aabotPhoto by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Abortion & Roe V Wade Sensemaking needs tools — Why not CAFFEINATED? — The Wrap -Edition #21 , Volume 2

Lead Editor: Rob Tyrie with contributions from Sean Moffitt, @Geeta Dhir and other members of the Grey Swan Guild News Team and Cygnus Sprint Adventurers|Join us for a Live Clubhouse Event & Discussion Sunday 11am EST, 8am PST, 3pm GMT — https://bit.ly/gsgsnewswrap71roevwade

his is a dark week in the world with War in Ukraine, a Mass Shooting at a Pride Event in Norway, the Stock Market drained of value, Crypto Crashes, and the Recession looming as interest rates and inflation rates rise to pinch off economic growth. If we think it’s bad in Canada, where inflation is flirting with rates at 8% looking back, there is double-digit inflation in Europe and in Turkey, we saw peaks listed above 70%. In China, the world's second-largest economy, inflation is at 2% and the supply chain is the cold war of our time as the “boogey man” which is blamed for all evils while profit taking by large interests is swept under the rug. People are unsettled and hand-fulls of Monkey Pox outbreaks that keep spreading without explanation or clear understanding of how an endemic African disease are slipping into other countries that had long eliminated it as a risk. Even the New York Department of Health and the CDC had to lean in to give sex advice in times of Monkey Pox.

And then on Friday afternoon, the same week Gun Laws were changed for the good and for the worse, the US changed the fabric of its Constitution, taking away the right of women to have abortions. Roe vs Wade was struck down as unconstitutional because the framers did not mention the word abortion in the original document and subsequent amendments. In some States in the Union, abortions will become illegal. In others, freedom of choice and health will rest with women. The nation is in shock again. Nobody thought it would happen, but after a 50-year campaign, it finally did. A right that a couple of generations of Americans have grown up with has been removed across a nation in opposition to most of the world. Madness? Furor? Calculation? Control? No one clearly knows the impact yet or what is coming next.

15% of American voters is 36,000,000 people — That is a lot of voters who vote

hy do things like this happen? It’s an example of unknowability. It is a massive confluence of events and realities that evolved and emerged. It was not a linear change, it was a set of things that were chaotic, complex, complicated and in some parts entirely clear all at once. It was predicted at the beginning of the Trump Reign, it was spoken about by each of the supreme court members in the last 5 years. It was talked about when the GOP blocked the democrat’s candidates using technicalities and Obama’s two terms which couldn’t fix it or the technicalities. Its devolution was really discussed as a realistic possibility when Ruth Bader Ginsberg died. It was an inevitability and now it’s done. Roe vs Wade has become a historical part of America and now we will talk about the US pre- and post- Roe V Wade. At least it will be taught in schools again.

“It is essential to woman’s equality with man that she be the decisionmaker, that her choice be controlling,” Ginsburg told Senators during her four days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee. “If you impose restraints that impede her choice, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex.”

Reuters — Caitlin Ouchs

No one can tell you what to do, nor how to act right now and it is not clear what this will transform the US into as a more conservative Supreme Court moves to get out of the lives of its citizens.

Here is what is NOT possible:

  1. No takebacks. The decision can’t be reversed
  2. No getting along. A bipartisan approach is unlikely to create new federal policy
  3. No re-balancing. Changing the Supreme Court without massive agreements by both parties
  4. No build back better. Thinking of the US two-party system as a nation-building institution is hard to conceive now.

When things of this magnitude happen, fools rush in and try to come up with simplistic blaming campaigns and simplistic unworkable solutions. They hunt the guilty and add more reasons to distrust institutions of government. The media and its manipulators will spend a lot of time on “Why?” this happened. We don't think this is fruitful unless the “Why’s” lead to an understanding of how to change things. This situation is current, the law of the land changed on a Friday afternoon, the dumping bucket where news goes to hide from angry populations.

The big questions should include:

  1. What are you going to do if you disagree with the abortion laws in your state?
  2. Who are you going to ask to change abortion policies?
  3. What institutions are working for you? And if they are not, how can they be changed? What new ones need forming?
  4. What is the right policy to be included in federal policy?
  5. What is the meaning of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness”?

