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Stronger Social Fabric

21 The First Thumoslang Morning

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The Second Morning

[1] The first 20 chapters of this online book, Thumoslang for Character Renovation, are about Norman Baker, Alec Mustafayev, and Nickantony Quach, the three members of Bongo One, a wealth-building friend group in Providence, Rhode Island. This chapter introduces the fourth person; Lyonel Fritsch.

[2] During the first week of August 2022, Lyonel Fritsch and Alec Mustafayev planned to start a podcast program over a two-day meeting. Nickantony Quach also took part in the meeting. This chapter captures the first day.

[3] After Lyonel and Alec agreed to play the roles of a “teacher” and a “student” in the program, Nick suggested that Lyonel should first become familiar with the reciprocation process. Lyonel agreed and read two pages in Chapter Six of the original Thumos textbook on “The Four Elements of Reciprocation.” They are rather four steps; the first is disclosure.

[4] “The first step is the only step done by the speaker,” explained Nick. “The listener does the other three steps. The listener has a bigger challenge than the speaker. If speakers spend most of their time on a monologue, they destroy the message in their disclosure. The listeners want to discern what the speaker discloses. You’re probably disclosing five different messages when you have a monologue lasting five minutes. As a result, you destroy the process of conveying the most important message.”

[5] Lyonel was so happy with the new knowledge that, in the end, he raised his OJ and said, “Here, cheers, Orange Juice!”

[6] “Did we get that on camera?” asked Lyonel.

[7] As we entered the third hour of our day, Lyonel began a monologue.

[8] “I’ve just realized I haven’t figured out my vision for the world yet,” said Lyonel. “That’s important because the whole point of living for something is to have a vision; what do you want to see done with your life? What do you want to see in the world after your death? How do you want to affect that? I agree with Nick’s grievances with the education system. I’ve been through 13 years of K-12 and two years in college, but I’ve yet to figure out my vision. I’m not visionless; I haven’t spent enough time on it. Everyone has a vision. If you exist, do stuff, and think, you have a vision. I still need to figure out what my vision is. Nick’s grievance about the education system–not just here in the US but also in other countries–is that the education system isn’t here to make you think and do stuff on your own accord. What the education system wants is to produce mindless workers. The education system does not want many free-thinking people to know what they want to do with their lives. That would destabilize the global power structure. It wants to have mindless workers working, not to fulfill the personal vision. They work to fulfill someone else’s vision. The fact that I’ve spent so much money so far going to two years of college and the fact for me just going to live on a salary job for the rest of my life if I didn’t think, I think that’s what’s wrong with the world. We should promote self-education, self-thinking, and self-improvement to better the world. It should not be full of mindless workers living paycheck to paycheck on labor that does not fulfill themselves. The better world should be full of mindful workers who have intention behind everything they do and produce on their own accord.”

[9] “That was more on the lecturing side and not a conversation with the audience,” Nick offered his feedback on Lyonel’s monologue.

[10] “That was me voicing out my thoughts. I was not thinking about anything in the background. That was just me putting my thoughts out there.”

[11] “Instead of expressing, you should communicate,” suggested Nick.

[12] “That was me trying to figure out my vision,” said Lyonel. “I was voicing my thoughts because I want to listen to myself. That was a conversation with myself.”

[13] “What is your vision?” asked Nick.

[14] “My vision is to have people in the world work independently,” said Lyonel. “They should fulfill their vision rather than being mindless, constrained by someone else’s vision.”

[15] “Could you give us a depiction of your vision such that when ten people close their eyes, they see the same image?” asked Nick. “Otherwise, we do not all share your vision. Let me give you an example. People on Mars. Whose vision is that?”

[16] “Musk,” said Lyonel.

[17] Around 30 minutes before noon, Nick explained the difference between teamwork and collaboration. The former is about the division of labor, whereas the latter is getting multiple minds to work as one. Nick believes it would take collaboration to figure out Lyonel’s vision. The following Thumoslang thumbnail definitions characterize teamwork.

  • Deliverable; that means, an acknowledgment of use.
  • Coordination; that means, minimal conflicts.
  • Teamwork; that means, team deliverables using coordinated resources.

[18] The following Thumoslang thumbnail definitions depict collaboration.

  • Intelligence; that means, maximizing options.
  • Intellect; that means, capacity for intelligence.
  • Collaboration; that means, a joint intellectual effort.

