Subject: Paradigm Shift examples
From: "Bill Howell. Hussar. Alberta. Canada" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:54:22 -0600
To: Catherine "Howell." "Founder." EightLoop Social & Yeity "website."

Ouch!  I started on this after your 23Jul2018 phone call, jotted down brain-farts, got buried in my physics project till 04Aug, jotted more paradigms, got into work for a week or so, and got back to paradigms today.   This email started to become a monster in spite of not having all ideas that popped to mind.   There are a huge number of great paradigm shifts and revolutionary thoughts.  However, I find these percolate to the surface only slowly as I try to remember, and only rarely do I remember those that struck me several decades ago.

The first problem is to define "paradigm shift", as I'm sure that Thomas Kuhn's definition has been [expanded, contorted] over the years (see my comment towards the end below, that I strangely avoid formal reading of Khun).   Perhaps a safe, conservative definition would be restricted to abrupt changes to the overwhelming, mainstream science beliefs (theories, concepts).  But that conflicts much broader popular usage today.  And to me, the paradigmatic problems in scientific thinking are no different than we see across [societies,history,subjects].  I prefer at this stage to include :
  • Fashionable catch-phrases - "paradigm shifts" is DEFINITELY one of these, even if Khun's original work was not, so be wary of putting too narrow (also, see Saran-wrap theories under "Sociology" section below)
  • Same old lamp, new label -  Funny how a little shining up turns ancient concepts into brand-new genius.  Reminds me of the fashion industry (which these are, only intellectually).
  • Trends, ideas, questions
  • Practices, theories, religions (which include theories!)
  • Some fun brain-farts, no matter how objectionable, as the provocative contrasts to convention can be very useful
  • multiple conflicting hypothesis (my own attempt to avoid belief traps)
Only a few of my examples below are conventional paradigm shifts.  Perhaps just as well, as it's hard to fit my thinking into what excites others, and the diversity of what's below may be more useful than a recant of conventional examples.  None of this is original - it is my expectation that "multiple, time-distended-or-simultaneous invention" is the norm across historical time-periods even for much modern thinking.  Nor is any of it [true,false,right,wrong] - I find that a self-imposed "multiple conflicting hypothesis" makes those criteria less relevant, if still present. 

Unrecognized paradigm shifts are as bad as unanticipated paradigm shifts - very hard to deal with.  And, by the way, if you cherish and follow popular paradigms, then you aren't a paradigmatic thinker, you're a follower.  Make your own paradigms.

Anyways, I had better stop here for now.  In any case, there is no way to make the lists or explanations complete within a "practically finite" amount of time.


Paradigm Shift  examples - [past,present,future]

Self-development, self-image
  • "Too much stability is poison for a person's soul, too much instability may kill them" -  Modern economic theory seeks stability, given its' huge [advantages, efficiencies, social stability].  But seemingly no-one (other than Ayn Rands group including Alan Greenspan, Former US Federal Reserve Chair), and population dynamics biologists, seems to [know of,point out] its' negative aspects.  I won't dwell on this issue, other than to say Western Civilisation may swing back from its' excessive search for stability, or perhaps that may yet another straw on the came's back for our civilisation.    At the individual level, I don't hear too much emphasis about "rising from the ashes", "40 years in the desert" type stuff, but that seems to be commonplace biography material for achievers.
  • Virtual reality [past,present,future] To me, the progress of real virtual reality can be traced from ancient [rites,festivals,story-telling] that were passed on verbally, to mass availability of books (first in libraries, then we could afford them individually), to radio (often a family listening activity, but not always), then to the HUGE transistions to multiple televisions, purchased movies and programs, and individual activity on the internet (plus more general modern entertainment). So what really has changed?   For sure, much higher quality [audio,visual,music,action,emotion,interactive,creative] communication through these media, huge diversity for many tastes and preferences.  And perhaps as important - much greater leisure time to put into it.

But is "virtual reality" about to go far beyond that (next point).

