Tiffany Gabbay Discovers Architects and Medicators

She writes in The Blaze.

In an ironic twist of fate, the owners of pair of San Diego coffee and hot dog carts – who initially provided free food and beverage to Occupy protesters — had to shut down after demonstrators turned violent, splattering their kiosks with blood and urine. CBS reports that Occupiers stole items from the cart in addition to spray-painting them with graffiti.

If that were not enough, the vendors also said they recently received death threats from protesters.

CBS adds:

The coffee and hot dog carts were located in Civic Center Plaza, the same location as the Occupy San Diego protesters.

Coffee cart owner Linda Jenson and hot dog cart operators Letty and Pete Soto said they initially provided free food and drink to demonstrators, but when they stopped, the protesters became violent.

“Both carts have had items stolen, have had their covers vandalized with markings and graffiti, as well as one of the carts had urine and blood splattered on it,” said Councilman Carl DeMaio.

Meanwhile, DeMaio said the damages will likely require a complete cleaning if not complete replacement of the food cart covers. And why vendors who showed kindness to Occupiers by providing them with complimentary refreshments would now receive death threats, remains unclear. [bold emphasis mine]

Oh Ms. Gabbay. I know I should not take that final sentence literally, I know you’re just using a little bit of flair. But the whole time I was reading about this event, including your story down to the end, I had this thought just sort of churning away in the back of my noggin, and that sign-off just made it explode. “Unclear” is an anagram of “nuclear,” so now we have a coffee o’clock blog post. Tremble before the enriched plutonium energy of The Blog That Nobody Reads.

What we are seeing with the Occupy Wall Street movement is an alternative social contract. It is not new, it is in fact ancient. Perhaps the best way to think of it is as a writhing, slithering scaly deep-sea creature. It lives deep in the darkest depths, dreaming of breaking the surface, enjoying fresh air and sunlight — and overrunning the land as well as the sea, taking things over “up there.” But it can’t breathe air. It dreams the same dream as the dog that yearns to catch the car.

They can’t even put pen to paper and write down their social contract. That’s why they don’t have a unified and coherent statement of their goals, in spite of the fact that many among them have said this is going to be forthcoming soon. They can’t, but I can.

I start with the social contract that is in place now, the one they seek to defeat: If you want something, you work for it. If you want something and you lack the skills to acquire it, you trade for it. If you want something but don’t really need it, then you’ve got a decision to make. If you can bear the consequences, then it’s all on you. You make decisions about sacrificing the things you want to get the things you need — or to give up the things you need in order to get the things you want, in which case you’re about to have a learning experience. Life is full of these. If you get a lesson and you fail to learn from it, life will assign you the same lesson over and over again until you get it learned and then, like magic, it will proceed to the next lesson you haven’t learned yet. If you have a brain in your head, you’re probably going to win at this over the longer term, because your skills will sharpen and you will have more goods and services you can trade to acquire the things you want, and you will make fewer mistakes while you are trading.

The underworld social contract that seeks to supplant this, operates according to revolution. It lusts for a glorious day in which it emerges as the top dog, which is an upcoming revolution, and it does all of its smaller things by means of smaller revolutions. If you want something, you immobilize something else until such time as someone is bludgeoned and browbeaten into giving you what you want. Annoyance is the new coin of the realm. If you want a hot dog, you annoy somebody. If you want a place to put up your tent and crash for the night, you annoy somebody. If you want a job, you annoy somebody. If you want to be heard, you annoy somebody.

And, lately, it seems…if you have the opportunity to be heard and you’re having trouble figuring out what to say…yes, you annoy people until that problem, too, is solved. Just like any other. Any time you find yourself lacking in anything, it must be because someone external to you has not been given the proper motivation, so you find a way to interfere with what they’re trying to do, and then you get what you want.

It’s a whole different way of looking at life.

EngineeringUltimately, since the people who live life according to the first social contract end up taking responsibility for what happens to them, and the people who live life according to the second social contract do not, the former end up being Architects and the latter end up being Medicators. Because that’s the definition. Something didn’t go the way the Architect wanted, he must have made a measurement the wrong way, or pursued some option that turned out not to be the right one, just like a real architect ordering steel or cement from the wrong supplier. Architect says — thank goodness I made this mistake while I was constructing a cardboard model instead of the real thing. But sure as I’m standing here right now, we’re going to figure out where things went wrong.

And the people who live life according to the second social contract externalize everything, because they must. That is the mindset: I’m having this problem because someone else didn’t do something they were supposed to do. And now I’m going to get even. So the Architect social contract is about the protagonist learning things, the Medicator social contract is about someone else learning things. I’ll teach them not to screw with me!

The Occupy Wall Street movement is a positive human development. We’re seeing this alternative, subversive social contract break the surface and getting a good look at it. And we’re seeing how much it stinks. We’re seeing, right in front of our eyes, how a miniature “society” of sorts functions as it operates according to this model. We’re seeing how it leads inexorably to chaos, rancor and despair. The subterranean social contract is being given a “job interview” and it is being found to be lacking.

After a time it will submerge again, beneath the depths. Very few who believe in it will abandon it. Medicators medicate; their end goal is not so much to acquire things or to make things work, as to cultivate the proper emotional state. And it’s always more emotionally satisfying to think things are missing from your life because some dirty rotten so-and-so got away with something, and you need to pool your resources with others who’ve been similarly ripped off and hold some epic revolution to get back what was taken from you — plus something extra, to really drive home the message.

But this is not conducive to greatness. It reeks, because over time it does not displace mundane challenges with greater, more worldly challenges as the learner does his learning. Rather, it does the reverse — the challenge remains the same, and a life filled with potential is supplanted by a tinier, more pathetic life shrinking down to become more obsessed with the stationary challenge.

It is the difference between what you think about after you manage to kill the one mosquito in your bedroom as you’re trying to go to sleep, and what you think about when you fail to kill that same mosquito. I cannot predict what thoughts are in your head in the first scenario because, liberated, you can drift off to dreamland with the vast plane of human thought entirely open to you. Who knows. Maybe you’re solving a problem at work. Maybe you’re figuring out what to do that weekend. The sky’s the limit. But in the second scenario, I can guarantee I know what you’re thinking. We replace our challenges, or our challenges replace us.

Regarding Ms. Gabbay’s sign-off: Somewhere, I wrote that the world is divided into people who are nice to people who are nice to them, and mean to people who are mean to them; and, their opposites, who manage to flip this around, rewarding kindness with viciousness and vice-versa. I wrote that these two different kinds of people should not meet. And they shouldn’t, because this is the Architect/Medicator divide. Architects profit from the establishment and maintenance of good relationships. Medicators do not. They cannot. The coin of the realm in which they live their lives, is the act of annoying people to get what they want. So a truly constructive and mutually beneficial relationship is not something they can ever really have, nor do have any need for such a thing.

So — yes. Give them a hot dog, expect to see your hot dog stand wrecked. It’s part of the natural order of things.

Next lesson?

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Washington Rebel.

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