Paradigm shift

Paradigm shift


Jan van Til



At YouTube you can find a short but very helpful video of Dr Quantum in Flatland [1]. Dr Quantum first impresses and later on successfully persuades a two dimensional (she-)circle to shift her paradigm; her world view. He persuades her to step out of her very, very familiar two dimensional habitat and – in one-and-the-same move – to step into an unknown three dimensional world. “What will happen to me? What will I become?”, is her final, but already weak(ened) opposition to Dr Quantum.


There is really only one way to find out: “You’d have to become it to know”, Dr Quantum friendly replies [2]. She has to entirely let go of her old and familiar flat-world civilization in order to find herself newborn into the round-world reality.


And from the very moment she enters three dimensional reality… she becomes aware again of her two dimensional habitat – but now from the broadened perspective of three dimensions. Furthermore a totally new and greatly enlarged world – amply encompassing her old world – opens up for her. Two dimensions will soon not be enough for her anymore. And very soon she will even have trouble imagining her former, two dimensional life.


How will she explain her paradigm shift to her fellow Flatland citizens? And how will she persuade and convince them to shift as well – in order to develop current societal life to new, unimagined and unexplored heights….




February 2011, 2011 © Jan van Til


Previous text is also published at my blog “Informatiekundig bekeken”.



[1] “Flatland” refers to the book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. You may also want to consult Wiki.

[2] In the movie “The Matrix” something similar is said. Neo wants to know what the matrix is. Morpheus replies: “[u]nfortunately no one can be told what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”