In the Guild this week, we published some thinking on how to deal with massive change. In the military, the idea of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity)

UCA is short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity (although chaotic has also been used), and ambiguity with the objective of mitigating their effects and identifying risks of the knowns and the unknowns. The military initially glommed onto the term to describe an environment, situation or condition, that was difficult to wrap your head around and used it to poke at variables in such efforts as wargaming and field tests. It stuck — corporations, academics and governments soon followed.

Beyond its now 35 year shelf life, there was a sentiment shared in our internal discussions that VUCA was a very solid word, justifiable in its popularity, but the challenge was given — could we come up with an evolution to the word that better represents our world of today and tomorrow:

  • something that was more expansive, recognizing the new value, gaps, drivers, multiple practices and realities of 2022+
  • something that was more balanced & positive, that the future doesn’t carry with it so much stress and gloom
  • something that was more active than passive (and not to be used as a crutch) that recognizes the future just doesn’t get done to us but we can take agency of this future
  • something that was more flexible in how we think and act with less tension and more freedom to deal with acceptable levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity vs. trying to wrestle them to the ground and reduce them to zero

The think-tanking came up with the expansion to consider new ways of dealing with new, novel situations. As things change, or there is massive destabilization in the fabric of society this frame can be used in a couple of obvious ways — as a calculator and a sorter.

  1. Calculator — Use the CAFFEINATED areas to score the graveness of the phenomena. Give a higher score if the issues, whether it be women’s rights & equality, pandemic & health security, or war & the right to nationhood impacting us broadly? The more the issue (or disaster) can be described with straight questions — like Is this Ambiguous? Why? or How Erattic are the forces that caused this? Why? — give a higher score. The larger and more untractable the disaster is the higher a score will be ascribed.
  2. Sorter — in massive emergent problems that have never been seen before and have a planetary impact, there is no one way to assess what happened other than to measure, deconstruct or look at things will other lenses or perspectives. CAFFEINATED is a toolset to analyze a world issue and consider the why, how, where, what, when, and who of each of these areas, to think about the problem in different ways.

Can you think of ways the right to abortion can be considered in the frame? It’s not so simple, but that shouldn't surprise anyone. The technique is to spread the thinking into a series of messages and narratives in patterns to create the questions that can develop a worldview of risks, uncertainty, change and the possibility of change.

  • C- Complexity
  • A- Ambiguity
  • F- Fast
  • F- Fragmented
  • E- Eraticness
  • I- Interconnected
  • N-Needs
  • A- Anxiety
  • T- Technology
  • E- Exponentiality
  • D- Disruption

Before jumping into this frame — it is probably a good idea to dip back into complexity theory and its related maths otherwise, you will likely find yourself descending it ad hominem and straw person arguments that just end in bad feelings. Sensemaking is about setting up potentials and systems of understanding to develop interesting scenarios that might lead to improving the human condition under threat. There are no instantaneous solutions or right answers in sensemaking.

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

Count Leo Tolstoy

The news cycle is emerging rapidly and it is unclear how things will settle, but in the tradition of The Wrap, we look at the lenses of the Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Ambiguous. Following the Lens, we use the Tapestry to see what the pulse of the world is reflecting.

Let’s shed a tear, and let’s wrap.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

The Good

“The history of the abortion debate tells us that a backlash to the end of Roe may galvanize abortion-rights supporters to a greater extent than antiabortion voters would be fired up by their victory in the Supreme Court. After all, after the pro-choice movement won in Roe, complacency, not passion, took hold. And there are signs that abortion opponents may try to overplay their hand” The Boston Globe

Photo by Edrece Stansberry on Unsplash

The Bad

“Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, derailing one’s education, career, and life plans, and making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner. This decision will also lead to miscarriages being subject to suspicion, investigation, and arrest, and patients and doctors being thrown in jail” The ACLU

The Ugly

“I’m in a state of mourning and also very angry, and I want to turn that feeling into something where I can contribute to the solution,” said Mary McNamara, a San Francisco attorney who was heading out to protest in the northern California city. “We have to go to the streets and raise our voices, even in blue states where our rights are protected. This is one of the most consequential decisions of the past 50 years … and we’re entering into a very dark era.” Mary MacNamara, Attourney, San Francisco The Guardian

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

The Ambiguous

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who heads the Pontifical Academy for Life, said the court’s decision was a “powerful invitation to reflect” on the issue at a time when Western society “is losing passion for life”.

