“We are told about the world before we see it. We imagine most things before we experience them. And those preconceptions, unless education has made us acutely aware, govern deeply the whole process of perception.” – Walter Lippman.
Awareness: the quality or state of being aware: knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists. Awareness is attention plus your working memory. Awareness is a way of converging and combining information with the ability to cope with complexity, perception, and behavior in real-time.
There are three different aspects of awareness woven together.
- Peripheral awareness is the ability or part of the brain that takes in constant information about what’s happening around us. It combines all of the senses into a complete picture of what’s happening around us, even if we aren’t focused on it.
- Sensory awareness is closely related to peripheral awareness, involving information gathered from stimuli.
- Self-awareness is a more existential form of awareness, allowing us to see ourselves and how others see us.
An introduction to anything new changes your awareness. By reading this post, you are being introduced to a different thinking process, moving away from the visceral pulls of your daily dramas into forward-thinking with a predictive quality.
I started writing at Beyond the Hype as a proof of concept. A different thinking process of refined awareness could generate more forward-thinking individuals. The rush of serialized drama could be averted, at least on a personal level, as many of our big crises would be envisioned and averted. Those willing to put in the work can shift their awareness and engage in thinking4tomorrow.
Life will never get easier, but you will be more competent and better able to cope.
Predictive is “an indication of the future or of future conditions.” I am comfortable with the definition as it gives predictive thinking the ability to distance itself from fortune-telling. Predictive thinking espouses keeping a fresh perspective on critical issues impacting your life or humanity as a whole. By transforming your awareness and thinking4tomorrow, future conditions in specific realms of your life would seem to foregone conclusions. Let me try a couple real-world examples that you will clearly recognize.
Let’s start with the attempted revolution in money called Bitcoin.
On September 16, 2021, in my post “Flash Crash,” I wrote:
“For the more inquisitive of us, the takeaway from the $100 billion (Bitcoin) debacle was dirt simple. Highly speculative and thinly bid markets are fraught with danger. Losses can and will be dramatic, account-ending, and soul-ripping. Therefore, “caveat emptor.” Buyer beware.”
On October 24, 2021, in my post “Bitcoin Fever,” I wrote:
“In the short run, I am a seller of Bitcoin, not an active short from Thursday’s close of business. I am not afraid of missing out by taking profits in Bitcoin or any of the other cryptos after Friday close on a weekly chart.“
OUTCOME: On November 10, 2022, Bitcoin began to drop over 65%.
What is the disconnect between the Bitcoin true believers and me? I had not drunk the cool-aid. Our “crowd model” was developed by the refined awareness of thinking4tomorrow. We modeled the market “crowd” through the reasoning illustrated in the graphic below.
Second, let us consider the historically high inflation confounded and perplexed economists.
On October 08, 2021, in my post “Inflation,” I wrote:
“Allow me to circle back to our inflation discussion. Sustained higher energy prices are inflationary. No debate is required. “
On December 16, 2021, in my post “What is Inflation?” I wrote:
“The good news is that energy prices tend to be cyclical when driven by the commodities side of the industry and not the more price stubborn services side. (see below) The bad news is that energy prices trickle through every facet of consumer goods and services via transportation. The current US administration’s energy policy makes the higher prices unusually sticky.“
OUTCOME: In January, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, and 7.5 percent over the last 12 months. This is the most significant 12-month increase since February 1982, dominated by the sticky energy sector, as the graphic below depicts.
Lastly, consider the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian forces.
On September 11, 2021, in my post “From Russia with Love,” I wrote:
“The Bank of Russia’s move is oddly timed. If I were a senior-level strategic analyst on the Russian desk, and I am not, I would say the Russians are preparing for a spike in inflation and/or are getting ready to move on to Ukraine. But who am I?”
On October 26, 2021, in my post “The Empire Strikes Back,” I wrote:
“Be careful with the new dimension of domestic freedom distracting from Putin’s grand strategy. Tensions in Belarus and Ukraine could be a mere pretense for a military move on Russia’s part. Stay frosty, my friends.”
As of December 2021, the very astute think tank www.criticalthreats.org said in a piece entitled Putin’s Likely Course of Action in Ukraine, “Russia is very unlikely to invade unoccupied Ukraine on a large scale this winter even though the Russian military is completing preparations that could support such an undertaking.” Just so we are clear, the Critical Threats team was not alone in their assessment. Many inside the foreign policy establishment seem to miss the escalation. Our Soviet experts became path-dependent, locked into a course of opinion.
OUTCOME: On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine
What is the disconnect between a team of Soviet experts and me?
I had a huge advantage. I faced the Soviets as a member of an intelligence detachment actively studying & exploiting our adversary in West Germany & Italy from 1980-86. They taught me how to think like a strategic and tactical insurgent. Brilliant men and women crafted my awareness. Consequently, listening to the experts talk about Putin’s motivations for action in Ukraine, I could detect the baseline errors they incorporated into their thinking. My time facing Putin and his comrades gave me unique insights. Another critical feature of thinking4tomorrow predicates acquiring direct experience with our subject matter.
The new generation of Russian experts lacked on-the-ground experience confronting the Russian President during his KGB days and the Soviet ideology. I did not. The foundation upon which I analyzed the Russian President’s moves did not align with current thinking. Another critical feature of thinking4tomorrow is the requirement to challenge your assumptions and orthodoxy if your interaction with reality fails. Cleaning the slate is a tough sell to most academics who pride themselves on the depth of knowledge in a chosen field.
When the foreign policy and Russian experts blew the call on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the knee-jerk reaction was to question Putin’s sanity and attempt to paint him as a non-rational actor. Instead of challenging their own closely held assumptions, which would appear to impugn their intellectual and academic standing.
I trust the three current events provided a peek inside our thinking4tomorrow process. Hopefully, this post lends insight into our reasoning. We believe refining your awareness is transformative to an individual’s DNA. Our readers expect us to be in front of the next big stories.
Our forthcoming book, “Thinking4Tomorrow,” will further articulate our approach to shifting and refining your awareness.
Until next time. Stay frosty.