To understand the ‘thinking’ we witnessed in our political process on the news, the concept of Linear-Singularity must be understood.
James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM
Everyday, we see examples of the Linear-Singularity paradox in our political discourse. In watching the national news any day, any time, we can easily find examples, often of a glaring nature. The Linear-Singularity in problem solving is considering there’s one and only one thing causing or driving a problem, and that every aspect within the problem is linear. In reality, the real world is very seldom this simple. In actuality, there are almost always several things or forces which are at work, and often as not, the system of that problem isn’t simply proportional . . . it’s a nonlinear or probabilistic system. And human intuition doesn’t fair well with non-linear and probabilistic systems, because our minds are linear. We perceive our world in linear terms, that is, perceive everything as proportional.
Probably the best way to understand the Linear-Singularity paradox is by giving examples and showing why it is flawed. One big example we’re seeing daily in the news is climate change, which is riddled with examples of the Linear-Singularity paradox. You listen to the news, one group says it’s burning coal that’s causing global warming, so let’s ban all the coal and that will halt global warming. Another blames oil as the culprit for warming, others claim forest fires and burning the rain forest, or eating all that beef, urban development and the loss of green space, or the thawing of frozen methane deep down in the ocean to bubble up into the air. One political activist after another sounding the alarm that his particular Linear-Singularity is the key to controlling the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, that if all the world would stop using this one particular thing then warming would stop here and now.
That’s the linear aspect of the Linear-Singularity, that the reducing of a warming source, such as coal or beef, will proportionally reduce the growing climate warming. Never mind other forces at work or how they may be interacting. That’s the linear in Linear-Singularity, the assumption that if you reduce the CO2 from one particular source, then the global warming will be reduced an equal amount. Nothing could be further from the truth! Because the CO2 is just one ingredient or component in the green house effect, and it’s not really known or understood how this mix actually works, and therefore the real effects of increasing or reducing a specific ingredient.
One thing you never hear in the global warming debate, is that all these different factors have the commonality of humans. Every source is the result of human activity that comes from being part of a high technology society. So the real driving force for global warming is the massive over population of a species- us! Like any other species, we produce waste, and with a world population of 7.53 billion, we’ve long ago surpassed the ability of the Earth’s environment to absorb, process and tolerate that waste. To really stop or even reverse the global warming you must drastically reduce that population. But you can’t just go and reduce the world’s human population . . . that’s called genocide! No, this is a very difficult and complex problem made worst by so many political activist employing Linear-Singularities thereby making any progress impossible to achieve.
Another source for numerous examples of Linear-Singularity is the problem of racism. You often see it in news reporting where the human race is divided conveniently into brown, white, black, red and yellow, with their conclusions based on nothing more than these divisions of color. But even the most cursory look at any of those color divisions quickly reveals a ‘crazy quilt’ of different subgroups, some small, some large of all sorts of different people, but all of the same color. These subgroups have their own wants, likes, dislikes, goals in life and standards, and these are often different between subgroups. More importantly, some of these subgroups don’t even like each other. There are tensions and conflicts between them as their wants, standards and values come into conflict. The only difference . . . the boundaries are not readily apparent to outsiders, hence they look and seem to be the same people.
That’s an example of singularity, in ignoring all those various subgroups and assuming that a racial group is one and the same, uniform in all aspects and therefore conflicts between racial groups is based just on the color of skin. A singularity! Pure and simple! And in using that singularity, you no longer have any real understanding of the system, and therefore your efforts to resolve problems is naught . . . nota . . . zilch . . . zero . . . nothing! Which is why problems with race continues. Using singularities leads to oversimplification, which in turn means no real understanding of a problem . . . a ‘must have’ essential to really solve problems.
The widespread use of Linear-Singularity points to how very little people really understand the world they live in and how it works.
This over simplification has spawn the ‘political activism’ that is so prevalent in today’s political discourse, the growing attitude that all the problems in the world are political that can be solved using political activism. That all the world is just one big debate. But all these people really do is create images and illusions, the smoke and mirrors so often spoken of, but nothing of real substance. All they can do is pretend they are solving problems and create a fantasy world where the problems are being solved. The result is nothing ever gets done, the problems . . . at best just continue ‘as is’, or at worst, grow and becomes even worst.
Needless to say, one should always avoid Linear-Singularities, and just as important, people should constantly be on guard for Linear-Singularities and know when one is being used, so they should be skeptical about what they are hearing.
Know that the presences of Linear-Singularities indicates what you are hearing is most likely invalid.