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Month: August 2020

Paradigm Shifts

You better start believing in paradigm shifts Miss Turner, because you’re in one.

Here’s a lecture I recorded recently, discussing the concept of paradigms and the process of paradigm shifts. I discuss paradigm shifts based on Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, though my focus is on a more general understanding of the process, involving awareness of change and the key mechanics of the phase transition from one paradigm to another. I also use Jordan Hall’s excellent short essay On Thinking and Simulated Thinking to illustrate how paradigm shifts necessitate a phase transition in thinking about and orienting ourselves in a given reality.

I think the year 2020 so far bears the marks of a massive socio-political-economic phase transition to a new paradigm, and that the mid 2020s will be unrecognizable to someone from 1996 or 2006.

There is a story that when Zhou Enlai, the late premier of China under Mao, visited France for the first time in the 1950s he was asked what he thinks of the French Revolution. His answer was ‘It’s too early to say.’

Gaudeamus igitur

Episode 7 of Naive and Dangerous, the podcast series I record together with my colleague Dr Chris Moore. Even though this episode was recorded at the end of 2019 I am posting it now as it closed season 1 of Naive and Dangerous, and, as I am returning from a long posting hiatus, I have to pick up where I left off. The episode is focused entirely on the Medieval in all its wonderful complexity. Enjoy.