UNM Research Strongly Supports 4D Star

Time is more important than size.  Not the way you’re thinking — in terms of detective work.

“You found a drop of blood on my shoe?  But it’s so small!”

“One of the victim’s hairs, including the DNA-rich follicle, was found in my car?  But it’s tiny!  How can that matter?”

Contrast those arguments with this alibi: “At the time of the crime, I was in jail in Missouri on an unrelated charge.”

Spring 2024



Time also trumps size when it comes to deciphering complex systems.
“I follow along with a simple, faddish theory embraced by millions of people.”
“I have developed my own paradigm.  Apparently, it’s understood by a grand total of one person.  But evidence seems to conclusively show that it has synergy and emergent properties that are linked to survival and success, going back to the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous.”
Which of these arguments, if accurate, should weigh more heavily on the scale?

Before we miniaturize this discussion, let’s look at some big things.  Very big — and very bad.

A depiction of a gulag prisoner working in a Siberian forest.  The oppressive regime of the USSR imposed slave labor and a slow death on untold millions of victims from across Eurasia.

Joseph Stalin

“General Secretary”
1922 – 1953

Unlike Hitler, who shot himself in a bunker, or Mussolini, who was lynched by a crowd of partisans, Stalin died an old man at Kuntsevo Dacha surrounded by his housekeeper-concubine Valechka and his clique of top henchmen.  (This inner circle, including Khrushchev and Beria, had been obliged to accompany him most nights for Hollywood movies and boozing till dawn, then go to the office while the dictator rested.)

(The people missing at the bedside were competent physicians.  The former Tiflis seminarian had targeted the medical profession subsequent the fabricated “Doctors’ Plot,” a supposed conspiracy of Jewish doctors to murder Soviet leaders.)

While Mao had ups and downs in his career, Stalin never had any reversals of power caused by domestic opponents.
Evil genius or not, Stalin indisputably had world-shaking abilities to identify and to twist the key leverage points of society. 
Born Ioseb Jughashvili, the tyrant’s initial rise to prominence largely arose through his participation in the Orgburo (the Party’s Organizational Bureau), starting in 1919.  Stalin consistently volunteered to “help out” with assignments that other leaders saw as burdensome or mundane.  This influence over Organization afforded him the opportunity to stack the agencies and provinces with loyalists.  
His disdain for and suppression of Human dignity and Freedom were of Biblical proportions: many tens of millions murdered through gulag slavery, summary execution, or pitiless grain requisition.  Even most of the dictator’s own “comrades” and in-laws were eventually murdered or forced to commit suicide.
His quashing of Communication  — replacing it with disinformation and surveillance — was perpetual and tireless.  He personally edited and censored regime-issue novels, plays, songs, and movies.
In the Soviet Union, empathy for family members or fellow citizens was disparaged as “bourgeois sentimentality.” People were not to have friends but instead “comrades.”  Relations were only permissible to the extent that they had immediate utility to the “class struggle,” meaning the dictatorship.  A boy named Pavlik Morozov was elevated to propaganda-based “national hero” for reporting his father to the authorities for allegedly setting aside a quantity of grain.  Likewise, religion, spirituality, or any sense of the transcendant were constantly derided.  Priests, Buddhist monks, Baptists, imams, and rabbis were murdered en masse or subjected to slave labor.  Thus, the regime did everything imaginable to obliterate Connectivity (emotional or spiritual).
The author of the 1932 – 1933 collectivization-linked starvation of untold millions was obsessed with imposing servile obedience; concomitantly, Stalin manifested a monomania against ancestral-type Loyalty to oneself, one’s family, or one’s people.
Consider the 17th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party, held in 1934.  The secret ballot was supposed to be a formality, but Sergei Kirov, a favorite within the dictator’s entourage, surprisingly received hundreds of votes.  By year’s end, Kirov was dead.  By 1938, a large majority of the Congress attendees — thousands of prominent Communists — were also dead.
Note Stalin’s extraction of “confessions” from victims.  With no apparent advantage, the tyrant constructed a costly apparatus stretching across the vastness of Soviet Eurasia, in view of torturing people until they would write long denunciations of themselves and their associates.  Stalin would even edit interrogation transcripts himself, then circulate the texts to regime officials as if they were completely reliable.

