There is an old television commercial about a stock company. In one scene, a man yells ‘No’. He is alone and contrary to the other men in the commercial, who yell ‘Yes’. Generally, we think that the man who answered ‘No’ was abnormal. However, I would like to say your thought is not entirely right. Although I can not know how you have lived and thought up to now, I want to recommend you to reverse your idea from time to time. This change of thinking is called a ‘paradigm shift’. I would like to introduce some historical cases of ‘paradigm shifts’ and inform you about why the ‘paradigm shift’ is so important.
We have heard about ‘paradigm shifts’ many times. However, whenever we tried to reverse our ideas, we could not practice them very well. Despite the difficulty, the reason why people advise reversing your ideas is due to the benefits of thinking outside popular thought. The benefits are demonstrated in several historical cases.
Case 1: Columbus Egg
Until 1492, most Europeans believed that if people sailed over the sea they would die by falling over the precipice. However, Columbus did not think so. He decided to sail for a new continent, and he could discover a new route to China. Columbus came back home with plenty of treasures. Many people welcomed him as a hero. However, several people were jealous. They scornfully laughed as they said, “I can not understand why people treat Columbus as a hero, and whoever rows a boat can discover the new world.”
Columbus kept silence and then put a question to them, “Hey, can you make this egg stand?” Naturally, he failed to make the egg stand. When it was Columbus’ turn, he made the egg stand by breaking an edge of the egg. After that, the man started to laugh again, and said “if anyone tries it that way, all may be able to stand an egg.” Then Columbus said, “Yeah, that is right. It is easy for anyone to follow what other people have already accomplished. But it is difficult to take the first step. This is the difference between you and me.”
In conclusion, the ‘paradigm shift’ of Columbus acted as his motivation for discovering the new continent. Many pioneers like Columbus understood the concept of a ‘paradigm shift’.
Case 2: Copernican Revolution
Copernicus laid the foundation for the modern concept of the universe, reversing the geocentric theory, where the center of the universe is earth. The Copernican theory makes the sun the center of the universe. In other words, the idea is that the sun goes around a fixed earth was inverted between subject and object.
The ‘Copernican Revolution’ was defined by Immanuel Kant in his book ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’. Immanuel Kant described the Copernican theory as conversion in the theory of knowledge. Therefore, the ‘Copernican Revolution’ means that the idea which had been believed until then was reversed into another idea.
Of course, trying a ‘paradigm shift’ is difficult. After Columbus discovered the new continent, many people may have considered discovering the new continent to be easy. However, creating and developing ideas from nonexistence to existence is very difficult. Sometimes society rejects new ideas until they are proven. For example, there is the case of Galileo Galilei. Galileo was an astronomer in 16th century. When he asserted the Copernican theory, a group of religious groups dominating the society of the day regarded his assertion as defiance. In those days, a dangerous idea like Galileo’s was banned because the geocentric theory was accepted as a universal truth.
However, nobody doubts the Copernican theory now. We can not predict what history would have been rewritten if Copernicus did not question the geocentric theory. Although someone would have discovered the theory, the progress of humankind may have been slowed. We can define the correct truth due to the ‘paradigm shift’ and society can progress due to the correct truth. Like this, the ‘paradigm shift’ must be necessary for people although it is dangerous.
Modern people should not be an exception to the ‘paradigm shift’. However, today’s people do not have a sufficient attitude to reversing ideas. The representative example is the inveiglement of the press.
Situation 1: Gas Hydrate
Recently, Gas Hydrate is emerging as an eco-alternative energy of the future. You may have heard this fact through newspapers or TV a few times. Gas Hydrate is a compound that is crystallized and has a physical combination of water and gas. It is estimated to contain more organic carbons than all other known fossil fuel sources combined. Gas hydrates exist in deep sea continental slopes in water depths greater than about 600 meters. The first discovery in Korea was spotted in the East Sea, 135 kilometers northeast of Pohang and 100 kilometers South of Ulleung Island.
The problem is that people have little knowledge about gas hydrates, and are doubtful of this source of fuel. The press explains that gas hydrate has few emissions. There are a large number of news stories, which praise it as a faultless eco-alternative energy. However, recent studies find that gas hydrate does have some problems. First is the enormous emission of greenhouse gas. Gas Hydrate releases methane gas 20 times more than carbon during combustion. This will cause rapid climate change at unparalleled paces. Second, a continental shelf and crust in the sea have the possibility of collapse due to the lose of gas hydrate, which once removed will not keep up them. The collapse of a continental shelf may cause another disaster such as a tidal wave.
Situation 2: Noise Marketing< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
The strategy of noise marketing is to draw attention, making people become tangled in various issues over a product or celebrity. This marketing is used mainly in the field of film and entertainment. Not all film and entertainment companies do the same thing. Several companies bring up these issues related with their programming or entertainers to awaken fans’ interest. For instance, several entertainment programs gain a larger program rating by broadcasting the contents which can cause some stimulating and intentional debate on social issues that inspire viewers’ curiosity. In the case of films, some film companies and directors increase the popularity of their movies, connecting with sensitive social problem.
The goods used noise marketing are so numerous that we can not discriminate the truth. Therefore, we need to sift through the substantive flood of news. The Chung-Ang Herald (CAH) asked advice of Professor Lee Sang-chul from the Mass Communication’s Department in Chung-Ang University (CAU). One preparation is the ‘paradigm shift’. In a luminous explanation, a ‘paradigm shift’ is simply the reverse of your idea. News press information has ‘facts’. The press should contain the ‘truth’ in their news because it is their duty. But news press information does not always have the ‘truth’. For this reason, finding true ‘truth’ in the news is our duty now. For example, we should stop our attitude of absorbing all information like a sponge, which soaks up water unconditionally, when we receive the news. First of all, we need to assume that the news may have a 90% possibility of false information. Then we have to consider with deliberate intention, the cause of the news. This is a process, which can reverse our ideas and consider alternative thoughts. However, Koreans are often annoyed to think about intention and cause, but watch out. The press and companies know about this Korean tendency very well. It’s like a fish taking a bite with no idea of what it is eating.
The content often written in morality’s textbook is not always true for all situations. So is the theory in science textbooks. Columbus would only have been a normal person without the ‘paradigm shift’. Also, we would have been educated that the earth is the center of the universe. In addition, there would probably be more dangerous things in our world, and we may be experiencing dangerous things right now, because of or lack of ‘paradigm shifts’. Although you do not have sufficient knowledge about one field, how about having the ‘paradigm shift’ attitude?