Skip to comments.What was Glenn Beck's “Restoring Honor” rally really about? (Maybe not what you think)
Posted on 08/31/2010 11:00:40 AM PDT by Pete
Here is a question. Was Glenn Becks Restoring Honor rally on August 28th about November 2? In other words, was the context of the rally in terms of the 2010 mid-term elections?
Now, you might say, That is a trick question. It was not about politics. Glenn said so.
I believe you would be correct but probably not for the correct reason. If I am right (and I believe I am or I wouldnt be writing this) and if I can communicate clearly in this article, I believe a light will go off in your head before you finish reading it and you will see the rally in a very important and new way. But first, indulge me for a minute while I lay an important foundation for the discussion.
Imagine there is a pond, a small pond only 30 square feet in size. In the corner of that pond, there is a lily pad that is 1 square foot in size. The lily pad starts to grow and each day it adds 1 square foot in size. On what day will the lily paid cover the pond? The answer is easy; on the 30th day. On what day will the lily pad cover half the pond? Again, the answer is easy, on the 15th day.
Now imagine the same pond with a very small lily pad in the corner. This time, each day, the lily pad doubles in size and on the 30th day in covers the entire pond. On what day does it cover half the pond? The answer is on the 29th day because it doubles in size each day. So, on the 29th day it covers ½ the pond and doubles the next day to cover all of it. Was your first thought that it covered half the pond on the 15th like the first example? For many people, that is the case.
Now, imagine that lily pad is a problem we face. In the first scenario where it adds 1 square foot a day, on the 15th day, we have as much time left to solve the problem as has passed already; that is, 15 days. We see the problem and we sense that it is pretty serious since it covers half the pond. Thats OK, we say, Because we have 15 days to solve it.
Here is the issue. The problems we face today are more like the second scenario. The one where the pond is half covered on the 29th day. The big problem is that we think it is the 15th day because that is how we think. We think we have 15 days to fix it but then we wake up on the next day, the 30th day, and the pond is completely covered. The problem has overtaken us and we cant understand what happened. We thought we had so much time.
Our problems are like the second scenario, that is, exponential in nature but our solutions tend to be like the first scenario, that is, linear. It has always been so but we never noticed because exponential problems look and act linear when we are moving slowly. The change came with the technological and communication revolutions in the last 30 years. Suddenly, our exponential problems started acting exponential but we didnt realize it. We still thought they were linear. This disconnect has caused confusion and fear.
Back to Glenn in a minute but lets talk about November 2. In the short term, November 2 is like the 30th day. The political landscape in America is at the 29th day on a small time scale say less than a year. I believe November 2 will be the 30th day on that scale. I have included a picture of an exponential curve below and how it changes over time say the 30 days in our pond example. For the 1 year political scale, I believe we are at the 29th day, as indicated in the bubble. See how steep the line is at the 29th day? Think of steepness as activity. The steeper the line, the more that is happening. This is true for both problems and solutions.
Have you noticed that some people are concerned that the Republicans will win in November but then they will do what they have always done and move back to the center? For many, that thought it discouraging. It is like a 30th day solution but a 31st day defeat.
In fact, that is exactly what I believe will happen. But, take heart, because I believe there is a bigger scale. A scale that is 4 to 6 years in length. On that scale, we are not on the 29th day. We are on, say, the 21st day. That solution is also exponential. In the chart below, I have put an arrow where I think we are on the 4 to 6 year scale. Again, think of the slope of the curve as the amount of activity.
Now, notice the line is not as steep at the 21st day as it is at the 29th day. In other words, less is happening. This is always the case with both problems and solutions. So, what is happening at this 21st day? Lets look at the primaries. If Murkowski of Alaska ends up losing to Joe Miller, she will be the seventh Congressional incumbent to lose in a primary this year. Note, there are quite a few incumbents in State races that lost as well. Seven is a lot but it is not a whole lot. I believe it is what we would expect for the steepness of the curve on the 21st day.
But what about 2012? Or 2014? What day will those be? I dont know exactly but I believe they will be moving up the curve approaching the 29th day. If I am right, it wont matter if the Republicans do what they always have done move back to the center because 2012 will be the 24th day and 2014 will be the 26th day. How many incumbents will lose in 2012? In 2014? I believe the slope will continue to increase and the activity will continue to increase. I believe there will be more incumbent losses in 2012 and even more in 2014.
Will 2016 be the 29th day? Could be. At some point in the next 6 years or so, I believe we will see almost all of Congress either truly repent or lose their seat. In other words, the 29th day for Congress is almost complete replacement.
Does that sound crazy? You might say, Yes.
If you want some science behind the claim, you can read CIC and Complexity but there is a reason it sounds crazy. The reason is that it is really hard to see the problem or the solution on the 15th or even the 21st day. Lets go back to our original scenario, the second one, where the lily pad doubles. If it covers half the pond on the 29th day, do you how know big the lily pad is on the 15th day? I did the math. The answer is about 1/10 of a square inch.