Realizing that Stalin must have intentionally targeted the core components that would normally make a society strong and resilient, the author wondered about “working backwards” — antithetical analysis — to identify the foundational elements of a healthy polity.

This makes sense because in a free society, these systemic enablers each have numerous sub-elements, which can complicate analysis.  But when an entire foundation is gone, one can more readily identify core components.

Adding an admixture of insight from healthcare leadership, the author was able to develop the 4D Star universal paradigm, which elucidates the previously-unidentified complex system represented by the “2D Level,” which embraces seven elements.

The author realized that, indeed, size does not really matter.  The 4D Star paradigm is scalable and evidence-based at the individual level, the organizational level, or the societal level.
The author subsequently expanded his expertise in a scholarly field that was already investigating some of these questions, although no one had made the progress achieved by this author in terms of explicitly identifying the core features of any successful, sustainable organization or society.
According to Complex Systems Thinking, scalability reinforces the validity of a paradigm.
That’s because — to take one example — if the same foundational forces are at work in an organization or in a society, the pattern of relationships should be the same, regardless of scale.

B. H. Liddell Hart

Before we discuss the findings of the University of New Mexico study of ants, let’s recall the insights of B. H. Liddell Hart, the preeminent military strategist and philosopher of the interwar years.
He expanded insight into the Indirect Approach, which had originally been developed by ancient Chinese theorist Sun Tzu.
(Hart’s contributions, including those related to the use of speed and the element of surprise, were unfortunately studied and used by leaders of the Axis Powers.  This helped them to achieve early successes in World War II.)
Hart stressed that the Indirect Approach does not only relate to military strategy.  It connects with something deep and universal.
The Indirect Approach can be understood as the marriage between Freedom and Innovation.
Picture a great captain surveying the field, surrounded by his lieutenants, who are all whispering, “There they are.  We need to advance directly at them, just as they expect us to do, before they get away or people think we’re afraid.”
It’s up to the commander to have the courage, wisdom, and education (Human virtues) to avoid the doom of predictability by engaging Freedom, to identify and to exploit the Indirect Approach (Innovation), striking the enemy where he is weak or vulnerable, or even better, achieving victory without striking at all.  
Other than raising the probability of success, Innovation enables the commander to manifest his Loyalty to his cause and to his troops by preserving his force and Organizational integrity.
It’s no coincidence: great captains of history usually have excellent bonds with their men, share their values, look after their interests (even after the campaign), partake in their hardships, and frequently even eat the same rations. (Emotional [or Spiritual] Connectivity + Communication).
Indeed, to eschew the obvious option and to march off into the unknown, commanders need the trust and Loyalty of their troops.
Thus, as we can already see in this short summary, strategic brilliance seems to take effect only in the context of all 2D Level elements working harmoniously.

UNM research suggests that ants have the same seven foundational elements

Formicidae – Descendants of Wasps
Relentless Niche-Expansion
150 Million Years Ago — Present

The 4D Star paradigm already has strong evidence in essentially all contexts of successful and sustainable human activity. 

But if the same seven systemic enablers were to be found in animal systems, such as eusocial insect society, it would demonstrate that 4D Star is not confined to Homo sapiens — and thus, certainly, it would not be culture-specific, either.  

As Liddell Hart suggested, there is something profound and truly universal about the Indirect Approach.

This is precisely what has been demonstrated by fresh research at the University of New Mexico.

This author had assumed that ants were tightly controlled by instinct, corresponding to their microscopic brains, and they had no ability to resist a few primitive “switches” that strictly determined their functionality. 

However, a University of New Mexico research team — led by Stanford alumna Melanie Moses, Ph.D. — has revealed that ant behavior is not nearly as automatic nor as predictable as one might imagine.

