I rarely ever see lateral thinking get much better than this …
I have been observing this case study for five years. Click to start reading my book The Lateral Thinker …
It is imperative in science to doubt; it is absolutely necessary, for progress in science, to have uncertainty as a fundamental part of your inner nature.
To make progress in understanding, we must remain modest and allow that we do not know. Nothing is certain or proved beyond all doubt. You investigate for curiosity, because it is unknown, not because you know the answer. And as you develop more information in the sciences, it is not that you are finding out the truth, but that you are finding out that this or that is more or less likely.
That is, if we investigate further, we find that the statements of science are not of what is true and what is not true, but statements of what is known to different degrees of certainty.
Every one of the concepts of science is on a scale graduated somewhere between, but at neither end of, absolute falsity or absolute truth.
Sometimes elitism is misunderstood. Like other human strategies such as punishment and reward there are both appropriate and inappropriate contexts for understanding the value of these behaviours.
“It is said that there are no sudden changes in nature, and the common view has it that when we speak of a growth or a destruction, we always imagine a gradual growth or disappearance. Yet we have seen cases in which the alteration of existence involves not only a transition from one proportion to another, but also a transition, by a sudden leap, into a?…?qualitatively different thing; an interruption of a gradual process, differing qualitatively from the preceding, the former state”.
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work—and learning from their mistakes—the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
It’s a wicked problem that’s a hundred times bigger than the problem of global warming and many orders of magnitude greater than the problems of health, water or population. It’s also the greatest opportunity on earth!