100s of Lifehacks: Today’s Lifehack is How Build a DeskTop Computer for $60 or Less

This hack requires a bit of time, patience, some dumpster diving and a friendly computer repair shop.

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Here are the details in this hack.

  • Often when the external hard drive on someone’s computer crashes they dump the entire unit including a perfectly function keyboard and screen.
  • You can find perfectly functional and “free” computer screens, keyboards and a mouse (the computer part not the rodent) at the Transfer Station (we used to call them the town dump.) or put out on the sidewalk for pickup.
  • If you know when the pickups are made you can go there the day before to find what you need.
  • Now for the last piece of the puzzle – Many computer repair shops especially in small college towns or locations that are 20- 30 miles from the nearest mall have perfectly functional hard drives that no one seems to want and that may even have original software installed. You can often barter for it (See the chapter in my books on barter) or buy it for as little as $40-$60.
  • All you have to do now is take the hard drive home, plug all the pieces in and your good to go!

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Get 100s of Lifehack tips, shortcuts and strategies in my new Ebook.

 

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http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

 

Ask Lewis

Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages including

How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking

  WIOX Radio

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short video interview with Lewis Harrison on Success and Think and Grow Rich

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

Find new hacks daily the Lifehack Guru’s Blog at www.TheLifeHackGuru

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If you own a company consider our stress management lifehacks.  Lewis Harrison’s company www.eventschairmassage.com offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

 

 

Game Theory =A Survival Hack – Create a Basic Disaster Supply Kit

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(Also Known as the Lifehack Guru)

A few years back the area I live in was hit by back flooding. My home sitting on a mountain was spared but the flooding was bad below our area that FEMA came in. I volunteered to help people ”dig” out. Many were unprepared for a disaster. Are you?

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Here is a list of what you need to have in order to be prepared for a disaster.

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A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  1. Fill a fireproof box.Items should include identification and other important cards, financial records, family photos and emergency cash in small bills.
  2. Design a disaster plan.It should include whom to contact and where to meet family members in case of an emergency. All family members should know the plan and the numbers to call.
  3. Make a list.Include emergency phone numbers such as 911, the local fire department, poison control, and rescue and ambulance services. Keep it in a place where you can find it fast — like on the refrigerator door.
  4. Create a go-kit.Pack a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or a suitcase on wheels, and keep it in an accessible place. To find a list of what it should include, go toready.gov/kit.
  5. Turn off.Know how to shut off valves for gas, oil, water and your home’s main electrical supply. Put tags on these valves so you can find them quickly, but have a professional turn them back on again, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warns.
  6. Have food and water handy.Store three days’ worth of nonperishable food for each family member, plus a gallon of water daily per person for drinking and sanitation. Canned food, peanut butter and energy bars are all good. Important: Don’t forget a can opener.
  7. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  8. Flashlight and extra batteries.
  9. First aid kit.
  10. Whistle to signal for help.
  11. Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  12. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  13. Wrench or pliers toturn off utilities.
  14. A Swiss Army type knife containing many different tools.
  15. Manual can opener for food.
  16. Local maps.
  17. Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.
  18. A small tent to sleep outside if your house becomes unsafe.
  19. Plastic ponchos (available at most dollar stores).
  20. Extra cash in case ATMs are inaccessible.

Get 100s of Lifehack tips, shortcuts and strategies in my new Ebook.

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To order the book click below: herehttp://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

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Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages including How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking

 

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

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WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Big Data, Game Theory and Lifehacking

In order to become a successful lifehacker you have to merge hack thinking with Applied Game Thinking.

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A lifehack is an old concept refitted with a new name – a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Essentially it is a merging of systematic thrift and frugality merged with time management and priority planning. Each hack is like a chess moves towards solving a problem.

 

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Applied Game Thinking, is a system of strategizing to maximize one’s potential at the lowest possible cost. These game strategies are often created as a response to a competitive situation where a “player” in the game of life is faced with complex challenges, problems, obstacles and constraints (CPOC) Applied Game Thinking is a strongly influenced and loosely applied take on Game Theory which has garnered researchers over a dozen Noble Prizes. When you are able to merge lifehacks with applied game thinking as a foundation you will be able to troubleshoot virtually any challenge.

