realm of details.

In addition, actions are unpredictable. Reality is messy, it doesn’t always line up with theory. Applying a Teacher theory in real life has the potential of destroying the theory with some inconvenient fact.

This explains why the intellectual Contributor can become the absent-minded professor. He is emotionally driven to avoid physical action. Dealing with the real world means leaving the intellectual pleasure of theory and possibly uncovering a fatal flaw in his ivory castle.

Practical Contributor thought uses Perceiver facts to compare one emotional Mercy experience with another, building up a mental map of value. For the intellectual Contributor, writing is the primary way of building an intellectual map. As words are put down on paper, or typed into the computer, concepts stabilize, ideas come together, and one gradually learns which fact goes where.

Think, for instance, of a criminal code, or some other book of laws or procedures. Everything fits somewhere within this intellectual map. Theft falls within one category, murder within another. If you are building a house, then one set of regulations apply; if you are operating a business, then you are subject to another set of procedures. Every action that you do fits somewhere within some government rule or regulation.

Notice that this is not a map of location but rather a map of action. It involves Server skills and not Perceiver facts. Your location does not depend upon where you are but upon what you are doing.

A computer program is another example of an intellectual map. It also is constructed out of words which are organized into lines of code, functions, routines, and subroutines. It too can become very complicated, with programs containing millions of lines of code. Whenever a computer executes a program, it is always at a specific location in the code. And, each line of code tells the computer what to do.

Summarizing, a practical map uses Perceiver facts to tie together Mercy experiences. An intellectual map uses Server sentences and paragraphs to tie together Teacher words. (An intellectual map can extend beyond words, but usually does not.) A practical map tells you where you are; an intellectual map tells you what you are doing.

Moving around the Intellectual Map

In the physical world, movement comes from Server action. You walk from here to there; you get in a car and drive from one location to another. You mix the ingredients, put the cake in the oven, and then take it out and put icing on it.

In the intellectual realm, movement comes from Perceiver thought. This is a rather strange concept, so I will try to provide a few examples.

Suppose that you are driving down the freeway going 20 mph over the speed limit. As far as the law is concerned, your present ‘location’ is ‘motor vehicle operator’. Now suppose that a policeman sees you zooming by and tells you to pull over. Your ‘location’ has now changed to ‘citizen being investigated by the police’. If the police writes you out a ticket and you refuse to pay it, then your ‘location’ will turn into ‘defendant in a court case’. Each of these ‘locations’ is a collection of words, procedures, and actions. And, what ‘moved’ you from one ‘location’ to another? The power invested in some person or procedure. Power is a Perceiver concept. It is the ability to impose a certain set of facts upon a person or situation. 

A computer program provides another illustration. What gives a program its power is the ability to jump from one location in the program to another; to test some variable or condition and then branch either here or there. For instance, suppose that the program asks you to enter your country. If you enter USA, then it will ask you for your zip code. However, if you type in Canada or UK, then it will ask for a postal code.  Jumping is something that Perceiver thought does. The Perceiver person would love to be able to teleport physically from here to there, because in his mind he is constantly jumping from one mental location to another.

The Internet functions in a similar fashion. When you access a webpage, you are connecting with some computer somewhere in the world. Then computer then performs an action to present you with information. By clicking on a link, you can ‘move’ to another computer. It is these links that make the Internet so powerful. Imagine what would happen if all of the information on the Internet was contained on a single page of text through which you would have to scroll. Obviously, that would not work. Instead, it is the ability to click on a link and jump from one location in the Internet to another which gives it its power. Again we see that ‘movement’ is being provided by Perceiver thought and ‘teleporting’.

Physical location is totally different than intellectual location. We saw this with the police officer giving the traffic ticket. Physically speaking, your location did not change when the policeman stopped you. But, in the eyes of the law, you very definitely moved from one realm to another. When we talk about a case ‘moving’ through the court system, we are not talking about physical movement, but rather intellectual travel.

The Internet provides an even clearer illustration of the contrast between physical and intellectual location. When you click on a page, the physical computer that you access could literally be on the opposite side of the world. But, as far as you are concerned, that computer is only one click away. In contrast, you may never find out which other web pages are reside on the server computer that you just accessed because they are too many mouse clicks away.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost is easy to describe when dealing with practical Contributor thought. It is the price of moving from one location to another, or the pain of losing one item in order to get another one. However, there is also a cost associated with intellectual activity. That cost involves changing what I am doing for some other activity. It is the cost of changing context.