  • [Digital,robotic] cart [soul-mate,teacher,team-mate,coach,partner]
("cart" is the Cartesian array operator than each element from each array)
  • Chic awareness - minds filled and formed of [fashions, jargon, social membership] -  Perhaps this isn't a paradigm, but a constant reality, just as there are a very few individuals that aren't like that, at least for one or a few specific concepts. 
  • The one in ten thousand threshold, the one in a million, and [random,rare] subsampling versus emergence  -   Is there really much to fining the ultra-rare in a sea of chaff?   Experience seems to destroy statistics in this area, but maybe there is a reason that happens?

  • Family-less child rearing :  Charitable orphanages versus professional environments versus "toy parents" -   Any organisation of child-rearing other than family and single-parent mothers (only recently for the latter) tends to conjure up visions of horrible orphanages and aboriginal residential schools [abuse,culture destruction].   I suspect that this vision is mostly a lie interspersed with horrible but limited truths, and does GREAT injustice to [honest,humane,hard-working,dedicated] people who have put in great efforts (mostly organised by the now much-hated religions) to help the unfortunate.   All context is lost as well - the huge loss of live in past wars, great economic swings, and natural disasters that CANNOT be understood by modern minds. 

Many other [contexts,perspectives] on the issue are simply lost by modern monolithic thinking.   The modern family does not resemble families from just 150 years ago, when widespread public education was being instituted, rather than being exclusive to wealthy or [exceptional,priviledged] people.   At that time, children spent significant portions of the day away from parents, and homework extended their "absence" into the evening, rather than cooperating on the never-ending chores required pre-technology, mass markets (eg [clothes,food preparation, constant repairs, long work hours]).  Another change is that "adulthood" and possibly marriage, may have been attained by 13 to 15 years of age prior to the early to mid-1900's?  The progress of real virtual reality discussed, as in a point above, consumes more and more of children's time, and seems to be a major means of "babysitting" used by parents (if not THE major means?). While many parents put in huge after-work hours chapperoning their children to sorts and other activities, many if most do not.  The modern ban on child labor (do they really learn much more from idleness? - some for sure, but I wonder about all), and massive idle time means that parents are only marginally involved in childrens' days, especially as they get older.   What is the fraction of a day that children actively interact with their parents?  Can [small,intermittent] time slots be compensated by"quality", and if so how often is "quality" attained?  Children have substantially been raised outside of the family for many decades.  The push to working mothers has dramatically extended down to much young ages, and that trend seems to be continuing.  

My guess is that most social problems arise from the affected individuals themselves, but some arise from off-parenting and societal challenges such as sustance abuse, crime, and [jobless,responsibility-less] youth (apart from school,organised activities where children have a contributing role).   Modern, tight constraints on parenting also create obstacles, but perhaps glaring problems include sub-effective parenting, societal mis-direction, and a loss of purpose apart from the often difficult-to-sustain long-term educational objectives, which are a problem for many.

We've already come a long way towards parentless families.  Can profeesional [organisations, parents] not also provide a "bed-rock" of support [emotional, values, stability, love] and "family" if when properly run?  I think history has said yes for a long time, even though foster parents have perhaps been of greater importance.

  • Bachelor lives as the norm?  -  While the "family" focus above is child-centric, changes in the family have also called into question the whole idea of marriage.  Why be married for anything longer than the time to raise one or two children?  For some (25%?), lifelong marriage is the perhaps the best thing they have, for some (50%?) it goes from bearable to very good (but need a break sometimes), and the rest (25%?) never should get married in the first place.  Recognizing that, and [counselling, educating] people for it in early school might halp avoid a great many problems for individuals and society.  This paradigm has already progressed a long way, and there is less change from now to the point where marriages won't exist, than to look at how far the changes have already progressed.

Bachelor life does NOT imply a never-ending series of close relationships.  Friendships, rather than [boy,girl]-friends

  • "Children [raised,taught] to be [idle,non-responsible,uncommitted,hedonistic]"  -  Yeah, I know, the educational, politically-correct rhetoric says this just isn't the case, but they say a lot of things.   Does this really work?  Or are we simply relying on the idleness afforded by an ephemeral [science,technology,economic] headstart, that may rapidly evaporate soon as other Civilisations surpass us?  I don't know, and feel it could go either way, but if history (in particular Ibn Khaldun's history) repeats itself, then ...  On the other hand, creative breakthoughs have been a staple, so if you really believe others aren't creative ... (open your eyes and look at Bollywood, Thai, Chinese films before believing that).
  • "The future belongs to societies that can best breed humans" - Kind of a [contrast,twist,extension] of the "...   week shall inherit the Earth   ..." idea.  The most intruiging thing to me about this is the inability, even of farmers, to consider this inspite of its long history, not only in farming, but societies (including our own!!).  Will the pendulum swing back, and our current paradigm change?

