What do you care what color you are?

by | Jun 12, 2006

Richard Feynman was married to a dancer from Las Vegas. They were very happy by all accounts. He was grousing one day about not getting the respect of his peers, and she asked, “What do you care what they think?”, or something to that effect. It’s actually the title of one of his books. [If you want to find What Do You Care What Other People Think? Further Adventures of a Curious Character, try this link; it’s faster than scrolling through all the titles until you get to W.]
I thought of Feynman in the wake of the spirited discussion in the Seattle Integral’s newsgroup over a diatribe against some of his critics that Ken Wilber posted to his blog. There appear to be two main points of view: (1) That Wilber cannily crafted the post to out the lurking Greenies in the Integral community, the test being whether or not one gets the “joke.” Errr, what if you get the joke but forget to laugh? (2) That Ken is revealing his Red underbelly.
Within the Red underbelly camp, there is a further division. One view, mine, by the way, is “So what else is new? And why shouldn’t he?” The second is that there are serious and sad implications of Ken having a Red underbelly. Kind of reminds me of the playground debate over innies and outies.
Honestly, who cares? What earthly good does color coding ourselves do except provide one more way to keep score? The integral developmental model as a whole opens up ways to see dynamic interactions in all four quadrants, but the labels we take out of it are worse than nonsense, in my not so humble opinion.
Whaddaya think?