Intro to 19 Transactions


Here’s another opportunity for the hivemind to make its contribution.  This idea is either good and interesting and can yield some useful results, or it’s whatever the pattern recognition equivalent is to information sickness.  Which I’m actually convinced there is such a thing.  Like high blood pressure, but being so prone to pattern recognition that it takes place too much in inappropriate contexts.

The Number 19

The Number 19

That being said, the idea here is that you can boil down whatever’s *really* going on between two people to one of a small number of fundamental transactions..  I started thinking about this years ago when I read Walker Percy’s Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book.  What I liked was that it sorts out the varieties of human predicaments into a small and comprehensible set.  19 is arbitrary except it’s an appealingly prime number and intuitively seems in the right ballpark.

Considering that I’ve been working on this since at least November 1 2005 I might have made a little bit more progress, but maybe I was waiting for this, just the right moment.  I actually think this is most amenable to messing around with, collecting other people’s ideas and intuitions.

Here’s some preliminary ideas:
to encourage

to deflate

to humiliate

to cheat

to teach

to love

to pray for

to take advantage of

to defeat

to help

to negotiate with

to heal

to inspire

to sell to

to persuade

to defend

do feed

to manipulate

to threaten

to make an alliance with

to dominate

to discuss

to enjoy each other’s company

to conspire

to break rules

to co-create

to let an idea or influence transform someone else’s state

to get to the mutual end of our ropes

to jam, find a groove

to be teammates

to exalt

So, that’s more than 19.  Maybe there’s sub-categories, maybe some of these are the same transactions by different names.  My intuition is that at the end of this process there’s something worthwhile.  Anyone out there have two cents to put in?  Anyone? Bueller?

Thanks for your attention.

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