That doesnt look like that big of a problem, does it? But that is when you need to start fixing it.
Finally, let me talk about the Restoring Honor rally. I believe Glenn has identified a third trend on an even bigger scale than the short term or medium term political scales I talked about above. On that scale, say, a 20 year scale, I believe we truly are on the 15th day. The problem is apparent but not particularly clear.
I think people were surprised by the size and passion of the rally for one of two reasons. Because we are on the 15th day, Glenns rally may look like a solution without a problem. Or, it could easily be construed as a 21st or 29th day solution to a smaller scale event. Look at the media coverage. They dont really know what to make of it. They are confused and fearful. They cant understand how Glenn got that many people to show up. Even OReilly didnt think there was even a chance 100,000 people would attend. That is not surprising given the problem and solution are both exponential but the old media and government (especially the old media and government) tend to be linear thinkers.
Another rule I have found is that the larger the scale, the more fundamental the issues. In other words, short-term problems and solutions tend to be very specific and identifiable. Longer-term problems and solutions tend to be more general and based on fundamental principles. That is what I believe Glenn is onto. His solution is one that addresses the fundamental question of who we are.
We have been moving away from our traditional roots for a long time but that has accelerated in the last 30 years. It has accelerated as we moved up the curve and the curve got steeper and the activity increased, just like the graphs above. We are on or around the 15th day. We have the time to fix it. It doesnt look like a huge deal to a lot of people. After all, it only covers 1/10 of an inch of the pond. But now is the time to start before we start to move up the curve and it gets too steep. Before the 29th day because then, we will be out of time.
One more thing; if we truly are at the 15th day, then all the problems we have seen so far only represent 1/10 of a square inch of the pond. In the next 15 days, we will be exposed to the rest. I believe that is what Glenn is referring to when he says a storm is coming like we have never seen.
Glenn Beck is proposing an exponential solution to an exponential problem and he is proposing it on the 15th day, when the problem doesnt look that big. In fact, most people dont even see it. But many do. The people who attended the rally do, even if they cant quite put their finger on it.
We can solve this fundamental problem. Glenn is right in the solution he proposes and there is enough time left to change. So, now you know why I say that the Restoring Honor rally really isnt about the November 2 elections and, if I have achieved my goal, you have hope.
Yes I would change it a bit to show the intention of 3 days versus the imagined 1 ft starting size.
Other than that good article!
Point is simply that Beck's rally was never just about this November because it should be clear that the problem already fits your geometric model.
If Beck and others (us) can't aim beyond the immediate perception it's likiely to be over with.
A tough read to be sure. I was at 8/28 and saw what I believe was a list of reasons and accomplishments. The most glaring being that we’re in for some very trying times, the likes of which no ones’s ever seen. At this point, anything is possible. The more unthinkable, the more probable. It’s gotten to the point where everyday there’s a new assault on our freedoms and liberties. NEVER has this regime come out with a positive and NEVER have they been able to deliver on their pansy ass message of “hope”. “Change” is a different story.
“Connect with your family and God”, respect and appreciate the military past and present. That was it. The rest will hopefully take care of itself this November with an effort from conservatives to get out and vote, volunteer, go door to door, call and don’t give up.
Free Republic is like the neutron reflector at the core of an atomic weapon.
The rapidly collapsing plutonium sphere is mounting dismay by the citizens.
Obama is most definitely the trigger.
Beck? He’s Tritium.
We launch on Nov 2.
If you build a Mosque on the killing fields in lower Manhattan, on day 1 you will have 300 Moose Limbs ... how long will it be before it is a no-go zone? On day 2, etc.
You could then work in how many fire engines will be required to put out the constant arson flames, the amount of cement work needed in front to bulwark it ... well, you get my drift ... spice it up a bit?
Good thoughts, though. Seriously.
I agree with you. Our hope needs to be in the one who died for us and saves us from the wrath we deserve. Our view should be eternal. We have a great Savior and we have every reason to have hope regardless of our circumstances. Praise God for that!
Read or watch the speech by Sarah Palin seen here:
This is what it is all about!
I understood your point, but it did take a bit of reading. Explaining concepts like this is tricky; I’ve found graphics to be pretty useful and more understandable to most. I’d suggest a side-by-side comparison of the two ponds visually; doing it as an animation would be a stronger illustration.
I see the same concepts playing out, brother geek (said “lovingly”) -—
But then, I did take an unrequired engineering calculus class in college as an elective for FUN, so what do I know!!!
I started moving forward with an eye on 2012 myself in June, moving forward in baby steps at first, but taking a few larger steps now. My eye is on a distant goal, but I intend to be one cog in the wheel to get there.
