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A Scientific Revolution in Economics?

Several names related to scientific revolutions

*Thomas Kuhn (Structure of Scientific Revolutions 1962) either coined the term or launched the concept, along with accelerating the spoken frequency, of the terms "paradigm" and "paradigm shift." According to James Hall in the first video shown in the Maurice Sullivan's Cosmology & Religion Group in Ottawa on May 18, 2014, Kuhn did so in response to an invitation from *logical positivism founder *Ludwig Wittgenstein, because of the problem of how to assimilate, integrate and facilitate all the new discoveries in many different sciences with insufficient understanding of how sciences change, e.g., geocentrism to heliocentrism, creation in 4004 BC to evolution since 3.7B BP, and facilitate engineering, e.g., groundbound to flight, Earthbound to Moonwalk.

Discoveries piling up

1500+/- *Copernicus invented the pure heliocentric theory, *Galileo cleared the way for heliocentrism by observing bodies orbiting something besides Earth, i.e., moons orbiting Jupiter, and proving a neighboring planet orbited the Sun by observing phases of Venus,
*Kepler - cleaned-up planetary orbits *Newton's fluxions (calculus), optics, and mechanics (gravity) including 4th and 5th dimensions (mass and momentum, in Definitions I and II of the Principia, generally ignored to this day)
*Faraday (theory) and *Maxwell (math) - electricity-magnetism-optics (= partial GUT = *grand unified theory)
*Darwin laid an axe to the root of creation's "shallow time" (6000-year-old Earth) and laid the evolutionary foundation of "deep time" (5B-year-old Earth)
*Einstein (special and general relativity flawed by duplicity of viewpoint and by trace absolutes (light speed, Earth clock) for which are sacrificed the constancy or uniformity of standard momentum ("time") and the denial of mass its birthright as the 4th dimension and the related confusion of the "subsequent" climb to 6th-level energy by a focus on midstep-skipping acceleration instead of dual velocities: constant and inconstant, e..g., near-circular and near-linear)

Kuhn preps his idea-commando mission

Kuhn was a young man in the 1940s, and was somehow asked by Wittgenstein or an associate to come up with a theory to midwife the birth of new scientific theories and grease the path of scientific progress. Kuhn's *1962 publication was too late to help the revolutions in species definition (*Ernst Mayr's 1942 Systematics and the Origin of Species - though our personal fave is his 1970 Populations, Species, and Evolution because on p.398 it identifies the all-time critical variable) or *design science (*Bucky Fuller, 1940s) or cell biology (*Crick & Watson 1956), or to forestall Einstein's big detour in physics (1910-20, talking "relativity" while making light speed absolute, thus moving the defining feature, constancy, from general momentum and its special case, time, to general energy and its special case, light, and thereby violating a defining feature of both dimensions - and by-the-way pushing special-case time into 4th place after space in the dimensional series and thereby denying mass its rightful position, completely neglecting general-case momentum, and basically separating mass and energy from the series and stopping it mysteriously at four dimensions, leaving us with two confusingly disconnected "leapfrog" pairs, space-time {3rd+5th} and mass-energy {4th+6th}) and help him (Einstein) come up with a GUT. The continental drift revolution in geology, which had been simmering since *Wegener in 1912, got a big push from *Runcorn in 1956 (not to be confused with *Runcorn Ferry as performed by Stanley Holloway) and *Carey in 1958 but still didn't "go viral." And the universal grammar revolution in linguistics got a big push from *Chomsky's Syntactic Structures in 1957 but nothing yet "went viral."

Kuhn unleashes *The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Publication of Kuhn's linguistic-philosophical catalyst in 1962 (Structure of Scientific Revolutions) facilitated a damburst of scientific revolutions, including the completion of geology's revolution, now renamed *plate tectonics, which made big steps in 1963 and finally did its massive clarification and cleanup 1965-70; and the completion of linguistics' revolution: *Chomsky, making major reference to linguistic paradigms, led a massive clarification and cleanup of his generative-transformational grammar throughout the 1960s at MIT, with *Sidney Lamb's stratificational grammar at Yale nipping at his heels. And thus a revolution in theoretical linguistics paved the advance of 1954's *Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis (your language limits the ideas you can get) into *post-modernist skepticism in philosophy: no such thing as A, only specifiably extended B, where A is objectivity, absoluteness, altruism... and B is subjectivity, relativity, self-interest...

