Making the World More Understandable

Tag Archives: paradigm shift

What is a Paradigm Shift?

Color photography is an advance in technology, not a paradigm shift. Photo by L. Nicoles 2014
Color photography is an advance in technology, not a paradigm shift.
Photo by L. Nicoles 2014

Before we can have a shift, we need to know what a paradigm is. Once again, I went to my friend for the official definition. There were several, I’m listing the relevant one here:

A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.

That translates to: a fundamental principle of science.

Another key word there is “community.” Even if we apply the term to the non-scientific, a paradigm shift is the change of a fundamental principle held by a group. A corporation is a good example of a community that can experience a paradigm shift.

Why Write about Paradigms?

As a word nerd, proper word usage is very important to me. “Paradigm” is one of those words that I think people use too freely. Moving from the world is flat to the world is round is a paradigm shift.

Many people believe that when they change how they – personally – view things, they have had a paradigm shift. In my book, that’s a personal revelation or an emotional revolution. Without community involvement, there is no change of paradigm.

Don’t be Stupid Trying to Look Smart

I think this is really what gets to me; people using big or uncommon words inaccurately to sound intelligent. I promise, the ability to use those words correctly is much more impressive than just scattering them into your conversation or writing.

Poor word usage is also very counter-productive to clear communication; my first, and only, passion.

Point Please

OK, to sum this all up:

  1. A paradigm shift is impossible for an individual.
  2. A paradigm shift is a BIG DEAL.
  3. A paradigm shift takes time.

A corporation implementing a recycling program is not a paradigm shift. However, if that corporation goes from a “consume as much as possible” culture to recycling everything, producing their own electricity, and donating 20% of profits to charity – I would consider that a paradigm shift.

I hope I’ve offered you something with this blog, even just a giggle about how worked up I can become about certain things.

-Lorrie Nicoles