March 18, 2008

21st Century Conflict

What does conflict look like in the 21st Century?

Kind of like this....

Wouldn't it have been useful to learn about this in the 1990s instead of seeing it as a distraction to real war?

If we had, some of my friends would still be alive.

Maybe we should get good at this stuff instead of maintaining ad hoc organizations until we get back to the business of non-existent industrial war.

Kuhn tells (told us, I guess, since he's dead) us that there are hold outs for every defeated paradigm. Perhaps Gentile can be excused:

The transfer of allegiance from paradigm to paradigm is a conversion experience that cannot be forced. Lifelong resistance, particularly from those whose productive careers have committed them to an older tradition of normal science, is not a violation of scientific standards but an index to the nature of scientific research itself. The source of resistance is the assurance that the older paradigm will ultimately solve all its problems, that nature can be shoved into the box the paradigm provides. Inevitably, at times of revolution, that assurance seems stubborn and pigheaded as indeed it sometimes becomes.

At least there is a model for characterizing the naysayers.

And how do we get past their mental blockage? Some, e.g., the GEN Odiernos of the world are convinced by the inability of the paradigm to explain the new reality. Others, well, things aren't quite as easy...

Though some scientists, particularly the older and more experienced ones, may resist indefinitely, most of them can be reached in one way or another. Conversions will occur a few at a time until, after the last holdouts have died, the whole profession will again be practicing under a single, but now a different, paradigm.

Insha Allah...