Monday, October 21, 2013

Behind the Sphere

We’ve had a lot of posts recently related to current political events, and that could give a reader the wrong idea about the purpose of this blog. So today we’re stepping back and doing a little review—and maybe a bit of behind-the-scenes reveal.
What Is the Spherical Model
The Spherical Model concept is an alternative to the right/left way of defining things political, with the faulty assumption that middle is better than extreme at either end. At the Spherical Model we talk about a three-dimensional view, with freedom and tyranny being polar opposites. Above the equator (and preferably above the 45th parallel) is the freedom zone. It’s our goal to identify the principles that lead upward, toward freedom and away from tyranny. The best example we have of following the principles is the US Constitution, with very limited powers granted to government, strictly for the purposes of protecting life, liberty, and property.
Political Sphere
The left/right direction—the longitudinal lines—on the sphere aren’t part of the good/bad dichotomy; they simply identify the level (local-ness) of the interest, whether very local, starting with individuals and families, on up to community, city, state, nation, and, at the far extreme, global. However, it is a principle of freedom that the most local entity possible should handle any particular issue.
Down in the southern hemisphere, one quarter (the local southwestern quadrant) is the tyranny of chaos or anarchy; the southeaster quarter is statist tyranny. Both are tyranny. But most of the world’s history has involved the oscillation between these two quarters without much awareness that there’s a whole northern freedom hemisphere up above.
Using the spherical idea, we can add in economics, with the polar opposites of free enterprise and controlled economy. This overlays the political sphere, so it becomes obvious that principles that lead to freedom are likely to lead to the prosperity of free enterprise as well.
While we’re at it, we can add an overlay of social ideas on the sphere, using the polar opposites of civilization and savagery. I believe it is this sphere that lays the groundwork for the others. People who self-govern can enjoy freedom and prosperity. So living the principles of civilization are likely to lead to economic and political freedom.
These are the ideas we talk about on this blog. Almost anything fits somewhere in the ideas of freedom, economics, and civilization, so you’re somewhat subject to what interests me.
A few months ago, when we reached the 400th blog post, I put together a best-of series. If you want to better understand the Spherical Model idea, start first with the website,, about 50 pages worth on the model, and the principles related to each of the three overlying spheres. Then you can read the posts that give further evidence of the ideas, separated mainly into the three spheres:
·         Best of Spherical Model, Part I (Spherical Model basics plus Political Sphere)
·         Best of Spherical Model, Part II (Economic Sphere)
·         Best of Spherical Model, Part III (Civilization Sphere)
In addition, there are some collections you might find interesting. The collections mainly fit under the category of civilization, but can interrelate with politics and economics as well.
·         Defense of Marriage Collection (July 1, 2013)
·         Education Collection (July 24, 2013) 

