Having Fun and Learning Lessons With the Mechanical Part of the Intellectual Center
Why “Formatory Challenge?”
This exercise is called “Formatory Challenge” because the primary process being exercised is the mechanical part of the Intellectual center (Im in Brain Systems nomenclature). Im processes, in this case, may be characterized as mainly those which carry models (those would be identified concepts you derive from reading the exercises) from the ESS (Experiential Sensation System) to the reality process center (RPC) where they are exposed to mechanical center activities such as self-selection and completion.
The Im seems to pay almost obsessive attention to any kind of detail in the transmitted message, frequently returning onto itself to verify accuracy. For this reason, this exercise concentrates on exactly the parts of the “message” that Im is being most careful to transmit accurately.
Five separate exercises are provided. If possible, do this simple exercise with a friend. All of the changes specified should be established during the exercise. No writing materials are allowed, of course. This is an Im exercise, not a handwriting test.
Follow the instructions completely and in every detail. Pay special attention to the sensation of your Im laboring under the load. This exercise will exaggerate this sensation for those paying close attention. Enjoy!
The formatory challenge is an opportunity to apply maximum effort to the parts of one’s brain system. The example of the old woman bringing her Oldsmobile to the mechanic is appropriate. Twice a week she drives her well maintained car six blocks to the bridge game, then back home.. Now it is running rough and she is concerned about its dependability. In fact, she feels that since she uses it so carefully, she deserves more loyalty from it.
The mechanic waits for the woman to leave, then gives the keys to the Oldsmobile to a particularly untrustworthy teenager who is usually in charge of cleaning up the garage.
His simple but knowing instruction is, “Drive the car around this afternoon and see if you can tell what is wrong with it. Be careful.”
Moments later the teen driver is going one hundred twenty miles an hour around Dead Man’s Curve. The Oldsmobile is running great. All of the slow speed, low mileage sludge is burned away and all the parts of the engine are functioning perfectly. Upon its return, the windows are washed and the interior vacuumed. The old woman gladly pays the $100 bill.
Formatory direction of our work in Reality Process follows the life of the Oldsmobile. We think that by being careful and not driving it too hard, it will serve us longer and more dependably. In fact, one of the most mischievous tricks of Im is its tendency to limit the grooming of impressions. When we consciously act to do the opposite, that is, when we really work the formatory, it reaches a robust, healthy condition.
Exercises One through Five:
Read the text out loud three times as it is written.
Read the instructions. Go through the text three times saying only the words you will intend to change.
Read the text again in its entirety.
Read the text making all the changes noted in the instructions.
Repeat step 4, but do not substitute any of the same changes into the text. Make all new changes according to the instructions, but different in each case..
Self-observe. Identify what mental process is causing the exercise to be difficult. Formulate a program to improve your Im’s performance. (Remember the Oldsmobile.)
Exercise One: Colonial Subjugation of a Rebellious Turkey
In 1907 the British Colonial Government of Turkey faced a growing insurrection by Moslems wishing to make the country into an Islamic State. Lord Barrington had patrolled the northern desert area of the colony with 3,000 English troopers, encountering stiff resistance. He was able to pacify only 4 villages with losses of almost 1,000 soldiers.
Meanwhile in the capitol, Ankara, rebel forces were able to send an estimated 20,000 rioters into the streets. The Colonial Government was able to regain control, but lost 1,500 dead or wounded. There were rumors that 1,000 Egyptian and Syrian regulars were among the rioters, dressed as citizens of Ankara. King Farouk of Egypt vehemently denied this when asked by the British Home Office
Replace the name of every country with another country with a higher latitude. Replace every other numerical figure with a higher figure, and starting with the first numerical figure, then, every other figure with a lower figure. Replace all proper names with names appropriate to the countries selected.
Exercise Two: Gardening in Havasupai Canyon
The Havasupai tribesmen living in the bottom of Grand Canyon were able to grow enough food to feed their tribe of 2,200. Their main subsistence was from maize grown in poor soils along the side of the Fina River. However, their most spectacular accomplishment were the fabulous gardens along the rich river bank by the Havasupai Falls.
They raised four separate gardens, each with between 40 and 60 rows of vegetables. The first garden had 12 rows of tomatoes with 33 plants in each row, except the westernmost, which had only 28. Next to the tomatoes were 6 rows of beans with 50 plants in each row and potatoes, 49 per row, interspersed with the beans. Next were 12 rows of corn with 18 plants in each row. Each corn plant was to have a fish planted with it for fertilizer, but the last 8 plants in each row were planted without fish, leaving the southernmost 96 corn plants somewhat weaker, yet still productive. The eastern most ten rows were dedicated to carrots and onions, containing in all 2,200 plants, of which 800 were carrots.