“By choosing life, our responsibility for the future of humanity is at stake,” Paglia said. The Roman Catholic church teaches that abortion is murder because life begins at the moment of conception and ends with natural death — Reuters

Photo by Berber Bazaar on Unsplash

The Tapestry

The Dissenters — SCOTUS — Brey, Sotomayor, Kagen

Today, the Court discards that balance. It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs. An abor­ tion restriction, the majority holds, is permissible whenever rational, the lowest level of scrutiny known to the law. And because, as the Court has often stated, protecting fetal life is rational, States will feel free to enact all manner of re­ strictions. The Mississippi law at issue here bars abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. Under the majority’s rul­ ing, though, another State’s law could do so after ten weeks, or five or three or one — or, again, from the moment of ferti­ lization. States have already passed such laws, in anticipa­ tion of today’s ruling. More will follow. Read the complete dissent here.

Charts for the Week


The Map is now changed — The US is no Longer Green

Population Growth in The US

Balance in the Nation

Mental Health and Abortion

As noted at the beginning of this report, the empirical literature on the association between abortion and mental health has been asked to address four primary questions: (1) Does abortion cause harm to women’s mental health? (2) How prevalent are mental health problems among women in the United States who have had an abortion? (3) What is the relative risk of mental health problems associated with abortion compared to its alternatives (other courses of action that might be taken by a pregnant woman in similar circumstances)? and (4) What predicts individual variation in women’s psychological experiences following abortion? As discussed above, the first question is not scientifically testable from an ethical or practical perspective. The second and third questions obscure the important point that abortion is not a unitary event, but encompasses a diversity of experiences.

Video of the Week

Lysistratans Unite!

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign

Signs in June across America after the Announcement

Lexicon — Mifepristone & Misoprostol, Medication Abortions

A medication abortion is performed using a two-drug regimen consisting of mifepristone and misoprostol, access to which is tightly restricted by the Food and Drug Administration. When it was approved in 2000, mifepristone was regulated under what’s called a “risk evaluation and mitigation strategy,” or R.E.M.S., which is typically reserved for drugs associated with a serious risk of adverse events. Though mifepristone is safer than Tylenol, the FDA requires it be dispensed only in clinics, medical offices and hospitals; only to patients who have signed an FDA-approved patient agreement; and only by, or under the supervision of, a provider certified to prescribe the drug — Daily Beast

Politically Cartoonish


Last Word — Margaret Atwood

“In the fictional theocracy of Gilead, women had very few rights, as in 17th-century New England. The Bible was cherry-picked, with the cherries being interpreted literally. Based on the reproductive arrangements in Genesis — specifically, those of the family of Jacob — the wives of high-ranking patriarchs could have female slaves, or “handmaids,” and those wives could tell their husbands to have children by the handmaids and then claim the children as theirs.” Margaret Atwood, May 2022, The Atlantic

The Discussion, Debate and Bring your protest signs:

Join us on Clubhouse this Sunday the 26th, June, 2022 at 8am PST | 11am EST | 3pm GMT| 5pm SAST to make sense of it all, have your say and engage with your favourite Grey Swan Guild Wrap Editors: Doyle Buehler, Sylvia Gallusser, Sean Moffitt, Agustín Borrazás, Rob Tyrie, Ben Thurman, Antonia Nicols Esmee Wilcox, Louise Mowbray, Geeta Dhir, Gina Clifford, Su McVey with Clubhouse Captains Howard Fields, Scott Phares and Lindsay Fraser.


What’s Next:

Guild Town Hall — Vancouver Town Hall — Feature Guild City of the Month — Wednesday, June 29th, 12pm PT — https://bit.ly/gsgvancouver

This Thursday, June 30th 1pm ET a craft-building discussion on #34 Emerging Technology & Convergence

Two Fridays from now July 8th a craft-building discussion on #35 Economics, Choices, Incentives, Values and Costs — Click Here for the Linked In Live


Next week’s wrap edition Vol 2: Edition 22, July 1, 2022 is on — Summer.

Join our LinkedIn page. https://www.linkedin.com/company/grey-swan-guild/ — just eclipsed 2,500 Linkedin Members to add to our 4,500 member count overall.



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