The Melting PotWritten by Tom Horn
THE MELTING POT Society has been called a ‘melting pot’. This, I think, is an accurate description. But what is a melting pot? I imagine a pot full of some solid substance that has undergone a transformation into a liquid state. In latter condition, large and small bubbles are appearing unpredictably at surface. They inflate and then pop. The initial behavior of solid is governed by interaction of its adjacent parts occurring under scientific laws of predictability. However, behavior in melted state becomes holistically governed. That is to say interaction between adjacent parts of liquid is overlaid by a mysterious ‘global’ influence. If you perturb one point in bubbling surface, an effect is magically produced in some unconnected place. Society and human body are both a bit like this. But society isn’t exactly melting. It is just that society gets driven beyond a given threshold and begins to function in a way that is holistically governed. It passes from a state that is understandable into a state in which a principle of surprise begins to operate. This principle shows itself in impromptu emergence of living trends. These are ‘bubbles’ that inflate and burst on surface of melting pot. They arise with no cause that we can trace and burst in a negative surprise that we cannot foresee. Since you and I are members of society, we are constrained to participate in these living trends on a daily basis. And driving force that trips society over threshold into this particular type of holistic influence is IMPERFECT KNOWLEDGE. Let me give an example of how this imperfect knowledge has maybe affected you. When you were young you probably went in search of your ‘true love’. If you were a boy, I dare say you spotted ‘her’ across a crowded dance floor and knew instantly that she was girl for you. Plainly, at that moment of first meeting, you had imperfect knowledge of this girl and she of you. This lack of true knowledge tripped you both over a threshold, making you available to living trend of infatuation. If you fell under spell of infatuation a living trend will have propelled you along a definite course. At first feelings of attraction would have intensified. Maybe you got married during this period. Then there would have been a sort of plateau phase of indecipherable length. We call it a 'honey moon period’. This could have extended for some years. Then surprising crash would have occurred in your relationship as feelings of animosity began to intensify quickly. Maybe these negative feelings drove you into divorce court. Whichever way, pattern of living trend will have been fulfilled. Only truthful communication at all stages between you and your dear wife, together with some massive compromises, could have prevented trend from manifesting its full ‘intent’. Now, if you had possessed ‘power’ at outset, you would have been lucky enough to meet someone whose thought processes were compatible with your own. In this case, at your first meeting, there would have been insufficient ‘imperfect knowledge’ to place you both in path of a living trend. Since most youngsters have been robbed of their ‘power’, often by well-meaning people, they tend to be in wrong places at wrong time meeting wrong people. In this situation ‘arranged marriage’ would seem to be a sensible alternative. This is where relatives select suitable partners on basis of temperament and class. When this is done astutely and tactfully, with a full explanation given of reasons behind selection (lack of ‘power’ and to avoid living trends), a lasting relationship becomes more probable.
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.