Food, Environment

  • Aging :  "We may be the last generation to die" (presenter in early-mid 2000s) -  I did a survey on that, but never wrote up the results and comments.  Pity.  Very interesting potential impacts on [iIndividuals, economics, societies].   This theme may change dramatically, or not?  It seems to be a tough biological nut to crack.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) -  Here is a widespread paradigm shift meeting Luditism. 
  • Organic farming all over again? -  Here is the resurgence of an ancient paradigm re-surfacing in a modern context of complete ignorance of it's origina and implications. 
  • Robotic farming of territories, not acres -   Coming from the "Mining Automation Program" of the mid-1990s-early-2000s for underground hard rock mines, it seems to me that [seeding,spraying,combining] should be relatively easy to automate, such that few equipment would have an on-board human operator.   On the other hand, huge teams of [mechanics, machinist, welders, instrumentation, electrical, logistics] specialists would be required for [maintenance, programming, upgrades], perhaps as contract services to smaller farmers, or as parts of huge farming organisations.  
  • (Michael Healy, McGillU) -  epigenetic switches and childhood [mental,behavioural] dysfunction caused by home environment.   Early stage, how will this progress?  Getting back to parenting again.... ???  Are we all damaged?  Is damage caused by modern parenting theory?
  • Medical cleanliness -   Before the identification of microbes, Louis Pasteur's [1862 microbe infection idea (spontaneous generation), germ theory of disease (1877-1887) and pasteurisation (<1865?)],  and John Snow's map of the 1854 London cholera outbreak, Ignaz Semmelweis, starting >1846, instituted the practice of surgeons washing their hands before surgery, dramatically reducing the incidence of childbed fever, that killed mothers and babies at a high rate, particularly in hospitals (and in contrast to midwives, for which rates were lower?), which he attributed to "cadaverous particles".   At the end of his two-year assistanceship he was fired for his heretical practice.  (Brett Holverstott "Randell Mills and the search for hydrino energy" 2016, p3) .  
We are still improving hospital hygiene.   But this really raises the question of other health cahllenges - which are hindered by "what we know" today?   What about real causes for cancer, mental illness, etc, etc, and while work has been pursued frenetically in the areas of [genetics,epigentics], how is this hindered by current scientific religions?

  • Electric universe revolution
  • Hydrino energy (fractional quantum levels of electrons, Bill Lucas, ) - 
  • Fusion - SAFIRE project (affiliated with Electric Universe community),
  • [Wood, dung], coal, oil & gas, fission -  As new eras come in, there is always a bit of the old.
  • Solar, wind, peak oil  a little substance, a lot of [crap, deception, stupidity] -  Thesee are great where they make sense, stupid where they are just a fashion.  A lot of drive from the CO2 insanity of scientists.
  • "Control theory and materials are often the limiting conditions for a technology" -  The hidden stories of [Materials,instrumentation,controls]  are vastly important for modern society, but hidden "under the hood" from the view of most people and therefore grossly underappreciated and taken for granted.  I mostly focus on very advanced control theories (my peer reviews of scientific journal paper submissions), butmany [technology,