Who Is Behind Spherical Model
I refer to the Spherical Model as the smallest think tank ever. It’s mainly just me, plus those I talk things over with—which happen to include my three adult children, whose interests align neatly with the three spheres, so I refer to my children in the blog as oldest son Political Sphere, second son Economic Sphere, and daughter Social Sphere. All three are married and pursuing lives we can be proud of.
Political Sphere is currently a second year law student here in Texas. He and Mrs. Political Sphere have two children—Little PS1 and Little PS2, my brilliant and adorable grandchildren. Political Sphere probably has the most influence on the blog, because he calls regularly to talk through ideas and current events with me. He has guest posted a few times, and when he’s not studying 24/7, I hope he’ll post more often.
Economic Sphere graduated with a degree in economics, and has since been in the US Army. He graduated earlier this month from the Defense Language Institute (which I wrote about), and has a few more months of specialized training before being stationed overseas for his assignment. He and Mrs. Economic Sphere lived with us during much of the first year of this blog, so I got a lot of direct economic lessons then. It helps to have him draw charts for me in person.
Social Sphere is working on a degree in a field that uses many of her talents, where she’s developing entrepreneurial ideas that are likely to benefit families in particular. She is both an idea generator and a person who makes others feel good—so she has influenced this blog more directly than can be evident to anyone but me.
I refer to myself as Spherical Model. (My actual name shows up on the website, where I own the copyright, if you’re interested enough to search that out.) Sometimes I say “we here at the Spherical Model,” but that’s mainly just me. There’s not much in the “about me” section of the blog. You can pick up details here and there by reading the blog. But today I’m finally offering a brief bio of me.
That's me, out on the Golden Gate Bridge
during our recent trip to CA
for Economic Sphere's DLI graduation
I graduated with a degree in English, specializing in writing and editing. I spent my early career years as a writer and editor, mainly in the field of education, but partly in computer documentation—way back when we used Wordperfect 2.0. (I go back far enough to have learned WordStar, in case you’re a word processor historian.) One of those jobs was at a language translation company, where I did Spanish and Portuguese quality assurance—and also Arabic, although all I needed to test there was whether the words showed up in Arabic script or got left in English. Among the education jobs were college level teacher development and support, and high-low curriculum writing (that means for higher grades, for middle school and high school, with low reading ability). I wrote textbooks and workbooks on government and biology.
I spent a lot of years, starting before the birth of Economic Sphere, as a stay-at-home mom. The most intense decade of that was 2000-2010, when we homeschooled, an adventure not to be missed. The Spherical Model idea came out of a homeschool effort to explain political ideas to my children—back in 2004. So my kids were the first to be taught the Spherical Model.
Mr. Spherical Model and I have been married for nearly 32 years. We both graduated from Brigham Young University. That does, in our case, mean that we are Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Both of us come from families that go back to early pioneer days. My mother used to tell me, “Don’t go off to BYU and marry some Californian who will take you away,” so I guess it was inevitable that I would do just that. After he graduated (which was well after my graduation, because he had served as a missionary, etc.), we left for graduate school in Indiana, then went to northern California for an internship and follow-up jobs, and then moved to Washington State for a decade before ending up in Texas.
San Jacinto Monument
where Texas won independence
He currently works in the oil industry, but his field is adult education and leadership training, so he has been in many industries, from telephony to nuclear power, and now oil-related energy. We came to Texas for his work about 15 years ago. While I don’t enjoy humid heat and bugs, there’s a lot about freedom in Texas that I love. If you homeschool, you can teach Texas history by going to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed; then going to the Alamo, where Travis, Crockett, and Bowie died along with everyone else, taking a stand for freedom; and then the San Jacinto Monument, where the Texians defeated Presidente Santa Ana and his armies. As people say here, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as quick as I could.”
I’ve pretty much always fit writing into my life (and often editing) in an un-famous sort of way. I have other interests as well: music, art, crafts, health, cooking, sports, and probably other things that would make for a pleasant grandma-blog, if I didn’t feel compelled to continue what I’m writing here. I’m active in a local tea party, which comes up occasionally in this blog. Recently I put my name on the ballot (for next spring’s primary) to be a local precinct chair. I’ve been a district and state delegate a few times. And I frequently write to my representatives. I’ve worked the polls and have served as a poll watcher several times. In other words, while I don’t consider myself a political activist (which holds a lot of negative connotations to me), I do try to get involved to do good where I can.
When I started writing on Defense of Marriage issues, back around 2003, I was talking with Richard Wilkins, who had come to speak to us. I’m a good note taker, and I believe I can take a number of ideas and arrange them in understandable language, so I asked him about writing, even though I had no credentials. He said it was valuable to have the viewpoint of a mother, and I should never be apologetic for that. So I’m acting on faith that what I have to say can be valuable to readers. I hope it is.
I love the Constitution. I love this country and pray for its preservation. And I love civilization. I wish the whole world would choose to live in the way that leads to freedom, prosperity, and thriving civilization.
This is probably all you really need to know about me, as the person behind the Spherical Model.

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