by Bill Harvey

“Effectiveness” is a word that is coming into increasing use in the advertising business – where it means a shift from relatively superstitious or “soft” measures of performance, to down-to-earth ones such as sales. In my profession as a media researcher I have come to frequently use measures of effectiveness as part of media optimization work. This has also in moments of reflection given me cause to think more broadly about “effectiveness” from the point of view of my earlier academic training which was in philosophy.

That led me to apply the idea of effectiveness to my experience as a self. I had been doing this all my life but it changed when I started to work with computers. From my use of computers during my day job I fell somewhat predictably into the “lens” of looking at my own consciousness as a software system – for example with programs that I might have created so long ago I don’t remember creating them.

Through this lens I watched what the character Bill Harvey did. I noticed performances I liked and others I didn’t. I reprogrammed my biocomputer by means of the standard vows and intentions. I noticed that this did not work particularly well most of the time but sometimes it did. I strove to detect what catalyst had been present and was always present at such moments when things worked inside me the way I had hoped. As I proceeded in this way I began to notice more and more layers of such catalytic conditions conducive to higher effectiveness.

Studying the shifts and patterns in my own personal effectiveness from moment to moment, and what interventions – often cascaded by “trigger words” – worked to actually tangibly improve effectiveness, I wrote a book, which led me to consult for the U.S. Army on the subject of maximizing the effectiveness of individual soldiers. The book appears to function as a “detraining” stimulus, that is, it seems to de-train the mind from following its well-worn streambed. This of course opens the door for new, by definition more creative approaches to the same or new situations. The user gains powers of self-observation that improve the function of the automatic feedback loop to notice areas of improvement potential and the most utterly realistic means to install such improvements.

The central function of the book I hypothesize is that it facilitates the consciousness being refocused out of the “Defender Syndrome” into the “Observer State”. This eliminates the need for mental effort to support motivations of which one is ashamed of having in the first place such as the need for the approval of others. Mental concepts are manipulated without the need to form words in the mind and so the intellect moves forward at an accelerated rate. The book however spends very little time discussing how it might work and instead focuses on being a stimulus set designed to evoke higher effectiveness.

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