   In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

Here is a ”Big Data” Hack:

 

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The more effective you are at gathering information and trading it for non-cash resources like influence, or time,  the less cash you need to spend in order to get the things you need. The hack here is to create and apply a simple but effective system for gathering, organizing, and using information – essentially asking the right questions, of the right people at the right time!

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This was an extract from the book

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

– Available as an Ebook on February 7, 2017

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Ask Lewis

Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift. He is the owner of the Stress mamangement and Chair massage company in NYC – www.eventschairmassage.com

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

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Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

Coaching and Studying with Lewis

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

How We Negatively Life Hack Ourselves

Emotional Self sabotage is one of the greatest obstacles for the budding lifehacker.

 

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An old cartoon called Pogo once had a character saying, “We have discovered the enemy and it is us!” How true that is!

Following is a simple assessment exercise to help isolate obstacles that can lead to ibstacles, challenges, problems bottlenecks in your lifehack  Game Theory system.

Ask yourself which of these descriptions applies to you. Write down how frequently one of these sentences describes you, ranging from “not at all” to “always.”

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  • Procrastination
  • Disorganization
  • Misplaced items
  • Interruptions
  • Lack of information
  • Incorrect information
  • Too many commitments
  • Unnecessary correspondence
  • Inability to say “No”
  • Dysfunctional need to please others
  • Poor listening skills
  • Confusing socializing with networking
  • Excessive socializing
  • Unwillingness to be accountable for errors you’ve committed
  • Other people’s mistakes
  • Excess Micromanaging
  • Poor delegation skills
  • Weak support systems
  • Understaffing on projects
  • Lack of feedback
  • Changing of external factors
  • Changing of internal priorities
  • No goals or misdirected goals and objectives

The more of these that you can master the greater your effectiveness, efficiency and productivity will be as a lifehacker and your ability to win at the game of life.

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Winning the Game of Life: A Primer to Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Winning The Game Of Life: A Primer On Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Here is a simple Lifehack you can use while you figure out how you have been sabotaging yourself:

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A Chef’s Kitchen Hack: Save Money on Expensive Bread Crumbs:

  • When you buy a loaf of whole grain bread (the best kind nutritionally), or bake your own bread, take few slices, let them get dried out until they are hard.
  • Put in a blender or food processor (or pulverize with a hammer if you are that low-tech).
  • Add garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt or low sodium Vegit powder.

 

Cost about about 50 cents versus commercial breadcrumbs about $2.50

A Quick dish – Stuffed peppers: The picture below says it all

 

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Lewis Harrison – The Life Hack Guru (www.TheLifehackGuru.com, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

 

He owns the chair massage company in NYC – www,eventschairmassage.com

He is the author of over twenty-two books on Life Hacking  published in five languages.

  Ask Lewis

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

 

WIOX Radio

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory, Life Hacking,  and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

My  course on Life hacking Tips and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. 

Here is a short interview with Lewis Harrison – The LifeHack Guru

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Zen, Business Success and Stress Management

 Zen is a practice that deals with the concept of deep awareness and wisdom  through intuition during meditation, and the application of all this in daily life including in business success

Zen defies definition. It is a philosophy of non-philosophy, an intellectually guided practice of anti-intellectualism, and the un-measurable science of non-being. The practice of Zen is the pursuit of various techniques, chiefly Zazen meditation and the study of kōan, which are designed to confound the logical, rational mind in order to trigger or shock the mind into experiencing states of enlightened awareness.

 

It is rooted in the most profound elements of intuition and life itself, and the facts of unfettered experience. It transcends the dogmas of traditional religious rites and rituals and focuses on cutting through the veil of the unfocused mind to the core, inherent nature of man.

