Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paradigm shift -the end days of May

Paradigm Shift by Skydancer
Was looking at my blog stats and noticing that ones where I deal with art or science seem to be the most popular. Mind you my readership is not huge on Sidetracked Charley. My followers on this blog are less than a third of my followers on Creative Journey. I can only assume that more people are interested in my poetry and art and opinions on such than they are on the follies in my life. And so it should be. I do not pretend to be a reality show.

But I digress. I was going to write about paradigm shift. One of my favorite scientific theories. Well, next to chaos theory. And I have become rather enamored of late with queuing theory, but those are other blogs for other days.

Paradigm shift (or revolutionary science) is the term used by Thomas Kuhn in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) to describe a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science. Since the 1960s, the term has also been used in numerous non-scientific contexts to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events, even though Kuhn himself restricted the use of the term to the hard sciences.

I first ran across paradigm shift (I do love saying it - sort of rolls around your mouth) when studying the theory of aerodynamics. About the time the SST, now a thing of the past) made its first flight it was written that by the theory of aerodynamics it should not be able to fly. But then that was also true I discovered about the bumble bee. Ergo the theory of aerodynamics is a flawed theory (most theories are in some way or they would be laws) and when it was refined to the point of being able to encompass the SST and the bumble bee it might allow all sorts of other possibilities for flight. That would be a paradigm shift in the theory of aerodynamics.

But as fond as I am of shifting laws of flight I find I see paradigm shift on a social platform more needed. But alas many elements of society seem to be holding so tight to their theories that they are squeezing the life out of . . . . well, life. But Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy held that some rats in the maze would die of starvation before admitting the cheese had been moved. But then paradigm shifts really are not sudden though they appear to be because of the Ah Ha moment. There is often a plethora (don't you love that word) of evidence the cheese has moved before we pause and say, "By jove, we are looking in the wrong spot!" or some such.

This last week was my Ah Ha moment over a paradigm I had been taught. Mother raised me to believe I was basically unlovable and quite strange. I grew up believing (as my brother still does) that I was the insane one in the family. I was selfish, egotistical, the dumbest of her children, and crazy. I worked hard most of my life proving her right by gathering evidence that supported her theory of Jacqui while ignoring evidence to the contrary. But the preponderance of contradictory evidence finally tipped the scale this May (well, I might say crazy could be close as I believed her for so long). 

I was always the ugly girl that my beautiful classmates took along to places (out of pity I assumed) so they could look more beautiful and empathetic. I overcame stuttering as an adolescent but still believe if I open my mouth in a group of strangers it is what I will hear. This list is almost endless so I won't bore you. Especially since I don't believe a lot of it any more. The scales have finally tipped.

The eve of becoming 66 seems a rather strange time to grow up. But I think I finally have. I have had a paradigm shift.


  1. Thank goodness you found that paradigm shift. Damn looking for that cheese....its always been there just hiding in plain sight. smiles.

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  3. Who knew! Here I have been thinking of you as this incredibly gifted, and amazingly capable woman. Guess I'll keep doing that.

  4. Parents of that era had an extraordinarily harsh way of rearing their children.

    This is a great blog - writing is just one of your many talents and I only wish that she was here to see you now. 'Proud' would be the word she'd more than likely use.

    When I was 13, I had what my father saw as a mediocre end of year school report. Looking at it now, it wasn't half as bad as he'd made it out to be. I told him I had done my best and his response was 'well you best obviously wasn't good enough'. Years later I reminded him of what he had said to me. Response: "I would never ever have said that to you! Paradigm shift??


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