In recent posts I’ve been addressing the apparently irrelevant difference between mental concepts and their names, and reality. Also, how actions like inverting concepts can enlighten some of our previous inaccurate conceptions. This structure of thought is also very usual in the cause-effect approach to phenomena, so for instance, if we don’t know what the solution for a certain problem is, then it’s no use to frame the problem (which avoids the effect of having to face the reality).
Another image that’s been going round my mind lately is that of the jigsaw puzzles.
When we are kids, puzzles are probably one of the first things we learn to do. Very simple first, more complex later, the puzzles demand from us to develop a methodology, some tactics and even some tricks (starting by corners, following with the edges, completing it by parts, and so on).
But there’s a particular moment we all must have experienced, and it’s when you come up with a piece that “almost” matches the gap, but actually is not the right one. No matter how little that “almost” can be, no matter how much we try. We turn it round, we check the colours, pay attention to the shape again. It’s no use: it doesn’t fit. That’s when you realize that you don’t do “a little” or “a lot” of a Puzzle. You know then, for the first time, that either you finish it, or you’ll have failed.
Puzzles are a perfect example for the idea that could be expressed like this: “nothing fits unless everything fits”.
More examples of the same exactitude pattern: the rubik cube, an engine, a clockwork, in summary any structure or pattern where there is no gap of any kind, for tolerances or allowances.
Even more examples: Architecture. See the drawing below: it’s the first (main) floor of Ville Savoie of Le Corbusier. You cannot add or take out any part, room, space, without altering it’s concept or it’s functioning. It reached its utmost perfection itself. If you move even 10cm any partition, they you’ll have to rearrange the whole plan.
We all know our civilization reached this point of accuracy long time ago.
One last example of our everyday life: any trip we have to do: you simply don’t get “more or less” somewhere. And should you get lost in a place you don’t know, you won’t ask for instructions to get as closest as possible to your destination, but EXACTLY to it.
So, if we are so familiar with all these examples of achievement, accomplishment and/or success by fitting every single piece, why is that we accept so acquiescently so many loose ends in our societies?
What’s the problem with societies, that we find reasonable a model of random, chance, linear evolution, with an unpredictable future?
Is it that we are 100% sure that we are moving in the right direction?
Are all of our institutions 100% reliable?
Have we got the guts to stand and ask out loud: “Is this ok? Is this fine with me?”
What could happen if one day, any day, too many of us find ourselves saying: “Hey, this piece does not fit”?