 

Many Westerners are confused by Zen for they assume it is a religion but this is not so. According to the greatly respected Zen Master D.T. Suzuki “It is not a religion in the sense that the term is popularly understood; for Zen has no God to worship, no ceremonial rites to observe, no future abode to which the dead are destined, and, last of all, Zen has no soul whose welfare is to be looked after by somebody else…

 

The attraction of Zen to the spiritual seeker is because it is chiefly concerned with the concept of ‘being’. In the West “Being” has usually been the concern of science, mathematics, and  defining and measuring the tangible world around us in order to create a universal model of reality.  Zen is born out the eastern idea of ‘non- being’, which is best understood as the negation of absolute definitions, and eschews attachment to the world of measurement and form in favor of a practice of non-attachment. It is a pure experience of the world than is expressed often through different systems of philosophy, ethics and esthetics in the eastern world.

 

We were recently offering a seminar on stress management at the Catskills Bed and Breakfast  – www.TheCatskillsbedandBreakfast.com – in Stamford NY. During the breakout sessions we offered stress management seminars that including creative visualization, spirituality in business and onsite chair massage

The question came up. What is Zen?

There is no simple answer to what Zen is? What is known is that its practice leads to a state of knowing that is authentic, unfettered, and expresses one’s actualization. In this state of awareness one has less stress, less anxiety, less greed, and less concern for the mistakes of the past or expectations for the future.

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Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis  did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why  people suffer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

 

Lewis Harrison is the author of sixteen books including

 

Ask Lewis

“Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times” a book of  concerned with personal development, human potential, stress reduction and business excellence.

 

 

 

 

Order his book by clicking below:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Not-Religious-Sacred-AskLewis-com/dp/1499150547

 

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Or type these words on you search engine subject line “spiritual not religious Harrison amazon”

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You can reach him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Lewis offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

 

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If you are a social networker please “Friend” me, Lewis Harrison on face book “Like”  my page at “https://www.facebook.com/AskLewis/” and invite others who might benefit.

 

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Lewis Harrison speaks to organizations and businesses of all types and offers seminars throughout the world on his work on the art and science of decision making through spiritually motivated  “Game Based Thinking”

 

He also offers private fee based coaching programs. 

Call him at 212-724-8782 for more information.

 

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A Problem Related to Spirituality: Understanding the Concept of Free Will

Until the End of May these blogs will focus on problems related to creating a spiritual life.

Lewis Answers: One of the most commonly discussed ideas among thinkers great and small is whether human have freedom of choice or is everything we do predestined? Historically, there have been two schools of thought concerning whether or not we have free choice. 1. Determinism: This is the idea that for everything that happens there are conditions that dictate that, given those conditions, nothing else could happen. 2: Metaphysical libertarianism: Implies that though there are many factors, variables and events that cross our paths the individual may be able to take more than one possible course of action even under this set of circumstances. Metaphysical libertarianism is concerned with how something is known rather than what is known.

The principle of free will has religious, ethical, and scientific implications especially for a student of the Wisdom Path. Recent  neuroscientific findings regarding free will may suggest different ways of predicting human behavior, which is an essential factor in the creation of life strategies.

Even if free will exists there are always going to be constraints that define how we are able to make choices such as physical constraints (e.g. chains or imprisonment), social constraints (e.g. threat of punishment or censure), or psychological constraints (e.g. compulsions or phobias). In fact, some important thinkers concerning this discussion (compatibilists) will often assert that determinism is not just compatible with free will, but actually necessary for it.

In the end there is actually no way to know if there is or not free will. The illusion of ordinary life convinces us that we are free to choose but there is much evidence that could prove that this is not the case. The best one can do is live daily applying the four pillars that define the Wisdom Practice – Meditation, the study of koans, chop would and carry water, laugh sing, dance and be silent.

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Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker, life coach and contemporary spiritual teacher and mentor. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. Lewis specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.

Lewis will be teaching a weekend program “Make, Choices, Not Excuses” in Oneonta, New York May 3-4

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

Understanding Games and Gamification in Stress Management

In understanding Game Theory and creating life strategy it is important to understand that all personal development and human potential is based on the time of game you choose to play in life. If stress management seems to be your issue there are many approaches that can be ta meditationken including laughter yoga, meditation and even hypnosis. No matter what approach you choose it should be place in the contect of a life game

A game is a systematized activity, often for fun or entertainment, in which an individual, or groups of individuals, must strategize, i.e. make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome.  You can see from this definition that one can play a game alone.  For instance, the card game Solitaire only requires one person.  An individual could play basketball, or any number of games, alone and simply compete against him or herself. Of course much of life requires that we interact with others, so this naturally leads to games that require more than one person. Many, though not all, of these games require that someone wins and someone loses.  In these games, another person (or more than one other person) can affect the outcome of the choices you make. This type of game is called a competitive game.

