Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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On Paradigm Shifts

July 5th, 2004 · No Comments

Jonathan Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex. He wrote as part of his most recent newsletter:

A key concept – one that is central to understanding the essence of the paradigm shift – is that the adherents of the old paradigm do not convert and become adherents of the new paradigm, that would be far too easy. During the period of a given paradigm, scientists (including computer scientists) tend to agree about what phenomena are relevant and what constitutes an explanation of these phenomena; they also agree on a general direction for problem solving, coming to a common understanding of what problems should be addressed and what constitutes a problem. Near the end of such a period, a crisis erupts as different and strange ideas come to the table. Existing theories are contradicted, resulting in an air of confusion. At some point, a revolution takes place and this resembles a religious conversion more than anything else.

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