#049 DFQ – Greco-Roman Logic

  • What if you had a virus in your brain?
  • What if it was a cognitive virus, a kind of cognitive AIDS?
  • What would it do to you? How would it affect your thinking?
  • How did you get infected with the virus?
  • What could you do to cure it?

Every technology has its hackers – those enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the intimate details of the system, cracking the codes and stretching and testing the capabilities of systems. There have been radio hackers and computer hackers and you’ve no doubt read about the security hackers who have ripped-off customers and banks for millions of dollars.

We’ve seen nuclear hackers who have designed DIY nuclear weapons for science projects and we have cyberspace hackers who roam the networks for fun and profit. No doubt it won’t be long before we read of genetic hackers who amuse themselves by playing around in our gene pool.

Hackers, driven by strong curiosity, often just start off by seeking amusement and showing off their skill but sometimes their antics lead to chaos, fraud and even … disaster!

In recent years, some computer hackers started out manipulating their systems for fun by designing viruses that replicate themselves into other systems. Few hackers, however, are competent enough or even willing to fully comprehend the ongoing consequences of their antics.

Many of their viruses took off out of control and by now have infected millions of personal computers. These viruses are real! They cause real down time, real loss of capital, real damage to equipment, real destruction of databases and, sometimes, real loss of life.

Shawn Henry, assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, told a conference in New York, in January 2009, that computer attacks pose the biggest risk “from a national security perspective, other than a weapon of mass destruction or a bomb in one of our major cities. Other than a nuclear device or some other type of destructive weapon, the threat to our infrastructure, the threat to our intelligence, the threat to our computer network is the most critical threat we face,” he added.

US experts talk of “cybergeddon,” in which an advanced economy — where almost everything of importance is linked to or even controlled by computers — is sabotaged by hackers.

Michael Balboni, deputy secretary for public safety in New York state, described “a huge threat out there” against everything from banking institutions to municipal water systems and dams.

Daily cybertransactions that can be infected by computer viruses include:

  • Wall Street decisions involving the transfer of capital in the billions
  • credit-card transactions between millions of traders and their customers
  • airline reservations affecting thousands of travellers
  • maintenance and command decisions involving hundreds of US missiles and others.

The mind boggles at the havoc that can be caused if these viruses spread unchecked. Yet, there is a virus, a brain virus, which already exists in the brains of many humans from preachers to presidents, that makes these computer viruses look wimps by comparison.

This brain virus–or meme–is real.

It’s seductive and it’s very powerful.

It’s also highly destructive. Just last century alone more than 26 million humans were killed in the world wars, revolutionary wars, conflicts, pogroms, persecutions, genocides and racial cleansings. It can be argued that many or most of these events were initiated by people infected with PTV and motivated to apply their ‘Truth’ to others.

In the brain of a president or a terrorist it could unleash a missile that starts the unthinkable nuclear madness that threatens the very existence of humanity. In the brain of a CEO it can threaten the survival of the business.

And, in YOUR brain???

This brain virus is the Plato Truth Virus (PTV) and chances are almost certain that you, dear brainuser, are already infected.

In Part One of this training you will come to understand the virus and how it affects your life and in Part Two you will find out exactly what you can do to contain it.

Ideaviruses, Memes and Memeplexes

In my  book The X10 Memeplex: Multiply Your Business By Ten! (Prentice-Hall, 2000) I look closely at the concept of ‘information brain viruses’ like PTV.

The other scientific name for these idea viruses is ‘memes’ as coined by Oxford biologist, Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene. (This book is now in its 30th Anniversary edition and is a MUST READ for any educated person).

Plato the TruthFreak
When it comes to ‘thinking’, Plato was the ultimate hacker. At that time, playing around with thinking systems was as much the rage amongst an elite group of men in Greece, as playing around with software systems is the rage amongst the hackers of today. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the most famous ‘thinking hackers’ of their day. These hackers of 2500 years ago designed fundamental thinking technologies, systems and viruses that have dominated Western thinking right up to the 20th century, and who knows for how much longer?

Today’s hackers have handles like AcidFreak and CyberSam. Plato’s handle would well have been TruthFreak since it was he who invented his ‘truth’ concept – the strange and unlikely notion that there is such a thing as ‘absolute truth’.

Yet this bizarre suggestion has so side-tracked Western philosophers that even today many great minds in Western colleges and universities have still not escaped from Plato’s ‘truth’ idea and their thinking remains infected with this dangerous virus.

It would be a difficult (but worthwhile) project to calculate the cost to humanity and the staggering destruction caused by PTV – Plato’s ‘truth’ virus. It’s unlikely that Plato had any idea of the extreme consequences of his invention any more than some of today’s hackers will have of theirs. He was just hacking around with thinking.


SOT is one of the world’s most socially inclusive schools. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. These School of Thinking (SOT) lessons are exported worldwide, from Australia, to members in 46 countries every day.

DFQ #049:

– What city and country are you in now, and what is your career or occupation?