Management, Jobs, Markets
  • The minimum cognitive threshold to be economically competitiveand -  Minimum dexteritythreshold to be economically competitive -   The threshold has been changing since BEFORE the industrial revolution, butthe new stuff really raises this issue!!!
  • [privacy,perfomance,trade unions] versus advanced quantitative measures of [effort,performance] -  Will security be the sole domain of the highly unionised employees, how will global labor markets change how this works?
  • From from farmers' markets, to Sears catalogues, to Urban shopping malls, to online markets  -  
  • Workless lives for a large majority?
  • Removing humans from the process -  Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc etc are showing that things vastly improve in [quality,effiicency, cost] where technology is able to replace humans.  Humans don't disappear at all - they are still critical to success, but only with the right humans in the right context doing the right things.  Of course, this was the same lesson in the Industrial revolution, and energy is still very much a part of the change (10% of US electrical demand is for server fams & connections).  Obviously, this has always been a very sensitive issue, understandingly with a lot of disruption and backlash.  Nothing like the continuous pre-industrial wars, and the enormous [starvations,floods, pestulence,plagues,fires,etc] of agrarian societies, that dwarf what we see today.
  • Job ownership
  • Gods of our own creation (mathematician George Zimmerman) - 
  • Musical chairs and the gambling casino of careers -  
  • Modern workplace distractions -  How does management get some time from some employees some of the time? - 
  • Wall Street
    • Bulls can make money, bears can make money, but pigs always lose - 
    • A rising tide carries all ships - a warning not to let your fat head delude you, as it wasn't your genious
    • sheesh, I've forgotten treasures!!!! ...
  • The Bell Curve (Richard Hernstein and Charles Murry, ~1980?) and Societal Wealth distributions (Pareto and Benoit Mandelbrot) -  Big lessons here, heretical and definitely paradym shifts
  • "Tomorrow morning, robots will serve us breakfast in bed, and we'll be vacationing on the planet Mars" -  Transportation
  • "[Random,rare] subsampling of information flows"  -  Communications 
  • Project-based careers -  What if we mostly become contractors to human-resource outfits and globally diverse personal clients, rather than traditional consulting companies?

History, War, Politics
  • The collapse of Western Civilisation?  -  I bought Spengler's "Decline of Western civilisation"  but I have far too great a backlog of reading in history, and history is a tertiary priority for me (read : rare to find the time). 
  • "Government of the parasites, by the parasites, for the parasites" -   I think this has been an issue throughout history, but modern Western democracies may be particularly vulnerable to it.  It may not so much be a self-regulating problem, rather, the solution might often consist of prolonged stagnation, and perhaps long-term subjection by conquerers if it goes too far.  

But it is easiest for me to describe in terms of modern Western democracies, given the source and nature of the phrase.  No doubt early debates (perhaps as far back as ancient Athens, or the short-lived Dutch republic) identified this possibility before democracies really became entrenched.   In modern times the effect may be amplified.  Who really has anticipated the function and effects of democracies when large portions of the population are idle, and become a major influence over polities and law?   Democracies are supposed to represent multiple conflicting viewpoints, few if any of which will have a   Is it possible for a societal disease to become a proactive agent for progress and function (I think this is the case to some extent, but...)?  What does this mean in competitive landscapes, especially when all or most of the competition have similar issues?

  • "Our system of injustice protects the crooks and punishes the victims"
  • "Fools and cowards must be conquered - it is [unethical,immoral] not to do so" -  Not actually a quote of Ghengis Khan, as I suspect he didn't speak english.  
  • Some of my favourite themes by others -  
    • "Resting on one's oars : to survive, a civilisation must eventually reject the concepts that led to its success"  (Arnold J. Toynbee) - 
    • 3 or 4 generation lifespan of societies  (Ibn Khaldun, ~1400AD)
    • Decadal to Billion year cycles (Puetz etal -  As I state on my blog "...  this paper provides a breath-taking model for [astronomical, geological, genetic, climate, etc] cycles from 57 ky to 14 Gy - a vastly greater span than I've seen before. Furthermore, the concept seems likely to be extensible to much shorter times-scales. For example, authors do discuss sunspot cycles, and I'll take a wild guess that this will work at least down to semi-annual timescales, but likely to tiny fractions of seconds (ad-inifitesimal?).  ... and...   Human [history, markets, etc] effects are of interest to the authors.  ..."   Back to the old paradigm of the destiny ordained by Gods, albeit with room to manoeuver?  Also reminiscent of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" sci-fi series (I read the first book only, was excited, then bored & disappoint with start of second and dropped it).
  • "Butterflies in the clouds, and the Milancovich wandering of greener pastures and glaciers :  Towards a quasi-predictive model of civilisations" -  
  • "Capitalism can't be a political basis in modern democracies, and really wasn't what socialism replaced"
  • Moral hazard and [policies,politics,psychology,sociology] (insurance industry), "The path to hell is paved with good intentions" (??) - 
  • Saran-wrap plastic theories - 
  • "Guns, germs, and steel", "Collapse" (Jarod Diamond)
  • "Collapse of Complex Societies" (??) - 
  • [What,where,who] is the next great political system? -   Socialist thought dominates the modern world, with strong sectors of Islamic and other thinking.  What are the next systems?
  • Put your money on your vote (against monkey-vote democracy) -  Most people say one thing, but [do,spend] the opposite.  
  • The critical need for wealth and poverty -
  • Homogenization versus segregation : how does the pendulum swing? -  basis for emergence of new, large ethnicities?

