The Monday Morning Memo for July 11th 2011
Once a year I allow myself to ramble a bit in the insane delusion that someone out there might actually want to know what’s happening in my life.
Deep in my heart I know the only people who really care about my private trivia are my wife and my mom. My wife, of course, lives with me so I’ll address the rest of today’s Memo to my mom.
You can eavesdrop if you like.
The tower is finally finished. Everyone who has seen it so far has been big-eyed and breathless. Classes are 10 times as much fun there as when they were in Tuscan Hall.
The only things left to be completed on the campus are the Chris and Dave Windmill Theater, Bilbo Baggins’ home in the hillside and some landscaping. We should have all this done in less than a year and then I’ll be stepping down as Chancellor to let someone with better organizational skills take the Academy to the next level.
Can you believe I’ve got to raise $40,000 to pay for another big bronze statue? It’s the final piece in the master design of the interlinked symbols on the campus. The Academy is, of course, completely without funds but that’s what always happens in the summer. I try not to worry.
Due to the Academy’s predictable lack of summertime revenue, Pennie and I have moved the construction crew to our private property next door to the campus to build a spectacular new Welcome Center right at the property line where our property borders the Academy’s property. Pennie has been saving up the money to do this so the Academy will be able to catch its breath financially for the next few months.
The location of the Welcome Center lets my staff greet the Academy’s visitors to the campus since the Academy doesn’t yet have the money to hire its own full-time people. When the Academy completes the final few construction projects I mentioned earlier, it should easily be able to afford to hire its own people. Till then, my staff will continue to work for the Academy for free as necessary.
Sean Taylor has decided that I should teach a 1-hour class each month by streaming video. People will send in their questions and I’ll answer the best questions for everyone present in the electronic classroom and maybe throw in a few valuable tips along the way. We’ve done this for a number of companies in recent months and it’s been hugely successful, so Sean wants to start a class for anyone who is willing to pay the tuition. The whole world is invited to sit in on the first class for free next Monday, July 18, to see if they want to enroll.
I’m sending the manuscript of Pendulum to the publisher this week. Like the tower, it turned out profoundly better than I had imagined. Here’s what the reader will find on the front page of the book when it hits the bookstores next spring:
“If you will see into the heart of a people, look closely at what they create. Examine the inventions to which they pay attention. Read their bestselling books.
Listen to their popular music.
This is how you will know them.”
– Roy H. Williams
Having made my 90-minute presentation on Society’s 40-Year Pendulum to 241 auditoriums full of people in the past 8 years, I began this book by trying to disprove my own 40-year hypothesis.
My friend Dr. Kary Mullis, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, said,
“Roy, there are few, true scientists left in the world. Too often, a scientist will develop a hypothesis and then look for supporting evidence. They identify with their hypothesis and they want it to be correct. This is bad science. When you have a hypothesis, your job is to try to disprove it. No one knows more about your hypothesis than you do. No one else is as qualified to discover its flaws. When you believe a thing to be true, your first responsibility is to do everything you can to disprove it.”
As I attacked my hypothesis to disprove it, I found 3 major loopholes:
1. I had chosen the examples in my presentation after I developed my theory.
2. My presentation was America-centric. I was using the Billboard charts to follow patterns in music and the New York Times bestseller list to follow patterns in literature.
3. All my examples came from the past 120 years. My original motive in this was that my audience needed to be familiar with the events. But if my 40-year hypothesis was true, it should be observable in any century.
With Kary’s voice ringing in my head, I decided to:
A. throw out all the familiar data in my 90-minute presentation.
B. begin a new investigation using completely new data whose patterns and connections I would have no way of knowing in advance.
C. gather this new data from persons who had never seen my presentation.
D. use the international hit-tracking website, TsorT, instead of Billboard.
E. use the Publishers Weekly list instead of the New York Times
F. examine every 40-year window for the past 3,000 years
G. use a single source, Wikipedia, for establishing the dates of events in question. (This eliminates the possibility of fudging historical dates to align with the 40-year cycles.)
This book is the result of that investigation.
It will, without question, absolutely blow your mind.
Well Mom, that’s about it. Pennie and I will be up to see a couple of plays with you soon. Jake and Rex and Brandi are still glowing from the 2 days they spent with you last month.