The second garden was for melons. It held 211 hills with 3 melon vines in each hill. 288 of the melon vines were honeydews, 114 were cantaloupe and 231 were watermelons. The eastern most 47 melon hills were irrigated directly by the Fina River.
The last two gardens were farrowed and irrigated, but grew only legumes to fix nitrogen into the soil. Each one had four different types of legumes arranged in 30 rows. The 3,190 plants alternated between the four types.
Replace all proper names. Replace directions and descriptive directions (eastern most). Increase all numbers of root vegetables, decrease all number of vine or stalk vegetables, increase the numbers of all soil (lying on the ground) vegetables and fruits. Change the name of all the growing produce.
Exercise Three: Building an Orbital Spaceship in the Backyard
LeRoy and Bubba are presently building a scale model of the Lagrange Libration Point 2 Station in the southwestern corner of the backyard. Most of the materials were given to them by Mr. Brown, Bubba’s neighbor.
Because the scale model will be 41 feet high and have a base dimension of 19 feet by 13 feet 6 inches, Mr. Brown gave them mostly 394 2X4’s 8 and 12 feet long. He gave then 23 sheets of 1/8” plywood for the southern and northern sides of the model and threw in 3,198 3/16” X 2” plywood screws in addition to the 284 6d (6 penny) nails.
Mr. Brown even gave the boys 5/8 cubic yard of concrete to use on the west side where the base must go.
Replace all proper names, all directional designations, all dimensions and counts of materials.
Exercise Four: Breakthroughs in British Naval Technology
Advancing naval technology in the period between 1775 and 1850 brought many changes to sailing ships in use by the great powers. Prior to 1775 European powers had about 2,500 ships in service. Most were quite small with 70 to 90 foot keels, two or three masts and 12 to 20 small bore cannon having a range of no more than 300 yards in good seas. The bore of the naval guns of the time was usually 4” but sometimes one or two larger cannon were fitted to the ship in the aft plate. These could have 5” bores.
When Great Britain began laying keels in the 100 to 200 foot range around 1775 to 1790, the six hundred of the ships produced could carry as much as 12,000 yards of sail on 4, and sometimes 6, masts. Even though these new ships displaced 80,000 tons in many cases compared to 12,00 or so tons of displacement on the older vessels, they could travel at speeds of 15 to 19 knots in 20 to 22 knot winds — as fast as several hundred of the over 4,000 Liberty ships used during World War II.
These larger ships, especially those with 150 foot length or better, could mount not between 12 and 20, but rather, between 60 and 80 canon with an active range of almost 500 yards. Further, the canon mounted to the smaller, older vessels with 12,000 ton displacement could really not exceed 4” bore. With the room and the weight of the new ships, naval canons could comfortably reach 7” or 8” bores. The throw weight of the old style canon ball was about 30 pounds, called inaccurately a 2 stone ball. Throw weights on the new ships could reach 8 stone with 2 stone or 28 pounds of explosive gun powder and either two or three impact fuses.
Change every date, number and proper name.
Exercise Five: Home Additions for Bill and Mabel
Bill and Mabel Smith have decided to have their neighbor Randy Smith design and build them a new home. Randy lives nine and a half miles southwest of the Bill and Mabel, and he is Bill’s father’s brother’s son. Bill and Mabel want to keep as much of the work as possible both in the neighborhood and in the family.
Randy called in Suzanne, his wife’s sister-in-law, to help design the house. Mabel wanted a 2,000 square foot patio, three 180 square foot bedrooms with two windows in each of the rooms on the north side and three windows in the room on the south side. She also wanted a nice big kitchen of at least 350 square feet with room for a 50 cubic foot refrigerator and a 30 cubic foot freezer. Bill wanted a living room of 400 square feet which would open to three steps down to his new den with two fireplaces and a jacuzzi. The den needed to have shelves built in for a library to hold 10,000 volumes. Bill and Mabel wanted flagstones — large ones of at least 8 square feet each in the living room — meaning over 50 of the stones would have to be set and grouted. They both agreed that the grouting should show 3/4” between the stones.
Construction started in August, right on time, but in September, Mabel decided that three windows in the bedroom facing the south side were too many and asked Suzanne to move one over to the north side so that, although the first bedroom on the north side would still have two windows, the second bedroom on the north side would now have three, while the south side bedroom would have only two. Bill decided that the patio should really be on the west side of the new house and that it should be 10% smaller than the original plan.
Randy’s brother-in-law, that is the husband of his sister and Bill’s cousin-in-law named Frank, and his sister’s other cousin, Gary, were hired to lay the stone work. The brother of Gary’s girlfriend’s father, Jerry, agreed to help.
Change the name of every room in the house, every number and dimension, every family relationship and every proper name.