“We can solve this fundamental problem. Glenn is right in the solution he proposes and there is enough time left to change. So, now you know why I say that the Restoring Honor rally really isnt about the November 2 elections and, if I have achieved my goal, you have hope.”
It made perfect sense to me. I hope that your hypothesis is correct and folks like Glenn Beck are “forward thinking” enough to start changes early. This is not a can we can keep kicking down the road.
Thanks, everybody, for the feedback. It was very helpful.
piytar, I am going to take your advice and put the conclusion up front rather than build way too much theory and work to the end.
hadcat, I am going to get rid of the scenario I and just limit myself to one paragraph on the lily pad analogy. Less math and more clarity.
FrankR, your comments were also helpful (although don’t give up on yourself at 64. My father, who first developed these ideas in the early 90’s as an actuary, wrote the book on the 29thday website at the age of 69.
I will do a rewrite and post below as a comment (rather than a new thread - I may be a glutton for punishment but I am not a fool;)
Other folks talking about or using these principles (and better than me) are Chris Martenson on economics, Ray Kurzweil on technology, Jack Uldrich on business and Wayne Hodgkins on education. And, of course, Glenn Beck on history and government.
One more thing: I realize I didn’t mention this in the article. I was at the 8/28 rally as well. I got there at 4:45am and there were already 20,000 or so people gathered. It was amazing to see the sun come up over that growing crowd. I had three of my six children with me and I am very glad they were there to witness it. What a day!
Thanks, jhawk92, for the encouraging words. You are so right that we cannot continue kicking this can down the road. The longer we wait, the few choices we have and the more pain the solution will cause because there WILL be a solution. It is just a matter of whether we have a say or not in what it is.
Great stuff. Look at the left for an example of this (haven’t done the calculations but the trend is similiar).
Eugene Debs wiped out in 1920. 12 years of the GOP. Then FDR. Hope! But it’s squashed by anti-communist Democrats. Henry Wallace in 1948 goes down in flames. New Left (the kids of FDR’s Popular Front commies) rises in the 60s. They are wiped out in 1972 on the Presidential level but made, held and expanded power in the House for the next 20 years. Then comes Clinton. Hooray! But he’s DLC and moves to the center after 2 years. The defeat of Gore is the Great Tragedy. 2002 and 2004 are demoralizing. But those New Lefties in the House have aged, will become chairman and can determine the direction of the country if Democrats take the House. They get that in 2006! Hooray! Then Obama in 2008! The Long March is over. They have reached the promised land when just 6 years ago they thought they had little chance.
Pete. Nice try. Keep trying.
I think you are correct about that it is the 29th day for Congress, and indeed for the whole Establishment. But ... it may also be only the 28th. That is, they can still crush the change. Why is that?
Your example of a lily pad and pond is very peaceful. A peaceful lily pad and a calm still pond. In reality it is more complicated dynamics — even though your simple model clearly demonstrates THE major dynamic of it: exponential growth!
We have a pond, yes, but only usually is it calm. On some days a storm moves in and destroys some lily pads. On some rare days a great storm rolls in and kills many or all lily pads.
We also have lily-pad eating frogs. And some frog-eating snakes. The frogs get protection from the snakes by sitting in the middle of lily pads. The frogs need to birth and grow from tadpoles to adults in open water.
Since this is a actual ecosystem the system has bands of equilibrium, even though the growth of pads is exponential. And yet, there is also a fragility. If a disease affects the snakes, there may be too many frogs, and then the lily pads eaten back to the point a smaller storm can wipe all lily pads out. And once the lily pads are gone, the frogs starve, and with no frogs the remaining snakes starve. All die.
Or another — the snakes learn to jump up on lily pads. Then they eat too many frogs, the lily pads take over, and the frogs and snakes die.
You see how hard it is to explain to FREEPERS your model. Yet FREEPERS are smarter than most. It shows how math thinking today among people is abysmal.
We are closer to the 29th day in your longer term social dynamics! Not the 15th day — more like the 25th, or 26th.
But why is that?
I’m going to switch my enhanced version of your lily pond over to a Biblical modal.
The Lily Pad is the world, the earth, all living things. The grasses, the animals, the plants, the cockroaches! All things, but man. Man is like the frog. We are born in the world, but we learn to dominate it, and eat from it. We make sure the lily pads stay healthy, and fight off the snakes.
The snakes — that’s Genesis too. The Snake in the Garden of Eden! The forces of conflict and opposition, or tempting and the short term delights of vice. Every frog likes to swim free like a snake! The snakes are free of immediate responsibility. The frogs take care of the world for them.
Back to the 29th day. Something has stunned the frogs. Sickness? A overly crazy delight in being in the company of snakes? Death by that, but short term it feels so free!
The lily pads keep growing. There’s less and less frogs.
Today even the snakes are slightly, just so slightly beginning to worry — where have the frogs gone?
Back-calculating, he finds the original lily pad to have been 1/10 of a square inch. The math is perfectly correct.
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