– Most often, SOT membership has spread by word-of-mouth. How did you hear about this free training program?

– Is SOT the kind of thing you would tell others about?

595 thoughts on “#049 DFQ – Greco-Roman Logic

  1. I am in Barcelona, I am a multidisciplinary designer and my speciality is emotional communication and color trends :-)))

    I found this free training program looking for on internet when I was searching information about Mr. Edward de Bono for a new project about new creative ways to find innovation.

    Of course, I am explaining daily to my friends and my clients about the great knowledge you can get thanks to the training of SOT.

  2. I live in toorak Australia
    I am in retail and work in toorak village at moss river which is a botique Manchester shop.
    My husband and I used to have holiday parks.
    My partner introduced me to sot (my husband passed passed away with bowel cancer).
    Yes I have told others and think it’s great !

  3. I live in Melbourne Australia
    My occupation is service advisor for Volkswagen
    Iam very pleased with the training and have indeed told others
    It was recommended to me by a course trainer who him self was inspirational

  4. I am a freelance IT trainer and consultant living in Pune, India.

    Found out about SOT while searching for the term “critical thinking”.

    I will definitely be sharing this with others

  5. – Tehran the capital city of Iran. I am a freelance trainer of critical thinking
    – I was searching some websites for benchmarking of my own website that I found SOT
    _ Yes it is. I have recommended and will recommend SOT to all my friends and students who are enthusiasm about thinking.

    Thank Michael very much indeed

  6. – Sofia, Bulgaria, I’am business service delivery specialist in a telecommunication company;
    – I heard about SOT from my friend and soulmate;
    – Yes, SOT is a kind of thing that I’d tell others about!

  7. I live in Melbourne, Australia. I earn money as a bookkeeper but my main job is that of a mother of five children. I have informed and encouraged many others to join, or just to have a look at the SOT. I found out about the SOT because i read an article about the 7 hats of thinking (used in the school system in Australia) and that lead me here, ya.

  8. Education agent work between Europe and China.

    Hangzhou China
    Dublin Ireland.

    Heard of SOT through reading and researching Edward De Bono’s work.

    Telling others . Yes when I have completed course.

  9. Wollongong, Australia – occupation Steelworker. I heard about this training after reading a Edward Debono book. I do tell other about the SOT.

  10. In Sydney, working in IT. I have a background in learning & AI. I saw a program on the ABC about the chap who invented speed-thinking, did some research, saw the connections in WIki to De Bono (who I’ve read extensively) & this course.
    This is *exactly* what I was looking for in terms of practical training. De Bono books open the mind. Putting them into practice through sharing the ideas with others & using them in industry is very fulfilling; but learning more is the root of my interest.
    I like to expand my horizons, & believe that thinking, creativity & applied wisdom (as opposed knowledge) are increasingly lacking in Western society. I intend to help reverse the trend.

  11. Live in Winter Garden, FL USA A friend from Israel introduced me to SOT when on a recent viisit.

  12. I’m in São Paulo, Brazil. I’m a Lawyer and work for the Government. I heard of SOT from a friend who lives in New Hampshire, USA. I would tell others about it. I have already.

  13. Live south of Denver, Colorado, USA

    Work in marketing …

    Introduced to SOT by Ed Dale, a marketer from Australia – about 5 years ago when he discussed the brilliant book by Michael called WOMBAT Selling.

  14. Melbourne, Australia, Administrator.
    Found SOT when looking for Edward de Bono teachings about CoRT program.
    It depends on the disposition of the person interested in the subject.

  15. Brisbane, Australia, Semi-Retired Trainer/Coach/Speaker.
    Found it somewhere in my searching on the internet.
    I have mentioned it to a small number of people.
    Wisely they are probably watching to see how or if my thinking improves.

  16. I live in Chennai, INDIA.

    I am into Education sector- Assistant Manager in a E-Learning company. I ‘m also a consulting Psychologist.

    I got to know about SOT through a friend of mine.

    Yes, Certainly I would recommend SOT to my friends.

  17. I am currently living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia for a short period of time – my usual place of residence is the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

    I am currently doing some web design for a Safety organisation as well as studying.

    I heard about this training through Flying Solo I think, some years ago. I started the course but never got around to getting through the whole thing. I revisited an old email address and saw the emails from SOT and decided that reprogramming my necktop computer was probably going to be a really good idea!

    I have already spoken to people about SOT, including my Psychologist.

  18. Wellington, New Zealand


    Follow up to reading Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

    Already mentioned it to people.

  19. I am in Bangalore(Bengaluru), India and am into outsourcing and consulting. I heard about this training program when I was browsing the web on Edward De Bono, thinking etc. And yes, its definitely something that I would tell others – I have already mentioned about this to some.