Most of us have been playing games since were little children and used the word “game” freely. However, if one were asked, “What is the exact definition of the word ‘game’?” most of us could not answer. Since the foundation of life games is built on definitions, defining exactly what a game is might be a good place to begin.

In order to play effectively in a game, the players need to have strategies and plans for action.  Just as the rules need to have consistency, each player of the game is likely to adopt a strategy that he or she thinks is most effective and is unlikely to radically change.  The ability of a player to create an effective, consistent strategy will be defined, in part, by his or her understanding of the rules and of the perceived strategies of the rival or opponent.

For a game to be effective, the strategies of the players must remain minimally consistent.  If there are radical changes in a game there is a great chance the game will collapse.

For example, in baseball a pitcher is expected to throw a pitch that the batter is not expecting.  However, it would be too radical a change, and an unacceptable change, for the pitcher to go on the pitcher’s mound and throw a beer bottle or a paper airplane at the batter.

 

A Game is Visually the Same as a Smartphone App

Many people, even the highly educated may hear the term “Game Theory” a freeze up. They fear that these are all extremely complex ideas that require an in depth understanding of mathematics and specifically statistics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Think of LHAGT as you would of a Smartphone: on the screen of the smart phone are Apps. Now an App is not the same as a game, although they may initially appear so when seen as an icon on a Smartphone, or even on a computer screen. However, a game requires strategies related to what other players may do or to changes in an environment, while most Apps are usually formal, rigid and structured. Think of a calendar App on your Smartphone, as an example. Still, when you look at a Smartphone screen and see those little icon boxes, it is easier to visualize the concept of the relationship between Apps and games. Imagine instead of Apps for weather or the Internet, you were looking at a family App, a job App, a religion App, a gender App, or a sexual orientation App.

An actual video game on a Smartphone can usually be accessed by clicking on a games App. This App is not the various games; it just stores and processes them. Thus, a game is a sub-category of an App.  An example of a rigid App might be called, “Legally Imposed Responsibilities in a Family.” Imagine an icon representing this on a Smartphone. Now, when you click on this App, various family games might appear.  In a family game for instance, there may be parents, children, grandparents, neighbors, relatives, daycare, pre-school, home school, visits to the doctor, etc., all of which require various strategies tied to priority planning, time management, etc.

 

Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker and life coach. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. He specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.

Lewis will be teaching a weekend program “Make, Choices, Not Excuses” in Oneonta, New York May 3-4

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

Q & A on Synergy, Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language and Problem Solving

Foundational principle of this Conversation: To explore how the recognition of subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.

Pattern: A pattern is a type of theme of recurring events or objects, sometimes referred to as elements of a set of objects. The elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner. Patterns can be based on a template or model which generates pattern elements,

Pattern language: a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander, is a structured method of describing good design practices within a field of expertise. .

Q. Is all synergy positive?

LEWIS: Usually is but there might be times where two different groups come together and create a new factor that is detrimental to both.

Q. And where does pattern language fit in here?

LEWIS: When a person reverses a synergistic process they actually observe what might be called “a process of decomposition.”  Alexander generally speaks of designers but that term can be applied to anyone creating or “designing” a system with many components. What happens is that a creator of systems, often a designer observes a problem, selects a solution, then discovers new, smaller problems resulting from the larger solution. Occasionally, the smaller problems have no solution, and a different larger solution must be selected by recognizing a pattern that leads to the solution.. Eventually all of the remaining design problems are small enough or routine enough to be solved by improvisation by the builders as they clearly understand the pattern involved. Now the “design” is done – the system is created.

Q. Is there some formal way that these problems are solved?

LEWIS: The actual organizational structure is left to the discretion of the designer, depending on the problem. This explicitly allows a designer/problem solver to explore patterns, starting from some small part. When this happens, it’s common for a designer to realize that the problem is actually part of a larger solution. At this point, the design almost always becomes a better design.