[19] “Before the meeting, I didn’t know what vision was,” said Lyonel. “I didn’t know how my vision would impact the podcast idea. I now know that my vision is a world full of mindful workers. I need to explain who a mindful worker is.”

[20] “What’s your vision in your novel, The Dog’s Day?” asked Nick as he looked at Alec. “Are you fighting to have more workers?”

[21] “It’s not directly relevant,” responded Alec. “Whether someone is a worker or not does not come into it directly. The story is about interacting with a social system, especially when you don’t realize that you’re interacting with the social system. When you are, it can make you act very differently, and you can’t control it if you’re unaware of the social system and how it affects you.”

[22] “Is your story about the interaction between the individual and the system?” asked Nick.

[23] “Yes,” answered Alec.

[24] “Even though I don’t understand everything, I have an image of a person against a large building,” said Nick to Lyonel.

[25] “The large building is there, but the individual does not know it,” Alec elaborated. “Most people are like that.”

[26] Lyonel attempted to advance his vision by explaining the differences between mindless and mindful workers.

[27] “You don’t want to have workers,” said Nick. “What you described is creators.”

[28] “Maybe mindful creators are a better term,” agreed Lyonel.

[29] “You see, this is messaging,” said Nick. “We have a messaging problem.”

[30] “Yes,” agreed Lyonel.

[31] “I don’t think we’re ready to do the podcast program,” said Nick. “You’re not ready to do a podcast. You have a vision, but you have a messaging problem.”

[32] Lyonel nodded in agreement.

[33] “You did not spend months, years to sharpen your message,” said Nick. “That is what you need to do first.”

[34] “Okay,” said Lyonel.

[35] “I feel frustrated at various points throughout today,” said Lyonel a little past noon. “It makes me realize how much further I have to go. I prepared to make the first podcast episode but realized I knew nothing. So, it’s very frustrating, but at the same time, I’m excited because this will change my perspective in creating this podcast and in every single thing I do. I think it’s worth sacrificing time and effort to ensure I can articulate my vision to my audience. That should increase the quality of the podcast and all I do.”

[36] “What are the three things you like and three things you dislike from our first three hours?” asked Nick.

[37] “The negatives first; I dislike feeling lost,” said Lyonel. “Today did not turn out what I imagined. Another thing I disliked was the tumbling in speech. I know what I want to say one minute, but it goes blank on me the next minute. Those are the only two negative things.”

[38] “Three things I liked; I need a little revelation subconsciously,” said Lyonel. “I feel like it’s rising to the surface; I need to spell out my vision. Another thing I liked was seeing Alec as an example. He has a clear vision. Alec, I’ll probably look up to you, especially regarding message and vision.”

[39] “Thank you,” said Alec. “I appreciate it. Your vision and mine are related.”

[40] “My vision has much to do with social structure,” said Lyonel.

[41] “I think people are mindless about it,” said Alec.

[42] “Yeah, exactly; people are mindless about the social structure,” laughed Lyonel. “My vision is more solution-based.”

[43] “Would you read out loud the manifesto Alec and I produced 48 hours ago?” requested Nick.

  • Manifesto; that means, values and beliefs.

[44] Lyonel obliged and read the following.

Many groups struggle to increase members. People fear a group may slow their dreams. They are looking for a runway, but few groups offer one.

A Rhode Island team is developing a way to help every group gain new members. It’s called Ri4New. Its mission is to give all groups the tools necessary to attract new members, form relationships, and reach their goals.

Ri4New — Making Dreams for Teams!

[45] “What you saw tells you the values and beliefs of our group,” explained Nick.

[46] “I have a question,” said Login. “What are the values?”

  • Value; that means, the level of usefulness.

[47] “What is one value in this manifesto?” asked Nick. “That’s your question, right?”

[48] “Yes,” agreed Lyonel.

[49] “Membership increase,” said Nick.

[50] “Why is that a value?” asked Lyonel.

[51] “That’s a level of usefulness people aim at,” explained Nick.

[52] “Is that different from personal values?” asked Lyonel.

[53] “That depends on where you want to focus people’s attention,” said Nick. “Ri4New serves the group mainly, not the individual.”

[54] “The value of Ri4New is serving groups,” said Lyonel.

[55] “Yes,” agreed Nick. “You need something like this for your podcast program.”

[56] “Yes,” affirmed Lyonel.