Religion, Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Mathematics
  • The primary driver of social change is affordability -  Here's an obnoxious and evil deviation from consensus thinking, that has resulted in fascinating (if emotional) past discussions.   This specifically targets the conventions :  education, culture, religion!  Rather than elaborate, I'll let it stew, and I won't look for older explanations I've given (some rainy day...)
  • Culture is subservient to language, but not so religion?
  • Post-[rational,logical,scientific] thinking - We take [rational,logical,scientific] thinking as being "the true way", and the "target to strive for] if other people weren't so stupid.   It is great (and often provably optimal) for classical problems in [technical,engineering,scientific] areas, and will continue to be a part of more advanced thinking, but it is inadequate for even modestly complex systems, and ignores that other "thinking" processes are essential for [solving real problem, decision-making,beliefs,etc] even when it is applied.   Non-[rational,logical,scientific] thinking includes [random or biased search,pattern recognition, ....  ????.   It's odd to me that so many scientists are rabidly anti-religious, given that many (if not most) the great strides in thinking were often developed in religions (Western science itself can be seen as having formal origins in religious communities, and the oft-portrayed religious antagonism to science is oft-untrue. 
  • Statistics misunderstood by statisticians -   Statistics are a great and powerful tool, but it is far less [reliable,sure] than portrayed.   How many mathematicians really understand the fragility of the Gaussian distribution assumption, problems with causality, the key role of statistics in making lousy theories work, the non-uniqueness of [results,conclusions,concepts], just to name a very few of many. many issues?
  • Data-driven (experience too?) versus theoretical versus modelling
  • Post-intellectual positioning : new basis for stupidity  - 
  • "General relativity is a turkey, quantum mechanics is a fool's paradise"  to which I should add "Cosmology is the largest-scale group intellectual masturbation project in history" - 
  • Super-luminal speeds -  Given my point directly above, then what are the implications of this point!   Warp 9, Scottie, or something like that.
  • Ancient maps, Erastothenes, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Catholic Church, Columbus (and nobody ever thought the world was flat) -  Sometimes the big, famous paradigm shifts are clear frauds-in-perpetuity, and the "flat-earth" rhetoric largely fits this.  The huge criticism of the Catholic Church is also partially fraudulent on this issue.  It's probably a good example of the "Don Quiote" approach to idea-&-self promotion : "Create a monster based on dishonest misrepresentation of your foes (from whom you may have stole your ideas and solutions), slay it, and be the hero."  In the meantime you dishonestly vilify [good,productive,effective,well-intentioned] people and enigrate their legacy.  But this does seem to be standard social behavior, amplified by political correctness.
  • [Rapid,discontinuous] evolution of evolutionary theory
  • "Our objective is to destroy the central dogma of all biology : Genetics"  (John Mattick & colleagues, ~2002?)
  • "Plate tectonics theory is broken" and Batman agrees 
  • "All theories are wrong, but some are useful"  (American geologist in 50's? - probably others going back to the ancients)
    • "...  but the most successful theories, which have passed from [fashion -> cult -> religion], ultimately become our greatest impediments to progress, as they stifle thinking, and are fiercely defemncded by their scientist-disciples, who destroy the personal lives and careers of those who dare challenge the beliefs.Howell -    To me, there are huge commonalities between modern scientists and traditional religious fanatics.
  • Multiple conflicting hypothesis -  A practice, not a belief, but key to keep me from too easily becoming a [believer, disciple, blind to conflicting data & other concepts].  I've explained this at other times (I think), and won't elaborate on it here.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) versus Computiational Intelligence (CI)  -  As per the  script for one of my videos :
"...   The field of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, attempts to build intelligence systems on the basis of more familiar rule-based operations and symbolism.   I like to say that it tries to attain machine intelligence by mimicking human [rational, logical, and scientific] reasoning.   It's best successes were probably expert systems and case-based reasoning, but these proved to be unable to tackle tougher challenges.

