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Blupete's Weekly Commentary


February 20th, 2000.

"Change."

There is, as Tyndall observed in his work, Fragments of Science, a tendency on the part of all matter to organize itself, to grow into shape, to assume definite forms in obedience to the definite action of force. This tenancy is all-pervading and exists throughout the entire universe. "It is in the ground on which you tread, in the water you drink, in the air you breathe. Incipient, as it were, manifests itself throughout the whole of what we call inorganic Nature." Each of us may use this force of nature to our personal advantage. The most successful do every day of their lives.

Justice Holmes, wrote, "To rest upon a formula is a slumber that prolonged, means death."1 Therefore we must change, even though the change, often just in the beginning, may bring us from bad to worse. We think it through and do the thing: the thing being done we think it through again, and, we change: we do the adjusted thing, and think it through again. It is a process that carries us to the end of our particular project, to our particular life: it is, however, in the larger scheme of things, an infinite process. It is a process, as Popper has shown, where we learn and grow. We do this by submitting our expectations to the test of experience: it is a process whereby we control and correct our speculations. We make the change with thought, the more serious the matter the more time and thought we give to it. If the change we make brings a result which is unacceptable we make a further change and consider the effect. We examine the result bringing into account all of our past experiences and the experiences of those whom we have learned to trust. If it works we go with the change, if our new situation is unworkable or becomes unworkable, we, in a controlled manner, eliminate something, or add something; or do both at that same time. We must always have in hand a short list of possible and workable solutions, some, or all of which, we might put to work; and which we might employ at the right moment. This is an unending process: this is life.

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NOTES:

1 Ideals and Doubts, 1920.

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Peter Landry

February, 2000 (2011)