Q. I imagine this can get complex?

LEWIS: It can but then again this is an approach specifically applicable to solving complex problems. When one recognizes a pattern they will likely notice ways in which that each pattern has relationships to other patterns and to the language as a whole. This gives the designer using the language a great deal of guidance about the related problems that must be solved.

Q. Are there experts in using pattern language to solve problems?

LEWIS: Yes. It is usually for a pattern language expert to come n as an outsider and solve a problem using this approach. This is because this outside expert must get a reliable, complete list of the problems to be solved and it is the people most familiar with the problems that need understand the pattern.

Q. How would this obstacle be addressed?

LEWIS:  Alexander recommended organizing a group of concerned, empowered users to improvise in creating workable large-scale initial solutions, maximizing the utility of a design, and minimizing the design and systems rework.

 

Q. Apply pattern language to how you use applied game theory in problem solving?

LEWIS: An important aspect of design patterns is to identify and document the key ideas that make any good system different from any poor system and to assist in the design of future systems. The ideas expressed in a pattern need not be specific to architecture, computer programs, or anything else. Any pattern language should be general enough to be applied in very different systems within its context, but still specific enough to give constructive guidance.

 

Q. Is there a general term applied to the wide range of situations in which the problems and solutions addressed in a pattern apply?

LEWIS: It is called a context.  An important part in each pattern is to describe this context. One can then offer examples to further illustrate how the pattern applies to very different situation.

 

Q. So every problem has a pattern?

LEWIS: Yes. If you can even recognize and define that there is a problem then you are recognizing some pattern. Many of these problems are highly complex and the problems and solutions described in a pattern can vary in their level of abstraction and yet even a very abstract pattern will usually contain examples that are, by nature, absolutely concrete and specific.

Q. In LHAGT we are concerned with real world problems as opposed to theoretical problems. There are many theoretical problems that architects, statisticians, and physicists deal with that may not have real world applications, Here patterns can vary in how far they are proven in the real world. Christopher Alexander addresses this by giving each pattern a rating by zero, one or two stars, indicating how well they are proven in real-world examples.

 

Q. Is this work all theoretical?

LEWIS: Many experts in problem solving and decision science believe that all patterns need at least some existing real-world example. However the logician-mathematician addressed this idea philosophically in his Incompleteness Theorum and from this perspective It is conceivable to document yet unimplemented ideas in a pattern-like format.

 

The patterns in Alexander’s books focus primarily on how to build a town or neighborhood as well as the design of individual buildings and the interior of rooms. Even so his ideas to general problem solving are invaluable because he sees the low-scale artifacts as constructive elements of the large-scale world, so they can be connected to a hierarchal network, These are models that help the problem solver to reproduce the unique properties of specific patterns.

 

Q. Please explain some of the factors than enable a creative intuitive thinker to see patterns that may not be obvious to a purely logical thinker?

LEWIS: A pattern must characterize the problems that it is meant to solve, the context or situation where these problems arise, and the conditions under which the proposed solutions can be recommended.

 

Q. This seems basic. Why wouldn’t a logical thinker, especially a mathematician recognize this?

LEWIS: Often unique problems arise from a conflict of different interests or “forces”. A non-linear pattern might emerge as a dialogue between thinkers that will then help to balance these conflicting  forces, and finally allow them to make  a decision.

 

Here is an example based on what Alexander has written.  Imagine a pattern suggesting what we now call a  “wireless smart telephone”  at a time when wireless phones had not yet been invented.. The different forces involved would be the need to communicate, while also needing to get other things done at the same time such as cooking, walking down the street, and the ability to find a good Tex-Mex restaurant in Alaska. A very specific pattern would be just “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. More general patterns would be “WIRELESS DEVICE” or “SECONDARY ACTIVITY”, suggesting that a secondary activity (such as talking on the phone, or researching restaurants in Alaska) should not interfere with other activities.

