RE: virus: Re: Level 3 Minds

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Thu, 31 Oct 96 15:57:00 PST


This does help a lot. But I'm not sure it matches what
Richard has been telling us. It sounds as though Richard is
promoting level 3 thinking as something that will enable us to
do things we can't do without it, or at least can't do as well
without it (if I'm misreading you completely, Richard, please tell
me so), whereas your description makes it sound like a label
for one of the ways people think, in the same way that I might say
that someone is a particularly visual thinker. Looking at your
description of how Level 3 minds think, I suspect that I'm not
temperamentally inclined toward working that way, at least right
now: I'm not focused on a single goal to that extent. Which of
course doesn't mean that I never will be; people and conditions

From: owner-virus
To: virus
Subject: virus: Re: Level 3 Minds
Date: Thursday, October 31, 1996 3:41PM

On Thu, 31 Oct 96 09:42:00 PST Vicki Rosenzweig <>
>I didn't mean to say that Hakeeb had convinced me that there
>are distinct levels. When I said his analogy was promising, what
>I meant was that it might bring the idea into the realm of the
>testable: what can Level 3 minds do that Level 2 minds can't,
>if anything? What, if anything, can they do better?

I had decided to withdraw from this thread, but here I am back in it.
Vicki, your question is based on the assumption that level 2 minds and
level 3 minds are engaged in the same sorts of activities and that that
provides a ready scale for comparing their abilities. The critical
difference is that people who live significant portions of their lives in
level 3 have an central goal to which all of their activities are
subordinate. Once a person selects their goal and specifically
articulates it, they will then set about collecting the tools necessary
to see their goal to fruition. Many of the necessary tools are
conceptual tools. When a person's primary interest is in advancing their
progress toward some clearly defined goal, they begin to evaluate
concepts in a new way. Rather than worrying about whether the concepts
are true, they question how useful they are to the advancement of one's
goals. When you start evaluating concepts by how useful they are in the
advancement of your goals, you've moved into level 3.

There isn't anything that a level 3 mind can do that a level 2 mind can't
do; it's just that when a level 2 mind starts doing the things that
level 3 minds do, that level 2 mind begins to make the shift to level 3.

You say you aren't convinced that the levels exist. "Level 3" is a label
which refers to the mode of living I just described. There are people
who organize their lives around the advancement of a central purpose.
"Level 3" is a label which conveys information about those people and how
they live. There is no proving that level 3 exists or that it doesn't
exist. If I describe someone as a level 3 thinker, that description is
meant to convey information about how that person lives. Worrying about
whether level 3 "exists" is odd in the same way that it would be odd if I
described you as a creative person and you asked me for proof that
"creative" exists. I'm not claiming there is a thing called "creative."
Creative is a label that I use to describe you. It is a tool for
conveying information about how you think. It's not a thing; it's a
conceptual tool which facilitates my goal of conveying to you my
appreciation for your style of thinking.

I hope this helps.

Take care. -KMO