[00:31]  Lesser know is Computational Intelligence, or CI, which arose at the same time as AI, but it is in relative obscurity to the public even to the present day.   Computational Intelligence concepts are mostly based on mimicking natural processes.   In additional to Nature's inspiration, I like to say that the more profound successes of Computational Intelligence arise because it goes beyond [rational, logical, and scientific] reasoning.    However, keep in mind that Computational Intelligence also uses classical mathematical algorithms, and often is used with Artificial Intelligence as well.   ..."
Nobody's getting this message from the current hype, nor its implications for Western philosophy.

Precedents & Beyond paradigms

Thomas Khun "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"
One cannot avoid constant reference to, and quotations from, Khun given my interst if the failures of scientific thinking.   And I've long been convinced that it is folly to NOT read the original work, and to only rely on the oft-rubbish interpretations of others.  In spite of that, for years I've intentionally avoided reading Khun.  The reason is that it is important for me to develop my own thinking as independently as possible.  At least two important outcomes are :
  1. I am not trapped within his context, which would tend to restrict my own thinking; and
  2. With past cases like this, I've found that I cannot truely understand and appreciate people's breakthroughs unless I flounder in the process myself.   This makes their work far more [impressive, fun, inspiring], but it does make me feel stupid.  That's OK, good rather than harm from that...

Malcolm Gladwell's "Tipping Point" 
Gladwell's books are interesting to me, initially because he created hype and fashion from ancient ideas with new terminology (how? and why are people so excited), and then as I read some interesting substance in his "Tiiping Point", that none who I talked to retained from his book.  There's a message there, and not just the normal politically-correct message.  It's like the phrase "paradigm"...

Lucio Russo "How science began in 300BC, and why it had to be reinvented"
Most ancient science was lost, and I assume the same for their paradigms!!!  Do we really have many new, significant paradigms, that one could have learned from the ancients?   Even in science on must be careful.  For example, Signmund Freud clearly credited some of his key ideas to the ancient Greeks.  Were these really ancients Greek ideas, or did they merely transcribe even more ancient sources?

Illustrative paradigmatic fiascos of modern science : "The bigger they are, the harder they fall"
  • Climate science - Anthropogenic CO2 as the primary driver of climate since 1850
  • Cosmology - the origins of the universe, Big Bang and other garbage
  • many, many, many more - but I'll stop here

What was the fraud : the science or our scientist-reactionaries?
  • The structure of liquid water (Soviet chemist Derjagin? and ??)
  • Red Shift & Halton Arp
  • Cold fusion (Pons and ?Fleishman?) - plus a myriad other ideas that conflict with quantum mechanics etc
  • Carcinogenicity & toxicity - measures and beliefs
  • and on, and on - does any area of science not have these?

Karl Popper -  falsifiable hypothesis. Lazy and out of time, I'll just quote :
"...   Popper’s early work attempts to solve the problem of demarcation and offer a clear criterion that distinguishes scientific theories from metaphysical or mythological claims. Popper’s falsificationist methodology holds that scientific theories are characterized by entailing predictions that future observations might reveal to be false. When theories are falsified by such observations, scientists can respond by revising the theory, or by rejecting the theory in favor of a rival or by maintaining the theory as is and changing an auxiliary hypothesis. In either case, however, this process must aim at the production of new, falsifiable predictions   ..."

Sir William of Occam -  "Occam's razor" or "Keep it simple, stupid" (KISS)

Tomas Aquino,

"A good question is worth a thousand good answers" -  although these can get you [unemployed,outcast,killed].