Though unspecific to the point that a mathematician would have a hard time grouping all the variables involved in its context, the forces in the “SECONDARY ACTIVITY” pattern are very similar to those in “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. Thus, the competing forces can be seen as part of the essence of a design concept expressed in a pattern.

 

Q. Why is it so difficult for a mathematician or an expert in logical thought to recognize a pattern?

LEWIS: Traditional mathematics is logically driven. Pattern language is not.  Pattern usually contains a rationale referring to some given values which are not absolute but which are actually defined by those individuals who are receiving the value. One might say that the content for the individual define the pattern in a particular form. It might be giving a person a great sense of love or freedom.  Christopher Alexander calls it the “quality without a name” (QWAN). This idea also reflects in certain trends of thought that might be associated with Taoism, Zen and mystic trends in other religious faiths. The best patterns and systems enrich daily life. It is the extraordinary person (see glossary) who is most likely to understand the subtleties in pattern language.

In traditional, ordinary ways of thinking the quality of a system is defined by how efficiently and effectively the system works. With pattern language the quality of any system: whether technical devices such as telephones or computers cars, to social networks, or physical teams interacting to complete a project social structures like a team working on a project, can be rated more easily. In some situations the defining factor will often be whether users spend their time enjoying or struggling with the system while in other situations the key will be to create design patterns help to create an object-oriented code that is easy to read, maintain, modify and reuse.

In this way pattern language creates a value defined in part on how it impacts on human life. From this perspective one can identify patterns that are distinct from the mapping of patterns associated with changing technology. Alexander says that having this distinction allows us to find a “timeless quality” (Alexander).

 

 

Q.Is there some connection between all patterns?

LEWIS: There are different theories on this. A pattern language, as described by Alexander, contains links from one pattern to another.

 

Q. How would this effect the ability of a group or individual to solve a problem?

LEWIS: When trying to apply one pattern in a project, a designer is directed organically to other patterns that might be helpful in its context.

According to Alexander, such links are collected in the “references” part, and echoed in the linked pattern’s “context” part – thus the overall structure is a directed graph. A pattern that is linked to in the “references” usually addresses a problem of lower scale that seems to be part of the higher-scale problem. For instance, a “Kitchen Design” might have a category for “countertop, “Utensils” “Oven” etc.

Even without the pattern description, these links, along with a “specialized  language”, what Alexander calls “meaningful names”, tell a story message: When building a place inside where food will be stored and prepared  (A Kitchen) consider to include places to store food, prepare food, utensils for the preparation and a place to cook it.

 

Alexander argues that the connections in the network, the lower scale problems, can be considered even more meaningful than the text of the patterns themselves. In other words with certain types of problems the elements in the parts are of greater importance than the sum of the parts. One might call this “reverse synergy”.

 

Q. Speak more about the patterns in pattern language and links in the solving of extreme problems?

LEWIS:  In many extreme problems the ideas of links and hierarchic networks are important, and generally accepted among experts on the subject. That being said there are some experts who are working with unique problems in design where hierarchic networks would not come into play. Situations where patterns exist but links have not been established are often known as a pattern language.

 

Q. Is there some master code of all know patterns?

LEWIS: No. Just as new dialects and new words enter an existing language so do we find that existing pattern language is constantly expanding as individuals recognize patterns in their own unique challenges.

 

Q. In LHAGT you have spoken about the importance of self assessment in creating solutions to problems and preventing future problems. Can Pattern language be used as a tool for self assessment?

LEWIS: Yes. It can also be used as a general assessment tool. Alexander’s methods have been used to define expertise in many specialized fields. Expertise can be defined in many ways but one way is by determining whether an individual has the ability to recognize patterns in, let’s say architecture, education and even computer-human interaction. This is especially valuable in LHAGT theory because so much of what we are exploring here involves multi-disciplinary thinking.

 

Q. How important is Pattern language in the application of LHAGT and solving complex and extreme problems?

LEWIS:  Very. In LHAGT we often deal with Pedagogical Patterns, high-level patterns of teaching and group interaction. The core of Applied Game Theory to recognize, maximize, and actualize the potential in any system at the lowest possible cost.  To do this requires a profound understanding of available information, the unique learning, communication and interactive styles of the individuals within a group and the most effective means of presenting this information in a coherent and accessible form.