...which unleashes a flurry of revolutions (in everything but economics)

The damburst of new scientific revolutions included:
ecology, where *Rachel Carson (1961 Silent Spring) and *Barry Commoner (1971 Closing Circle) plied their axes on the deepest roots of growth-dependent economics,
biology, which *Carl Sagan's ex-wife, *Lynn Margulis, with a 1967 paper, revolutionized away from the three 'kingdoms' of animals, plants & fungi to the two cell types, prokaryotic and eukaryotic (thus easing us away from the primacy of dog-eat-dog survival-of-the-fittest Competition ... to complex-patterned symbiosis, with beginning echoes from Ernst Mayr and his critical variable of all time, above),
geography and religion, in which *Denise Schmandt-Besserat (not to be confused with *tesseracts or *ziggurats) by 1996 solved the mystery of the origin of written language, not so much a scientific revolution as the filling of a huge scientific gap that was blocking the idea of incremental cumulative continuity or evolution in favor of fiat, daily, word-based, jump-by-jump creation - and still to be filled in: the incremental continuum that resulted in spoken language, though the howls & vowels of *The Singing Neanderthals vs. the Cro Magnons' whispers & *clicks preserved in the San and Khoisan (alias Hottentot) languages and in all early writing systems (no vowel consciousness till Greek co-opted the Semitic gutturals centuries before the Massoretes) may offer a clue, together with the Fingers-Numbers-Days theory/ies, the White Goddess' tree alphabet, Sound-Meaning Reversals, and other campfire myths & mouthings,
design science, which *Bucky Fuller "owned" with the comprehensive thinking in his *World Game in 1961 and his coinage of the term in *1963, duly clarified by *S.A. Gregory in 1966,
world modeling, with which *Jay Forrester's economic modeling software at MIT coupled with *Aurelio Peccei's *Club of Rome ecological insights scooped Bucky's World Game project at Southern Illinois U/Carbondale by at least 5 years with its *Limits to Growth report in 1972, and which immediately got tackled by a spirited defense of sacred Growth by teaming vested interests before it could reach the goal line of calling for the design of a growth-independent economic core - though it did inspire some to reconcile the debate by recalling Bucky's concept of "doing more with less" and it inspired Herman Daly to pick up on Ken Arrow's insights and open up Steady-State Economics (which again dealt with everything but ... jobs - but at least the words "economics" and "design" were now in the air, and potentially mate-able into "economic design"),
and all this is without mentioning the revolutions in
rocket science throughout the 60s that led to the Moon Landing of 1969, or in
computer science that accelerated in the late 60s and 70s and ever since, or in
genomics, particularly the working out of the *AGCT's of the human genome throughout the 90s.

All this wonderful acceleration of progress in diverse fields was triggered by Kuhn in 1962 while mainstream economics dug deeper into the pre-Keynesian dark ages, characterizable as neither Keynesian makework+spending nor Black-Perkins workweek regulation but the illusion of ... no regulation at all (unless, of course, it's in your own company's favor).

However, the Limits to Growth seminar of 73-74 set one attendee, Richard "Phil" Hyde, off on the design of a regulatory limit to growth, first in the money dimension, and then for prior implementation, in the time dimension (worktime per person). He eventually realized that he was working in parallel with an already existing, though still embryonic, shorter worktime movement in the country, that had its own historian, Ben Hunnicutt (*1988); its own Joan of Arc, Juliet Schor (*1992); a hit&run doomsayer, Jeremy Rifkin (*1995); and its own videographer-cum-conference-organizer-cum-holiday-founder, *John de Graaf. So he outlined his design for a worktime limit to growth in a longish campaign piece called Timesizing, Not Downsizing in 98 followed by two introductory "backgrounders" in 2004 to make up a time trilogy, and started a daily Timesizing.com newswire in 99 which continues to this day.


For more details, see our "social software" manual dba campaign piece, Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *Amazon.com and at the Harvard Square Coop (3d flr., mgmt & economics sections) in Cambridge, Mass., USA.
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