Thursday, 17 January 2008

Throwing overboard relentlessly whatever is remotely connected with what is not agreed now.

Single individuals, as well as all the structures built and maintained by individuals, have a tendency, for various reasons, to hold on to old practices and ignore the new. Such a tendency, to whatever degree is adhered to, suppresses progress and hinders natural development based on notions that what have worked well in the past, it works in the present and it will work in the future. Its influence becomes overriding and suppresses new ideas.

Usually development reaches a plateau, as the premises for their rise in the first place, presented as the initial conditions, confine and determine the extent to which they can develop or even the kinds of development possible. These initial conditions which can be taken as the foundations of the system(s) built, do not offer any room for further development. Any further development is impossible. Further development is only possible by acting on the very foundations that the system(s) are built. Shaking at the very foundations of the built system(s).

An example of such process is provided by the rise in France of the Bourbaki movement in the 1930s among young mathematicians, presented in this article from PlanetMath website.

The system comprising the state of mathematics in France at that period pushed young mathematicians toward a complete overhaul on the way mathematics were taught as they felt that older mathematicians were holding on to old practices and ignoring the new.

As it is stated:

"Bourbaki felt that the old mathematical divisions were no longer valid comparing them to ancient zoological divisions. The ancient zoologist would classify animals based on some basic superficial similarities such as “all these animals live in the ocean”. Eventually they realized that more complexity was required to classify these animals. Past mathematicians had apparently made similar mistakes : “the order in which we (Bourbaki) arranged our subjects was decided according to a logical and rational scheme. If that does not agree with what was done previously, well, it means that what was done previously has to be thrown overboard.”"

The notion, of throwing overboard what was done previously, if that does not agree with what is agreed in the present, no matter how widespread and deep-rooted it might appear to be. That goes along at every scale, even at the level of a single individual in its efforts to acquire meaning accomplished by the eclectic use of language and the subsequent application of that meaning to deal with everyday life phenomena.

"Someone should stick to language, as far as the words, the symbols used, serve their purpose, in achieving meaning, and then words should be discarded, thrown away."

Amending old and tried practices, ideas that held true in the past, instead of tampering with the initial conditions, the foundations, it will only alter superficially a given system, as the limits have already been reached. As what is required is to advance to the next stage, a higher state in the system's development where new, innovative ideas will find room to flourish and proliferate.

The prerogative of acting on the initial conditions is professed by the chaotic systems development. The sensitive dependence on a system's initial conditions, where tiny perturbations have drastic effects in the final outcome of a state. A force that is unstoppable and able to carry forward whatever changes have touched and are about the initial conditions of any given system.

Any attempts to stifle such drive, goes against the premises of natural development, futile attempts of a system in its dying throes to perpetuate its existence, destined to fail as it stands against a much larger force.

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