Jockonian Dichotomy, Babinian Dialectic

The Jocko Podcasts make me more and more aware of the power of dichotomies in taking Extreme Ownership of one’s life. Dichotomy awareness makes one humble. Dichotomy awareness pushes one toward mindfulness in every situation. The dichotomy is central to much of what Jocko Willink and Leif Babin present. It is an essential concept because dichotomies beg a dialectic thought process: thesis vs. antithesis. At least this is what I am finding in my life. I have long been a believer in the necessity of the dialectic for moving closer to truth and effectiveness. The dichotomies Jocko and Leif put forward trigger in me dialectic analysis, helping to keep me humbly mindful and thoughtfully present.

So is it not time to enrich the English language with two new concepts: The Jockonian Dichotomy and the Babinian Dialectic? But where to introduce them? Introductory philosophy or graduate seminars? How about both and more! Let’s own even the academic and philosophical high ground.

And to accomplished philosophers, I apologize if my grasp of the dialectic seems rudimentary. It may well be. So I welcome insight from those more knowledgeable than I, which is truly a vast throng. Own it and bring me in line. Bring it on! Meanwhile, just in case you need further resources, here are some links.


Shine the Light

15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:15 (New International Version)

Yesterday, I saw some criticism on Twitter of Leif Babin and Jocko Willink and Extreme Ownership. At first, I was offended, but not now. Now I say,  “Bring it on!” Why?

First, Extreme Ownership has shined some light on my life for which I will be forever grateful. I have read and heard plenty about leadership over the years and even served in some organizational positions of leadership. Never, though, has a single book done so much to help me understand what leadership is truly about. I wish I had learned these lessons long ago. My life would be better for it. I firmly believe that anyone who takes these lessons to heart will do a better job at their roles in life, both occupational and personal. And Americans doing better jobs at all levels is what we need lots more of. Criticism and debate will serve to draw more attention to Extreme Ownership and garner more readers. Let the light shine!

Next, criticism is a sign that one is doing something challenging. Lack of criticism would be worse:

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
    for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. (Luke 6:26, New International Version)

No doubt we have plenty of false prophets these days who get lots of praise. That makes it all the more fulfilling for me to see a couple of guys who are straight shooters getting some praise along with the criticism. Let the light shine!

Then there is the issue or free speech. Leif Babin, Jocko Willink and the other SEALs of Task Unit Bruiser along with throngs of warriors both present and past fought to defend our way of life that allows criticism and public debate. It is free speech that allows the tremendous power of the dialectic to go to work. Thesis confronts antithesis, and the synthesis becomes a powerful new driver of understanding. So let the light shine!

I do however feel that to be productive, criticism should rest upon first principles rather than personal opinion. Based on what I saw yesterday, I don’t understand the basis of the criticism. Is it that our warriors should never publish? Or is it just SEALs who should not publish? The dialectic process can really serve it’s purpose when first principles collide. Not, however, when subjective rhetoric dominates. May principled dialectic prevail today! Let more light shine!


Mining Urban’s Musk: Important Person’s Overview

Hi, you are an important person, hence this overview. Sometimes you may see an executive overview. That is an overview for an important person who has no time to waste. You have no time to waste. You are the CEO of your life, also the CFO, the CIO, etc. So this overview is to let you decide in seconds whether the posts to come in this series might be for you.

Origin: Yesterday my friend Steve Moraco texted me to make sure and read the Wait but why post “The Cook and the Chef” by Tim Urban about Elan Musk. Steve Moraco is the brightest 20 something I know ( I know two and he is clearly in first place). So I am reading an Urban post for the first time ever.

Purpose: A dialectic where I share my insight on Urban’s post. Why would you want to read what I write? Well, Steve says I am the coolest 72 year-old he knows. (I may be the only 72 year-old he knows, but for a 70-something to get to know a 20-something is not too common and a badge of honor for me)

Who am I?: A. Allen Rowe: father (two sons and a daughter), husband (twice), brother (a little sister who beat me to the mortal finish line), son (surviving), friend (inconsistent of late), poet (English, French, and Spanish), teacher (for decades), and learner (forever).

I hope you stay tuned for the next installation, and in the meantime check out other posts that come along.