The System In Focus
SYSTEM by Matt Taylor 1986
What Is Your Context?

NOTES regarding this document:

I started writing this paper on the 22nd of September, 2001 and got as far as the two paragraphs below which remain as is with the exception of a few edits for clarity. I tried again, in July, 2005 and this yielded the 5 paragraphs below the second masthead. Now, in 2008, I intend to finish this piece. My thoughts on the subject have charged little during theses seven years. In fact, what has happened unfortunately has followed the script I I whish we as a nation would have avoided. In many regards, we as a Nation has learned little. Even though this is primarily a personal Notebook and not intended as a formal public publication, a subject like 9/11 is by circumstance a public commentary. To this day, speaking about 9/11 and the circumstances leading up to it, is not something which can easily be broken out of the collective consensus which formed within hours of the attack. I did discuss this, with friends, associates and students about my concern that we would over react in ways which would produce severe consequences and this lead to mixed reactions. Over time, it just seemed like a waste of time. As I now refocus completing this document, the consensus is beginning to crack although mostly from pragmatic concerns, such as the costs to life and treasure, not principled and moral considerations in regards to all of humanity. I am not sure that yet the American people have embraced the comprehensive thinking and self reflection necessary to understand what we did to ourselves and many others around the world by our reaction to the 9/11 crimes. Unfortunately, history not learned is doomed to repeat itself. Even more than in 2001, disagreement of the default consensus of this issues is likely to be met with unreasoned cries of treason rather than mature debate about what happened, and why, and what we should do to repair the damage wrought. So, you will find a third Masthead below and a new attempt to bring ideas and context into this continuing debate hopefully to heal and move forward not to divide further a conflicted social conciseness.

Matt Taylor
October 20, 2008


As we look at the next 25 years, and the political, economic, military and technological power we will develop, this issue of what we consider to be THE SYSTEM, is critical.


I think if there is a single issue that determines “good” from “bad” outcomes it is the CONTEXT that people hold when they respond to things and act. As it responds to September 11, will the United States be concerned with the welfare of it’s people, in only a defensive, angry way, or the rights of all humans?

The System In Focus
What Is Your Context?
interation two

I was old enough to know what it meant when Pearl Harbor was bombed and young enough to see the World Trade Center destroyed. An entire era rests between these two events.


Consequently, I see these events, and what has happened in between, as a single tapestry. I remember things that many seem to have forgotten - and many more have never experienced in order to forget. I have sat in darkened buildings waiting for an enemy attack, driven in cars with shrouded lights and walked through cities devastated by bombs dropped on civilians by my country.


I have met people who transcended events of this kind and I have met people who have not.


When I look at the images of the World Trade Center, all this is what I remember. What I see is different than what many see. As I watched our national response in the days that followed, I had many questions.


My point here is not the tragedy of the World Trade Center. I discuss this system breakdown elsewhere. My point is that the frame we hold when we look at any circumstance will radically alter how we we feel about it, how we will interpret the information related to it and how we will respond. ReBuilding the Future is the process of doing this with great care and craft.

The System In Focus
What Is Your Context?
interation three
Even with the distance of 7 years, my basic premise remains the same. The FRAME within which you view an event has an enormous impact on how you view it and how you subsequently act in response to it. I am going to develop this thesis, much as I would have in 2001, however, in an expanded framework. In addition of discussing frameworks directly related to 9/11 itself, I am introducing ones related to the economy, one’s vision of the future, and how change takes place in our society. All these and more form a gestalt - the context - of any experience.
Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
September 22, 2001

SolutionBox voice of this document:

click on graphic for explanation of SolutionBox

Posted: September 22, 2001

revised: October 20, 2008
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(note: this document is about 3% finished)

Copyright© Matt Taylor 1986, 2001, 2005, 2008

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