Proactive Paradigm Shifts and New Paradigms in Science, Religion and Spirituality
Buzzwords and fuzzwords
Krusty: So he's proactive, huh?
Lady: Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.
Writer: Excuse me, but 'proactive' and 'paradigm'? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. .....[pause]..... I'm fired, aren't I?
Myers: Oh, yes! - The rest of you writers start thinking up a name for this funky dog; I dunno, something along the line of say... Poochie, only more proactive.
Science, religion and spirituality - a new paradigm
Many a true word is spoken in jest.
Anyone who surfs the web for science/mind/spirituality articles can't fail to be impressed by the number of times the word 'paradigm' appears, and that its frequency seems to be inversely related to the information content of the article,.especially when used in conjunction with 'new' or 'shift.
Does the use of 'Paradigm' debiggen our vocabulary?
The p-word is used so frequently because it serves two purposes:
An excuse for lazy thinking
A cover for vague and ill-formed theories.
In both cases 'paradigm' is used where a more cromulent word would immediately reveal the vacuity of the ideas being presented.
The p-word is used in place of: analogy, example, symbol, pattern, metaphor, method, model, and simulation. 'Paradigm' causes especial confusion where it starts with one meaning and then ends up with another. (A favorite trick is to start the article with an analogy and embiggen it to claim that one has found some deep underlying model of reality).
Within science, the terms model and simulation have very definite meanings and require the production of verifiable algorithms and datastructures, which predict the behavior of the phenomena under investigation. Those phenomena which cannot in principle be simulated in this way are, and for ever will be, outside the scope of scientific investigation (see non-algorithmic phenomena).
Hopefully the Simpsons' satire may persuade writers to be more proactive about the use of buzzwords and fuzzwords, and perhaps we can look forward to the day when no new paradigms are being produced.
This does however raise the question of what to do with all the old paradigms that have passed their sell-by date. How do you shift these paradigms? Should you store them away in the paradigmatic, or donate them to the needy? ("Buddy, can you spare a paradigm?")