For instance, I frequently encountered this cost when teaching high school. I would be teaching some concept to my students and they would be listening and following or else performing some activity. However, if I wanted to change what they were doing or else introduce a new subject, then it would take major effort on my part, especially if the class was almost over. I would literally have to impose my person upon the entire audience in order to slowly change the course of my class.

Computer programmers talk about a similar cost, which is known as switching context. Let’s say that my computer is running a certain function or program and wants to stop running that program and start running another one. It may take several milliseconds, which in computer time is very long, for this switch to occur. The state of the first program has to be saved, and then the state of the second program has to be loaded. Again we see that moving from one Server sequence to another requires Perceiver facts.

This type of cost also occurs when changing jobs or careers. With my old job I know what I am doing; there is order and structure. Starting a new job is chaotic. I don’t know what is happening or what I should be doing. It takes time, effort, and retraining to make the transition. Notice that this is a Teacher cost. The price is Teacherchaos and Teacher disorder.

Contingency Planning

Normally we think of disaster in Mercy terms: losing money, becoming unpopular, experiencing personal pain, or losing some loved one. But, disaster can also come in Teacher forms. For instance, suppose that I tell people about my wonderful theory of mental symmetry. Obviously, they will have many questions, and I don’t want to get stumped by any of their queries. Even worse, I don’t want someone to come up with some fact which attacks my theory and tears it apart. No one likes to make a point and then have it ‘shot down in flames’. Therefore, it is important to think about all the possible issues that others might raise and come up with a possible answer for them.

Notice again the relationship between Server and Perceiver thought. Server thought is running along some sequence of ideas, happily expounding a theory. And then, along comes a hard Perceiver fact which derails the train of thought. As usual, when dealing with intellectual thought, Server strategy defines the state while Perceiver strategy changes it.

But why do I refer to doing or saying something as a state? Isn’t a state something that doesn’t move? Yes, that is the case when looking at Mercy experiences and practical Contributor thought, but here we are looking at abstract Contributor thinking.

Because we inhabit physical bodies that live in a physical universe, Server thought for us will usually involve some sort of movement. However, from the viewpoint of Teacher strategy, a Server sequence is a static state, and if we lived within a Teacher universe of energy and inhabited Teacher ‘bodies’ of energy, then we too would view Server states as ‘static’. And, if you look at the section on aliens, my hypothesis is that precisely this describes the realm of angels, demons, UFOs, and aliens.

A machine provides a good example of Teacher disaster. Suppose that I am driving down the road and my drive shaft suddenly breaks. Now my engine is no longer connected to my wheels. Obviously, my current Server action of ‘driving the car’ will be suddenly halted. And, what stopped my Server action? The destruction of a Perceiver object: my drive shaft fell apart.

If you want a more personal example, think of the athlete who is playing a game and his knee suddenly gives out. Again, we see a Server sequence—playing the game—being brought to a halt by the fragmentation of some Perceiver object—in this case the knee of the athlete.

Or, suppose that you are driving merrily along the road, going at what you think is a reasonable speed, and a policeman suddenly pulls you over. What stopped your Server activity? The Perceiver object of the policeman and his police car making itself known in your rear view mirror.

For each of these possible Teacher disasters, contingency planning comes up with some step which will bring the plan back on track, restore the structure of the machine, or keep my Teacher theory intact.


That leaves us with intellectual optimization. Because optimization takes an existing Perceiver-Server structure and replaces parts of it with better parts, it is often possible to approach the same optimization from either a Mercy or a Teacher perspective. Mercy optimization usually deals with monetary cost, or personal status. Teacher optimization, in contrast, improves efficiency. Efficiency is often also cheaper, but not always. Sometimes, the ‘quick and dirty’ way is the cheapest, and setting something up for assembly line efficiency only makes sense economically when dealing with thousands of items.

The point is that there are two major forms of optimization. Mercy-based optimization usually makes the most sense when dealing with individual items or experiences. If I am doing something once, I will not worry about efficiency. Teacher-based optimization, on the other hand, generally comes into places when working with generality and universality. When I repeat an action thousands of times, then efficiency plays a major role.