Thinking Outside The Box - Conformity to Abstraction and Beyond
By Steven Palmer / filmsforaction.org
Jun 4, 2013

Outside of the Science Community we often think of science as a close confirmation of reality. And while science is reliable and not to be ignored, more often than not it falls far short of offering a conclusive definition of the natural world. 

Our scientific hubris and obedience to the role science in explaining the world around us leaves us susceptible to misinterpretation of reality, resulting in loss of creativity, opportunity and health. This misunderstanding impacts our world and our lives in a profound way. 

Science is indispensable and wonderful, the only problem is the mainstream view of science as a 'pure' definer of reality. Science is fine, it's our understanding of it that is not. Our confusion stems from the social institutions science is built on - Math, Time and Language. 

You almost certainly know that language is a man made system, a convention, an agreement between people, this is not difficult to comprehend. But Time and Math arguably are human conventions also. And while conventions can be important, they are not meant to be taken as ultimately real. 

There is no such thing as Time and Math in the natural world, there is only rhythm, pattern, motion and these offer limited explanation. Many scientists and thinkers believe these to be social institutions, but since this may be impossible to prove, here are a couple of videos to help you decide for yourself:

Math and Time

So let's say, this is true, Math and Time are social institutions, as well as Language. Tools to enhance exploration, understanding and communication, but each offering different depth's of knowledge and often used in combination.

OK, didn't know all that, amazing! what now?

With this greater consciousness of the real fundamentals that drive our world, an array of new possibilities open. The boundaries of the culture box now a little more clear. Choose to ignore the box when it's beneficial to do so. Whether this means being more present to plan your life effectively, being aware of manipulative information designed to mislead you, or simply having greater confidence in your ability to impact the world.

I'll leave you with inspiration from great thinkers who display this mindset;

Tim O'Reilly - Open Source Expert 

Steve Jobs - Famous Designer

Steve Watts - East Meets West Philosopher

Sergio Toporek - Dissident Desinger

Noam Chomsky - Leading Linguistics Expert

 

 

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Thinking Outside The Box - Conformity to Abstraction and Beyond