Albert Einstein is credited with advising that, "If you can't explain it to a six-year old, you really don't understand it yourself." The following short story, which I've entitled, "Entrepreneur Bob Could Use a Hand from FB," is my applied epistemology—a big word for theory of knowledge—on Burke's Four Master Tropes: Metaphor (Perspective), Metonymy (Reduction), Synecdoche (Representation), Irony (Dialectic) (Slator, 2015). Enjoy!
In #miStarlight this weekend is RP member, Entrepreneur Bob (pseudonym). I was motivated to Google "American Sahara Arabian Ranch" because Bob's profile read, "Owner/Operator at American Sahara Arabian Ranch." My Google search resulted in a commercial-type Facebook (FB) page at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). I opened the page to find it was an incomplete FB shell (Facebook.com, n.d.), compelling me to contact Bob and offer a hand [synecdoche]. However, Bob didn't remember ever setting up the FB page. He recalled that when he first started the ranch, he was very active in a number of Arabian horse organizations. But because he became so overwhelmed with callers trying to get breeding rights and sell him a bill of horse-related goods, the venture soon became a nuisance. He further clarified that if he did set up the FB page, he must've dropped it to prevent contending further with annoying callers.
What Bob really needed was an extra hand [synecdoche] in the form of a gatekeeper [metonymy]; that is, a protector to help control access to his time, availability, and information (Barzilai-Nahon, 2009). This is one of the many functions of Air Force Security Forces and Command Post Controllers; that is, to protect and control access to Department of Defense (DoD) physical resources, or even to protect access to a commander's time and availability.
The notion of a gatekeeper or gatekeeping is viewed from multiple perspectives. According to Chris Whipple, author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” it’s the most demanding, least understood job in Washington (Martindale, 2017). Used in field of psychology a gatekeeper is a healthcare profession whereas in the field of suicide prevention it refers to “individuals in a community who have face-to-face contact with large numbers of community members as part of their usual routine” (Burnett et al., 2015).
Entrepreneur Bob has since foregone the breeding and promoting of American Sahara Arabian horses, and is now just a horse rancher, especially since the market eventually fell out. Now he sits back and enjoys his horses and the serene environment around his ranch. On his personal FB page, he has posted an album of pictures of horses for our enjoyment. I wish that I'd been around to help Bob earlier because I would've screened those calls for Bob as well as advised him that FB is the new gatekeeper [irony] (Koene, 2016). As a matter of fact, when I explain the concept of RallyPoint to non-RP members, I usually refer to it as, "The FB of the DoD."
In this story, I applied Burke's Four Master Tropes; namely, metaphor represented by entrepreneurship to frame the story's perspective. Metonymy is represented by the term gatekeeping—or gatekeeper—as one who protects someone or something. In this case, the absence of a gatekeeper to protect Bob's time and availability from unscheduled callers. Synecdoche is represented by the extra hand that Bob could've used to help protect him from unwanted callers but not literal—a person. And irony is represented by the fact that FB is the new gatekeeper.
Bob never did make any money outright in the horse business; however, by developing his land into a ranch, he quadrupled the value of his holdings. The ranch also made the perfect retirement environment, making the overall outcome of his experience very positive.
Thank you, SP5 Robert Ruck for allow me to share your story. And to EVERYONE, please join COL Burroughs and me on the March on America March in Castle Rock, CO on May 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM. We could sure use a hand or two from all veterans, especially those with gatekeeping mindset about protecting Veterans Benefits. Risk Assessment to follow. Here is a link for the event on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/ [login to see] 09054/