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”?


6 Responses to “Jigsaw”

  1. Would be much desirable, yes, but I have little hope about the likeliness of changing stiff-old structures very well attached by (let’s call it) The Power that are the ones by which we have got to get in touch with It.

    A good example of this are the two processes that are being held against spanish judge Baltasar Garzón (one of them, already finished with an awful unanimous sentence against him) in which the ‘spirit of the Law’ seems to be more important to Their Excellencies, the members of the Supreme Court (presided, by the way, as the Superior Council of the Judicial Power is, by a man that has no reserve to state that he has saved his life when got rid of a terrorist attack thanks to ‘the inspiration that Our [not mine: his or their, in any case] Lady of Fátima’ brought to him), that the fact of ascertaining a huge plot of political corruption, or to give the hundreds of thousands of people retaliated by the dictatorial and killer regime of Franco during decades after the end of Spanish Civil War (1936-39) the possibility of finding the corpses of their relatives and being somehow compensated for their loses.

    And lots (millions) of people find it more than normal: they find it NECESSARY and a proof of the good health of ‘our democratic system’.


    (sorry about my english: tried to keep up with the original languaje the post was written, but…)

    • Agree 100%.
      I already posted some thoughts on what our real aim ought to be (“The next battle), and many about disappointment first, and anger after (“Pissed-off”).
      However, my (only) hope is that more and more of us will grow, constituting a civilian “think-tank”, to defend the true meaning of social rights and democracy, or bust!
      People around us is biased too many factors (biological, psychological, social, cultural, genetical), that have moulded them throughout centuries, preventing them now to foresee a different landscape.
      They are conditioned. They are comfortable.
      They need to be awaken.
      Yes, it is scaring. That’s why I started this blog, which I would have really liked to start maybe 15 years ago.

      By the way, in my opinion your english is outstanding. But let me tell you something more:


      Como decía Adolf Loos: “Está más cerca nuestro la verdad aunque tenga doscientos años, que la mentira que camina al lado nuestro”.

  2. The Translator Says:

    Individuals can be conductors or blockers for social change (strange as it sounds, even at the same time) As far as I can see, there are some (social) puzzles that must be solved cold turkey (don’t get me wrong, I’m not pro-imposing things; I mean with creativity).

  3. Wow, The Translator, you hit one of the main axis of this blog: the tension between the individual and social dimensions.
    However, having the social structure very “stiff-old structures” as Liki points out, my perspective today, is that we will have to produce the change from the social tissue, at a cellular level, one by one, man by man, mile by mile (like the song of Liza in “Cabaret”).
    It will have to be creatively as well, but we must start convincing our relatives, friends, neighbours first, that abstention of voting will never be more dangerous than voting the less perverse option, and keep on validating the system.

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