The Folly of Problem SolvingWritten by Tom Horn
THE FOLLY OF PROBLEM SOLVING Hello, my name is Tom. In this short article I want to convince you that a strategy for getting nice surprises is more realistic than a strategy leading to a predictable outcome. We are already familiar with strategies of predictability and have called them science, technology and logic. These have been used to solve our problems. Each of us has to solve problems of providing ourselves with food, clothing, shelter, warmth, health and friendship. And then there are wider problems of balancing economy, environmental degradation, disposal of waste, helping poor, fighting diseases and keeping peace. There is no shortage of problems in this world. Small wonder then that we are trained from an early age in skills of problem solving. But even if we could solve all our problems, would we then be living in a world we would have chosen had there been no problems to begin with. The answer, surprisingly, is no. So what is wrong with problem solving using strategies of predictability? Well, firstly, have you noticed how problem solver does not wind up in an ideal world of his own choosing. Far from it because his solutions to problems often become new problems. For example: We need food, so we get a meal and our continued existence contributes to overpopulation of earth. We need shelter, so we buy a house and then have problem of maintenance and mortgage repayments. We need to travel, so we buy a car and wind up living in a vast car park with exhaust fumes choking us to death. We need to communicate, so we invent Internet and now terrorists can learn to make bombs, crooks can steal money without leaving home and children can access pornography. I invite you to spot your own solutions, which are now new problems.
The Hidden LawWritten by Tom Horn
THE HIDDEN LAW When you were at school your teachers, unknowingly, did you a disservice by only revealing half truth about world. The consequences of imperfect knowledge are truly devastating, as you will learn. Welcome to a different type of lesson. An orthodox school curriculum assumes that world is explainable. To be understandable, world has to be comprised of chains of causes and effects. You know kind of thing: this causes that, that causes other, other causes something else and something else causes final outcome. If we have infinitely accurate information about each stage in chain we can predict an outcome – and this outcome is really a jumping off point for further stages in chain. Tracing chains of causes and effects increases our sense of security and makes world appear predictable and understandable. Foreseeable chains of causes and effects are not only way things happen in this world. There are also LIVING TRENDS. Living trends differ from chains of causes and effects in that they are inherently surprising – that is to say, they have outcomes that can only be experienced as surprises. It is very difficult to become an expert on such will-o-the-wisp phenomena. Therefore, knowledge of living trends is not on school curriculum. In fact there tends to be no interest in them or even an emotional denial that they exist at all. But they do exist and we are all in grip of them. So what is a living trend? It is a pattern of development that spontaneously emerges, apparently without a cause, from natural world. There is a rapid inflationary phase, a plateau phase of unpredictable length and a sudden surprising reversal of trend. Participating in a living trend gives a feeling of being in a comfortable routine leading to a secure outcome. However, all time you are heading for an unpleasant surprise. Let’s have an example. Consider investors in stock market. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, confidence appears. This is reflected in rising prices. There is a rapid inflationary phase wherein stock prices rise to unrealistic levels. Then acceleration of confidence tails off and remains at a given high level, as plateau phase is entered. An unpredictable moment arrives when all confidence drains away, prices plunge and there is a big shakeout of market. The thing that makes people available to living trends is ‘IMPERFECT KNOWLEDGE’. All of investors have only a partial understanding of economic realities behind share prices. Their individual notions of what is true increase sum total of chaos and disorganization within overall scenario and it is out of principle of chaos that living trends make their impromptu emergence. We are told that ‘the Truth will set us free’. What is meant is that Truth will set us free from participation in living trends. This is why successful market speculators and entrepreneurs often come from ranks of those who performed rather badly at school. They know they don’t know anything and that insight makes them more likely to intuit truth of beguiling living trends in market.