 

Q. Speak further about pattern language in a teaching-learning-group environment.

LEWIS:  I have integrated the ideas of two approaches to pattern language in learning environments. One is the theories on Multiple Intelligence created by Henry Gardiner and the other Mitchell Weisburgh’s work on Pedagogical Patterns. Weisburgh proposes nine aspects to documenting a pattern for a certain skill. Not every pattern needs to include all nine. His listing is reproduced below:

  • Name – single word or short phrase that refers to the pattern. This allows for rapid association and retrieval.
  • Problem – definition of a problem, including its intent or a desired outcome, and symptoms that would indicate that this problem exists.
  • Context – preconditions which must exist in order for that problem to occur; this is often a situation. When forces conflict, the resolutions of those conflicts is often implied by the context.
  • Forces – description of forces or constraints and how they interact. Some of the forces may be contradictory. For example: being thorough often conflicts with time or money constraints.
  • Solution – instructions, possibly including variants. The solution may include pictures, diagrams, prose, or other media.
  • Examples – sample applications and solutions, analogies, visual examples, and known uses can be especially helpful, help user understand the context
  • Resulting Context – result after the pattern has been applied, including postconditions and side effects. It might also include new problems that might result from solving the original problem.
  • Rationale – the thought processes that would go into selecting this pattern, The rationale includes an explanation of why this pattern works, how forces and constraints are resolved to construct a desired outcome.
  • Related Patterns – differences and relationships with other patterns, possibly predecessor, antecedents, or alternatives that solve similar problems.[e

 

Q. How can I learn more about Christopher Alexander’s work?

LEWIS: He  has published prolifically and has expanded and updated his work through the years.

 

I recommend the following.

The book “Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution,” containing 136 patterns for using information and communication to promote sustainability, democracy and positive social change, was published in 2008.

 

A New Theory of Urban Design (1987) coincided with a renewal of interest in urbanism among architects, but stood apart from most other expressions of this by assuming a distinctly anti-masterplanning stance.

 

The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (2003-4), which includes The Phenomenon of LifeThe Process of Creating LifeA Vision of a Living World and The Luminous Ground, is Alexander’s latest, and most comprehensive and elaborate work. In it, he puts forth a new theory about the nature of space and describes how this theory

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Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker and life coach and the creator of www.AskLewis.com. He specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen and from his personal life experiences.

 

To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “Ask.Lewis.com”

“Like” us on Face book at “facebook.com/AskLewis”

 

The Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street and the Future

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas. Please click on the button “How To Solve Any Problem” as well as the button “Applied Game Theory”.  There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog looks to address the problem of excessive government spending vs. the need to maintain the social safety net.

Lewis Harrison – Founder and Director

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Over the last few days I’ve been reading quite a bit about the formation of various Tea Party groups as well as the “Occupy” Movement – Occupy Wall street, Occupy Stamford NY etc.

 

What has been made clear from all these new political movements is that there has been a consolidation of a an economic model that is grounded in the financial sector. The banks, derivatives, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, the mortgage crisis and so much more. These are fed by a rampant consumerism so expansive that the Pope has found the need to comment on both corporate behavior and individual attitudes.  

   What both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement seem to have in common is that they are seeking an alternative model to how things are run politically and economically. They are seeking an alternative model of civilization that will match new trends in multiculturalism, technology and social conscious. The fact that they see this situation differently is not the point. What they agree on is that finance is no longer about respect for private property, community, the social safety net, initiative or empowerment. It is about the money business ‘run amok”.

 

Gregorio Harris a community activist based in Baltimore had this to say to me recently in my Blog “The Democracy Project.”

 

I am not sure if you only wanted those who firmly argue Krugman’s point to respond, but I haven’t had time to respond to the other opportunities, and have been working on grant applications and budgets to fund the “safety net”, well more like fraying safety thread, for youth in Baltimore, for days now, and I think I just need to spout…

The argument and associated behavior on both sides of the aisle is fundamentally flawed. It is not about large or small government, or so called “entitlements”. It is about the two V’s, Vision, and Values, which both sides seem to be lacking. Those deeply connected to Wall Street suffer pathological affluenzic myopia, from too much measuring of personal profits on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, and now given the advent of the techno-obsessive age, momentary basis. In other words, if you keep looking at your bank account to make decisions, in absence of a vision guiding your investment, the road becomes more unstable the further out we go. Those who claim to be for the poor and middle-class seem to forget those priorities in the face of wanting to make a deal at all costs to those who are poor and middle-class. There are clearly no values on either side.

