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The four quadrants, revisited

I have talked at great length in preceding blogs about my various interpretative theories of 'is' and BAT. Much of the discussion has been piecemeal, disjoint and hit-and-miss. It is not a system that avails itself nicely to sequential presentation, just by its nature of simultaneous action and thought.

In any decision-making process, there are at least two alternative or conflicting positions to be considered. Let's take the simplest case for consideration; more complex cases are mere extrapolations.

The fundamental choice is always a binary one, and for (necessary and sufficient) reasons of consistency, the default selection of any choice will always be 'yes'. That way, everything becomes resolved at each and every step of the process, even if not in a predictable or desired way.

For two people to enter into a mutual decision-making process, they each bring their own point of view, their own bias, prejudice, expertise, uniqueness. All this is unknown to the other party in toto, no matter how well the two may know each other.

The first thing that focuses, and therefore limits, the decision-making process is to declare everything that is irrelevant to be irrelevant. That's where the act of stipulating comes in. But, what to stipulate to, if you don't know each other? The solution is to start by stipulating to everything... tabla rasa. Then, and only then, put things on the table that are at issue.

That phase can be managed by applying the four-quadrant approach. Each party to the discussion has a current starting position (the fact:fact position) (presumed to be tabla rasa by each other, even if, in fact, that is not the case. It turns out that that is completely irrelevant) and each has a goal, or desired finishing position (I'll refer to as the 'what-if' position). The goal of the other party should always be assumed to be irrelevant in order to maintain completeness of your own position. It is not up to you to decide what someone else seeks.

Each may assume the following of each other: The other's goal is at odds with your own in some manner, or there wouldn't be a discussion in the first place. The other party has some measure of the concepts of 'probable' and 'possible' as being degrees of 'is', or 'reality'. Furthermore, 'probable' is more likely than 'possible', and therefore a 'probable' result would be easier to achieve as a mutual agreement between the two parties.

Given a list of possible {interpretations, meanings, values, words...} each party would be able to rank-order the list entries based on some acknowledged criteria, with a "most something" end to the list and a "NOT-most something" end of the list. The lists would, in all likelihood, be different.

The end items of each person's list are the only items that need to be agreed upon, as all other list entries are subsets of the end entries as a result of the ordering exercise.

The object of each person's negotiations is to ultimately get the other person's agreement in some mutually-acceptable manner.

If the four quadrants are referred to as fact:fact, probable:probable, possible:possible, and whatif:whatif, it is the goal of the negotiation to move both parties from the fact:fact quadrant to the whatif:whatif quadrant, and to do it mutually and simultaneously.

Such a negotiation can follow a predictable and algorithmic pattern to achieve such a movement as long as each party negotiates within the rules and context of an 'is' (or BAT) communication.

Party #1 must always present a statement or question that can be interpreted as fact, probable, possible or whatif. Depending on the response of party #2, the length of the 'understanding jump' can be measured in terms of how many steps it takes to move from one quadrant to another. This explores the word's entropy, its context, and its encapsulated meanings that are relevant to the current negotiation. It may well be completely different in differing circumstances.

To go from fact: fact to fact:fact takes a single step. State another stipulated fact. Unfortunately, there is no movement towards resolution here, and it opens the possibility for more combinations of solution to explore.

To go from fact:fact to fact:probable or to probable:fact takes two steps on the part of one party. It entails a party saying "suppose for the purposes of this discussion we agree that:", and then see where it leads. This introduces the need for an unproven premise, which would require the next step to be at least probable:probable. Progress has been made.

To jump to possible:possible requires a larger "leap of faith", a more detailed premise, a more demanding purpose for negotiated success.

To achieve whatif:whatif levels requires open minds, non-judgmental abilities and focussed mutual goals.

It can be done procedurally through the letter shape translations of 'is', the adoption of the tenets of 'is', and an adaption of the principles of BAT. For success, it requires trading 'have' for 'need' on the part of both parties. The procedure I propose merely finds a way of matching the values of these two nebulous concepts, so that both parties feel they got a fair trade. Success of any transaction is measured in the relative fairness to the parties involved.

I'm convinced it can be done. I just haven't figured out how to convince anyone else yet...consistently.

It requires the whatif:whatif premise "What if it is a system that does work?:What if it is a system that doesn't work?" to be proven with the premise "What if it is a system that does work?:What if it is a system that does work?". I'm prepared to take on the debate and will do so, if for no other reason than my own amusement, in future blogs. I invite anyone to jump into the debate at any time.

Up until now, I've been bouncing back and forth between the theory of the procedure, its universal application, and its practical applications. By trying to make the complete case simultaneously, I think I've fallen short somewhat on all aspects.


P.S. Thanks to those of you who have been asking where I've been. One of the hazards of becoming a regular blog-poster, I suppose!

Man, your brain is way too big.

Do you mean "way too big" as in 'conceited and self-engrossed', or as in 'has room for multiple thoughts', or as in 'has room for too many multiple thoughts'?

You're not conceited. You're not self-engrossed in a negative way. You're a deep thinker. That's rare.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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