  20. РPyhra = near St. P̦lten = near Vienna = IN Austria, Europe
    – i am a trainer/consultant for thinking, creativity

    – i found SOT in some blog recently, after a websearch for something i have forgot. I guess i was looking for literature from Edward de Bono
    It was very interesting to find about you – Michael – and about SOT and everything…

    – definitely, i already told others

  21. Oxford, England, secondary school educator – have mentioned it to a few people.
    Found the site when looking up Edward de Bono on the web.

  22. – Austin USA. Food service.

    – By chance. Can’t remember exactly what happened. I was googling something about ‘thinking’ and found this website.

    – Yes. I’ve shown some of the SOT lessons to my brothers. It still depends on the situation…

  23. What city and country are you in now?
    Miami Beach, FL. USA

    What is your career or occupation?
    Marketing & sales. Salesperson of luxury eyewear.

    – Most often, SOT membership has spread by word-of-mouth. How did you hear about this free training program?
    I have been reading Edward de Bono Books and google school of thinking/creativity and similar issues.

    Is SOT the kind of thing you would tell others about?
    Yes, but only if they have some interest or at least have initiatives. In this lattitudes, people are fat, flat and in the best case they are conventional.

  24. Knoxville – Tennessee – USA


    Searching the internet for ideas in self improvement and opening the mind.

    Yes for sure. I would tell others about SOT.

  25. I am in Samaru Kataf, a small town in the south of Kaduna State, Nigeria. I work in civil society sector, NGOs.

    I learned about SOT when I read WOMBAT Selling which a friend from New Zealand shared with me to help me master selling skills.

    Definitely yes.

  26. Roseville Ca USA


    Do not remember — have been taking SOT courses for many years

    Yes–have told others

  27. 1. Melbourne – Australia

    2. IT Business Systems Solutions and Service provision

    3. Through a work initiated SOT programme

    4. Constantly

  28. Uzhhorod, Transcarpathia, Ukraine
    I am an English language instructor at the university

    I first found out about M. Hewitt-Gleeson in the article online. But for my interest in the effective thinking concept which I found in Ed. de Bono’s book “Why So Stupid?”, I would not have come across the name of M. Hewitt-Gleeson and then his school. The knowledge of English is helpful. Otherwise, I would not be able to be enrolled in the course. Strange may it sound, but you will find a lot information in Russian, sometimes Ukrainian about dr de Bono, and nothing about dr Hewitt-Gleeson and the school. I was looking for the possibility to be involved in studying in such a school. And here it happened. The information about the school is worth spreading, but not many people are ready to perceive it…In case I see interested people, surely, I share this information with them.

  29. Townsville, Australia.

    Management, Reece Plumbing.

    Invited to do X10 through my employer

    Yes defiantly tell others about SOT.

  30. I am in Studio City, CA, a San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles, CA. I have retired from teaching and administration and am currently a published author (A Bow of Promise–A Journey from Grief to Gratitude and Ian’s Christmas Tree. I continue to write.
    I learned of the School of Thinking from Alex Noble in 1983 and became a Licensed Instructor that year and taught many classes and groups.
    I’m currently sharing SOT and CVS2BVS to friends. I will continue WOM when it is appropriate. The world needs THINKERS.

  31. Wassaic, Dutchess County, New York State, about 80 miles directly north of New York City. I was a teacher and school administrator — mostly a teacher — and now am semi retired. I am also, and have been for the last 40 years, a student, teacher, and practitioner of bhakti (devotional) yoga and committed to the path of self realization.
    When I was teaching fulltime, an acquaintance from Australia introduced me to the work of Dr. Edward DeBono. I then began to develop a thinking skills curriculum for my students. I’ve continued my interest in this after I stopped fulltime teaching and in the course of researching lateral thinking skills happily stumbled upon the SOT.
    Already have!

  32. I am currently living in Melbourne Australia, and am employed as a Lead Warehouse Administrator.

    I learnt about the School Of Thinking while I was completing my Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation course at Swinburne University, where you constantly learn different tools or ways to challenge the current ways of thinking to look for new opportunities.

    I tell lots of people about this as there are a lot of people stuck in their ways and are struggling to move forward in their business and personnel lives.

  33. Currently am living in lilongwe city in Malawi.

    I learnt about school of thinking, when I was in South Africa at the college, searching for Edward de bono books on the Internet.

    for now I just improve myself.

  34. I live in Melbourne Victoria Australia and perform IT related functions 🙂

    I learnt of the SOT from an initiative from the business I work for

    I have told others of the SOT!

  35. Melbourne – Australia
    Work in IT
    I first did this thinking training in 2002 and could no believe how it opened my mind and back now for some refreshers, I stumbled across it online and have told other people about it since.

  36. I live in Sydney, Australia. I am a wholesale manager.

    I learned of SOT through the company I work for.

    I tell other people about SOT

  37. I am currently in Melbourne Australia and my current career is in the automotive industry.
    I heard about this program from my father who completed the lessons many years ago and decided it would be a good tool to pass on to me.
    I definitely tell others about SOT, as a matter of fact others sometimes get frustrated at my passion for SOT!

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