Crucially, ants reserve the “right” to go off exploring and wandering, even in the context of an obvious source of food placed next to the colony by the researchers. 

While a certain number of ants, (sometimes only one), might bring back the known food and lay down a pheromone trail, other ants resist the temptation of following the trail.

Thus, ants literally refuse to follow the beaten path — and instead go off exploring for new opportunities, even though wandering off is unlikely to be very productive, at an individual level, in comparison with exploiting known food that is already discovered.

Dr. Moses initially thought ants were “the stupidest creatures,” and that she “knew better.” 

A credit to her analytical skill and insight, Dr. Moses subsequently realized the systemic brilliance of the Indirect Approach.

Ants walking away from a known discovery of food, demonstrating a kind of “freedom” to explore in new directions, to find and to develop novel options, not responding to our idea of a “simple-switch” cognitive system, and literally shunning the beaten path, might be the ultimate example in nature of foregoing the obvious option in favor of the Indirect Approach.

The proclivity to go exploring, no matter if the status quo already seems “good enough” — a clear approximation of freedom in the human sense — is key to having diverse solutions in the pipeline, so the colony / society can overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and thus have Sustainability Through Time (3D Level of the 4D Star Paradigm).

150 million years of survival and continuous niche-expansion would seem to conclusively demonstrate that ant dynamics are profoundly harmonious with Enduring Realities (4D Level): the laws of nature, the patterns of life, long-term geographic features, etc.

Ants laying down a pheromone trail are communicating an option, not a firm command to follow. A loose comparison: think of a successful gold miner in California or Alaska, writing a letter home encouraging others to follow. The recipients of such a letter can choose to follow in hopes of obtaining their own fortune, or they can engage in a completely different type of occupation. Think of digital currency enthusiasts sharing memes, hoping to generate enthusiasm, while other people might elect to disregard that option in favor of other investments.

Think of Guinea-Bissau, for example, with cashews, or Zambia with copper, or Nigeria with oil. When those products are pricey, resources become plentiful. But because of lack of economic diversity, those countries suffer harsh consequences with every downturn.

Another example: property developers in recent years have diversified their offerings, looking for a more robust mix incorporating entertainment, shops, and residential — as opposed to relying on a single asset class, such as office space, which left them vulnerable to fluctuations (e.g., remote work) and led to massive losses.

As suggested by the UNM insect research, Freedom / random exploration fosters an element of chaos or diversity that is vital for generating resilience and adaptability.

However, Freedom (exploration) is not an “only child.”  They are seven.

Without Organization, exploration is just chaotic misadventure — no structured methods, roles, information storage, or physical spaces.

Without Loyalty, there is no long-term commitment, and thus no stability, to give exploration a direction and a logical context.

Without Innovation, exploration is not standing on the shoulders of those who came before, nor utilizing any developed methods or tools; instead, it’s wallowing in primitive mud.

Without Human (or Ant) abilities / virtues, exploration has no chance of starting, being constructive, or leading to Innovation.

Without Human (or Ant) needs / values, exploration is pointless and has no ultimate objective.

Without Communication, successful exploration is a one-off and cannot lead to any further development or exploitation.

Without Connectivity, there is no societal bonding, and thus no Loyalty, no effective Communication, and no concern for uplifting needs / values.

In ants, Connectivity is associated with “colony odor” and ants’ rubbing together of their antennae. In human society, it’s about emotional (or spiritual) bonding.

Similar to humans, their Connectivity and Communication help to ensure that long-term interests are aligned (fostering trust), that Innovations correspond to group needs / values, that Loyalty is not misplaced, and that Organizational integrity is upheld. In this supportive context, ants have the stability that is prerequisite for exploration (“Freedom”) and for finding and developing solutions (Innovation). 

As seen in the preceding paragraph, Freedom (exploration) is not the only point of entry into the 2D Level.  One can approach the system by starting with any of the systemic enablers, or by trying to consider the totality of the system’s direct and indirect internal links.

