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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Paradigm Speed Shift

For decades the term Paradigm Shift was reserved exclusively for the scientific community. Paraphrasing: A change of accepted scientific beliefs. In other words: It‘s a group of elitist snobs admitting….THEY WERE WRONG.

I stumbled across this revelation recently when watching the National Geographic Channel. A group of French scientists, anthropologists and some other “gists” traveled to southwest China looking for an anthropological mystery.

The “Shift” was a mummy about 20,000 to 30,000 years old, buried in China, but with a full head of red hair and a full beard, along with other Caucasian features. The mummy was buried with bronze tools and weapons, which were not used in China for another 5,000 years. The entire adventure team was astounded at the find, but had to admit that they had discovered a historical anomaly.

Of course the team had to jump through the bureaucratic maze that is the Chinese government, along with their notions that China was all Chinese all the time. Whoops, another Paradigm Shift moment. Then all the “gists” spent the rest of the program rationalizing why such a well established, well accepted, well researched assumptions were so patently WRONG.

Well, fast forward a few thousand years and here we are. Scientific assumptions are now giving way to scientific hysteria. And Paradigm shifts are coming at us so fast it seems that someone is stuttering. From ancestral migration, to geological transformation, to climate change, the paradigm shifting looks more like a close ratio 4spd at a drag race than the glacial pace of global climate change. And hardly a week goes by that “accepted scientific assumptions” don’t fall faster than Norman Hsu’s campaign contributions.

Paradigm Shifting is no longer an exclusive term reserved for scientists. And I for one am going to take full advantage of it. From now on, my political, social and professional faux pas will be characterized as Paradigm Shifts. At least that way I will never again have to say I was wrong.

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