You are here

Paradigm-shifting through Transposition of Key


Paradigm-shifting through Transposition of Key
Challenge: sustaining community through dialogue
Designing a more appropriate language for sustainable community
Transforming in a transforming world
Imagining sustainable dialogue -- and the community it engenders
Psycho-social permaculture: identifying the five kingdoms
Alien communication: extraterrestrial and interstitial perception

[Parts: Next | Last | All] [Links: To-K | From-K | From-Kx | Refs ]

Re-reading as a method

The radical suggestion is that all conceptual patterns, from any discipline, can be profitably "re-read" as metaphors -- through which insights can be gained of relevance to other domains of knowledge. The body of knowledge, generated by the disciplines over the years, may therefore be systematically (re-)explored as a resource for implicit insights. In a sense the geological layers of knowledge laid down over the centuries, including "fossilized knowledge", may be mined. Much will be irrelevant, but there are seams of insight of great value. The challenge is to separate the two.

In many disciplines, work undertaken decades (or even years) in the past is no longer of any interest. This implies that work done today is in most cases a fairly rapidly wasting asset for society as a whole -- other than for historical purposes. The difficulty with this perspective is that it neglects the challenge of educating each generation anew, and the problem of cultures and sectors of society without the resources to deliver the latest insights in a form in which they can be absorbed. As with many technologies, obsolete presentations continue to be used and to have their place. This can be seen in the distribution of out-dated textbooks in developing countries and in their use of "out-dated" traditional technologies. Some impoverished countries are obliged to operate on a basis of continuing repair of equipment, rather than its progressive replacement.

The reality of society is that different generations of information and technology coexist, often quite fruitfully. Old technologies may be rediscovered as more appropriate than the new. Portions of new technologies may be recycled in strangely innovative ways -- as may be seen in the use of old automobile tires in certain cultures. There is therefore merit in considering conceptual patterns from the past as a non-wasting asset that may prove more appropriate under certain circumstances than the most recent. Whilst more sophisticated, the latter may be both less accessible and less robust in practice. (This argument is developed elsewhere)

[Parts: Next | Last | All] [Links: To-K | From-K | From-Kx | Refs ]