[57] “Go to the top of Ri4New, select the menu command Programs on the Primary Menu at the top of the website,” requested Nick halfway through the fourth hour of the first day. “You should see the link Bookshelf; select it. Do you see a list of booklets?”

[58] “Yes,” replied Lyonel.

[59] Nick asked Lyonel to read Chapter 34, An Original Spin on the Word ‘Life’.

[60] “The rest of Chapter 34 transcribes what’s in the two videos, which recorded us talking about life,” explained Nick. “You can scan through quickly without reading.”

[61] Before Lyonel finished looking through the remainder of Chapter 34, Nick raised his voice.

[62] “So, this chapter recounts me putting you through the Thumoslang training process, starting with the concept of life,” said Nick.

[63] “Sneaky,” realized Lyonel. Nick laughed.

[64] “You asked me days or weeks ago to spell out the Thumoslang training process,” confessed Nick. “Yeah, sneaky is the approach. Teaching others by telling them to learn from you will not work too well with Thumoslang.”

[65] “Yeah, I can see why,” agreed Lyonel.

[66] “Any questions about the process so far?” asked Nick.

[67] “So, the thing just come at me unexpectedly?” asked Lyonel, plunging his right arm straight ahead quickly, spreading all its fingers.

[68] “Yes,” smiled Nick.

[69] “Okay, I let my guard down,” laughed Lyonel.

[70] The following conversation took place after Nick subjected Lyonel to the Thumoslang lesson based on the material presented in Chapter 9, New Subject in School, of the book Life in 184 Words.


[71] “In terms of utility, what’s the difference between service and relation?” asked Lyonel after a long silence. “How do you use this knowledge?”

[72] “It’s not using; it’s observing,” said Nick as he struggled to answer the question.

[73] “When you observe, you know how to use it,” rescued Alec as he made a profound declaration. “Here is an example. Relations are better if you want people to do things for you when you have no money. On the other hand, services are better if you want people to do things they don’t do unless you pay them.”

[74] “Let me translate that,” said Nick as he admired Alec’s answer. “Oh, that’s very good; thank you, Alec.”

[75] “You’re welcome,” said Alec.

[76] “You need to know the differences to understand how human behaviors affect you directly,” elaborated Nick. “If you understand how others behave in a certain way around you, you can respond to their behavior appropriately. A service is transactional and thus not emotionally draining; it’s just a matter of payment. Service is cheap, emotionally or otherwise. A ‘relation’ is expensive; you cannot have it when you want. If you don’t recognize that it is a relation instead of a service, you don’t realize that you need to maintain it. The lesson does not tell you when you use one or the other; it shows you how to recognize either before you decide what to do with it.”

[77] “That’s what I was asking for,” smiled Lyonel.

[78] “You’re probably the first person ever asked that question,” said Alec.

[79] “Yeah, I’m just thinking; not for me specifically, but why would an average Joe want to learn Thumoslang,” said Lyonel.

[80] “Because you need to know if you’re having a relationship with your girlfriend, or you guys are just using one another,” emphasized Nick.

[81] “That’s another specific instance,” said Alec. “You probably don’t want to exchange services but maintain relations with your girlfriend.”

[82] “Yeah,” satisfied Lyonel as he gave a thumb up. “I feel that’s very important for many people, including myself.”


[83] “By the way, that’s only the first of 1,000 concepts in Thumoslang,” said Nick.

[84] “1,000?” laughed Lyonel.

[85] “Yes, sir,” said Nick.

[86] “That’s a lot,” said Lyonel.

[87] “It’s like English; there’s no end in sight,” explained Nick. “You could never become the best in English; you could always improve your English skills. It’s impossible to claim that you no longer need English improvement; Thumoslang is the same way because, as its suffix implies, it’s also a language. There’s no end to learning a language.”

[88] “Would you remind me; what’s the definition of a relationship you said earlier?” asked Lyonel.

[89] “Yes,” said Nick. “Relationship; that means, ongoing independent relations. If you had only one ongoing relation with Alec, you did not have a relationship with him.”

[90] “You and your friend go to school together,” said Nick after an extended discussion. “You believe you two have a relationship because of a second ongoing ‘relation’ in addition to the school ‘relation.’ Is the second ‘relation’ still going when the school ‘relation’ is suddenly over? If so, the second relation counts towards your relationship because it is independent of the school relation.”