Organization is another meaningful point of entry, because one might have imagined that ants, with their highly-structured roles and hierarchy, would not demonstrate an approximation of Freedom.  However, as discussed above, it seems that supportive, cohesive Organization is indispensable in empowering systemic orientation toward the Indirect Approach.

Eusocial insect society has long been studied, and there is extensive, well-established research literature.

Thanks to the findings of UNM, of Dr. Moses, and of many others before, it now seems irrefutable that the 2D Level cohort is linked to 150 million years of proven survival and success.

At least, the resemblance of the 4D Star paradigm in both contexts — human and eusocial insect — is as close as physically possible, and greatly exceeding what might have been humanly imaginable.

Thus, not only is there substantial evidence that 4D Star frames any successful and sustainable human activity — whether at the individual, organizational, or societal level — but now 4D Star has been shown to exist in another species with similarities in social dynamics.

It’s not common for a highly developed paradigm, related to philosophy and strategic thinking, to have strong evidence that transcends Homo sapiens, much like On the Origin of Species.

At least in this sense, could the elaboration of 4D Star constitute a “once in a generation” breakthrough?

Is it premature to speak of the Law of 4D Star?
Compare this high level of evidentiary support with that of the sorry excuses that currently serve as top-level paradigms for society.
Where have animals been found thriving with a cult of personality, neo-Marxist Conflict Theory (so-called D.E.I.), antisemitism, or Postcolonialism?  
“Nowhere” is the correct response, to answer a rhetorical question, unless someone can point to an example.
“Maybe we can wait a few more years until the tsunami of evidence becomes even more overwhelming.  First, let’s see how much more damage we can do with these pitiful, makeshift, evidence-free substitutes.”

Revolutionary Implications

Recognizing the existence of inherent dynamics that have contributed to the success and sustainability of societies across both human and animal systems over millions of years necessitates a profound reevaluation of existing theories, policies, and organizational structures.
This breakthrough in understanding represents a pivotal moment and should prompt individuals and organizations to align with 4D Star, which has stood the test of evolutionary time. Here’s why revolutionary reform is essential and unavoidable:
Cultural Renaissance

Embracing the universal paradigm of successful societies requires cultural transformation at various levels — from individual mindsets to collective insight. This shift involves moving away from short-sighted, divisionist, reductionistic ideologies — towards a broader, more inclusive perspective that values flexibility, innovation, ethics, sustainability, solidarity, and interconnectivity.

Institutional Renewal
Acknowledgment of these universal dynamics necessitates intellectual and procedural reforms. It means that educational curricula, research agendas, and policy frameworks must be recast in view of harmonious integration with 4D Star.  The universal paradigm promotes strategic directionality, ethical clarity, full systemic functionality, and alignment with patterns of nature and history.
Harmonious Integration of Knowledge
Understanding that a fixed, dynamic cohort underpins successful societies universally requires scholars, stakeholders, and policymakers to reassess the theoretical foundations underpinning their respective domains.  This involves questioning the adequacy of existing models, and nesting micro-level frameworks within 4D Star.  This major schematic advancement facilitates a cumulative knowledge base and fosters the construction of sustainable and ethical societies.
Organizational Redesign
For organizations, aligning with these universal dynamics involves more than just tweaking the status quo; it demands a fundamental redesign of how they operate. This could entail redefining organizational structures, decision-making processes, and performance metrics to foster environments that prioritize the harmonious integration of 4D Star — thus promoting long-term sustainability, a foundation in ethics, and maximum systemic functionality.
Enhanced Collaboration
Recognizing the universality of these dynamics highlights the importance of collaboration across different sectors and disciplines. Solving complex global challenges such as pollution, expansionist dictatorships, intolerant ideologies, and biodiversity loss requires a unified approach that draws on the collective wisdom and experiences of cohesive and effective free societies.
Ethical Focus
Finally, this seismic paradigm shift highlights moral considerations related to freedom, solidarity, virtues, and values. It reminds us to think about how our actions affect not only current but also future generations, urging a reformulation of any subordinate frameworks that are reductionistic or detrimental to human dignity and development.

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