Krugman’s most salient point, to this poor-middle-class-Black-man, is “if you look at my list of major areas that were cut, you’ll notice that they mainly involve investing in the future.” Both the right and left are acting out of this short-sightedness. Never before in the history of human-“kind” has there been a more powerful opportunity to shape a future that does not leave anyone out. And interestingly enough, even the early indigenous cultures gave the future generations more thought and foresight. It is time to create a sustainable vision for this country, and the world for that matter, that maximizes the incredible assets we have access to, and minimizes waste of any sort, particularly as it relates to our most vulnerable citizens.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

An Attitude Adjustment

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker with a passion for ideas.

        Lewis Harrison – Founder and Director

 

I was recently re-reading The Power of Positive Thinking By Norman Vincent Peale and the Secret. I also spent time this week with a few old friends and clients who have crappy attitudes about life. They are “glass is half empty” types and it got me to thinking about the holiday season and how many people find this time of year depressing. It also reminded me again about the role of attitude and perspective on how we experience life. Now I’m not going to give you’re a sermon on attitude or bore you with a long blog on how to get a positive attitude but it did get me to contemplating on the subject.

Then I I received an e-mail from my old friend Mark Braunstein. I know Mark about thirty five years and send him the blogs that you are receiving from me. He is an author, philosopher, activist, scholar, entrepreneur and incredibly positive about life and living. . He also has some pretty extreme physical challenges. You see many years ago he went hiking and dove off a small bridge over a stream. Lots of people jump off this bridge into this stream all the time. Mark did it too (he is a pretty good athlete). When he came up he realized that he couldn’t feel his legs.

But Mark not being able to feel his legs is not the point of this blog. Mark has a pretty good attitude so the fact that he can’t feel his legs is just what “is” The point is that some people have a positive attitude about life and living and some people have a crappy attitude about life and living.

I have learned as a life and success coach and as an “expert” on Applied Game Theory that attitude counts for a lot concerning how we make choices in life and how wise these choices are.

This isn’t some half-baked motivational philosophy. Numerous studies show that this is so. People with positive attitudes have better marriages, more friends, make more money and die happier than people with crappy attitudes.

Now back to Mark Braunstein.

Well about a year after Mark’s accident (he’ll correct me if I’m wrong) network television did a show on extreme events that happen to people and that get caught on video. It happened that Mark’s friend had video-taped him jumping off that bridge. We had a party at my apartment in Manhattan. Mark came in his spanking new wheel chair and a good time was had by all as we watched the TV show. Yup, there was mark jumping off the bridge. Yup there was Mark coming to the surface realizing that he couldn’t feel his legs.  Eventually the party ended as all parties must and Mark went back to living his life with some new and unexpected challenges. He became an activist for the legalization of medical marijuana, testified at government hearings and generally did what he did before his accident; -lived a good life and made a positive difference in the lives of others which he continues to do.

So the essence of today’s blog is this…If you have a crappy attitude get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it replace it with a positive attitude.

You might say, “Lew it’s not that easy. My parents had a crappy attitude, my siblings had crappy attitudes and I came from a damaged childhood where everyone and everything was designed to support the development of a crappy attitude.” You might say that.”

I feel your pain!

Now the visionary psychiatrist who created the foundations behind Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Tony Robbins ideas was named Milton Erickson. Erickson, who created Ericksonian Hypnosis, said that some people respond to visual influence and others to auditory. If you happen to have a crappy attitude and would like to have a positive attitude this music video by Billy Joel might be of value. It is the song “Your Only Human: Don’t forget Your Second Wind” The link is below. I have included the lyrics in case you want to sing along

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhxjNYvJbgM

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Staying Happily Married”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.