[91] Lyonel nodded several times.

[92] “Based on Thumoslang thumbnail definitions, how many relationships do you have this week?” asked Nick.

[93] “Seven,” answered Lyonel after a long silence.

[94] “It was 20, but now seven,” calculated Nick.

[95] “That’s utility, isn’t it?” asked Nick.

[96] “Yeah,” chuckled Lyonel.

[97] “What do you think of Thumoslang now?” asked Nick.

[98] “I want to learn more,” said Lyonel. “But I’m hungry.”

[99] “Alec, we need you,” said Nick. “Talk to him about his for a few minutes about his first hour of Thumoslang before we do lunch.”

[100] “What did you think; how do you feel?” asked Alec.

[101] “I feel slightly enlightened,” said Lyonel. “I have a sense of social clarity.”

[102] “Is it like a system for social clarity?” asked Alec.

[103] “I value a lot more of my time with, the criticism from, and the support by those currently in a relationship with me,” concluded Lyonel after expressing internal dialogues.

[104] “More importantly, you know how to strengthen a relationship,” said Nick. “If you want to strengthen a relationship, add one more ongoing yet independent relation into the mix.”

[105] “Or more than that,” added Alec. “It depends on how much time you’re willing to put in.”

[106] “Yes,” nodded Lyonel.

[107] “Lunch,” everyone agreed.

[108] “Day one of Thumoslang,” said Lyonel after discussing with Nick the concept of success in Thumoslang. “1,000 more days remain; there’s no ending to it. It’s a challenge for me trying to understand the language. A big hurdle for me was when we were going back and forth about success. That was me arguing that my understanding of language comes from more of the background with overwhelming complexity and things being ultimately relative, thanks to human intuition. I believe people understand what you’re saying. Still, everyone’s intuition doesn’t always work effectively, especially if you want to deliver a concrete message.”

[109] “Day one of Thumoslang,” said Lyonel after discussing with Nick the concept of success in Thumoslang. “1,000 more days remain; there’s no ending to it. It’s a challenge for me trying to understand the language. A big hurdle for me was when we were going back and forth about success. That was me arguing that my understanding of language comes from more of the background with overwhelming complexity and things being ultimately relative, thanks to human intuition. I believe people understand what you’re saying. Still, everyone’s intuition doesn’t always work effectively, especially if you want to deliver a concrete message. That makes me think of a bunch of historical figures. The biggest one is Karl Marx. People interpret his stuff differently. Thumoslang is important with messaging.”

[110] “What surprised you the most?” asked Nick.

[111] “What surprised me most was seeing how I was just scraping the surface,” said Lyonel. “Thumoslang is relatively new; we still need to explore much of it. In hindsight, I understand that much stuff is unexpected. Still, I was not expecting many unexpected things to be as unexpected as they were.”

[112] “Oh,” Nick did not expect that. “Thank you for the feedback.”

[113] “Now I know what you mean when you say success or achievement,” said Lyonel after some discussion. “Thumoslang is not like a different dialect of English. When collaborating with those having a different understanding of English, having a common ground is essential to get things done.

[114] “Can I tell you something I noticed in the years since I started using Thumoslang?” asked Alec.

[115] “Go ahead,” said Lyonel.

[116] “People have argued about stuff with language in a specific field. Most people don’t know about it,” said Alec. “If you know all about chemistry, you know about a famous argument between two chemists about how to classify something. That sort of stuff happens all the time in various fields. There wasn’t that same thing with people debating what definitions are best on their own without a specific field. I feel like that’s what Thumoslang is.”

[117] “How should we promote it in a podcast?” asked Lyonel.

[118] “That’s why you need thumbnail definitions,” said Nick.

[119] “That’s what we’ve been trying to figure out for two years,” said Alec.

[120] “Try this; here is what I meant when I said success,” said Nick before he invoked the Thumoslang thumbnail definition. “Success; that means, peer recognition.”

[121] “Okay, so, in the podcast, when I’m speaking,” said Lyonel.

[122] “When you want to clarify a concept, use a Thumoslang thumbnail definition,” interrupted Nick.

[123] “Okay,” Lyonel felt satisfied.

[124] The day ended with Nick asking Lyonel to watch the video [What is Leadership? How to Exercise Leadership? | Thumoslang Vocabulary | S2E4](v=UqPpQcHxthU).

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