Teach Me to Fish©, a special ongoing series of marketing insights Invoking the timeless wisdom, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Sponsored by Immersion Active, a communications agency for the 21st century.
Two weeks ago, the world of experimental physics was rocked to its core by one of the most explosive events in memory, if not for all time. Einstein’s revolutionary formula, E=mc2, turns out to be not so impervious to flaws than believed since 1906. Apparently, according to researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN, in Switzerland, particles can move faster than light.
What in the world are we to make of this? Are there more such surprises that lie ahead in the cosmology of the universe? Does it all end with a new definition of eternity? As Dorothy said to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas, anymore.” Where are we?
We learned in the last century that reality is closer to how Einstein saw than the way we see it in our daily lives. He said, “Reality is an illusion”—but a very persistent one. According to Einstein, for over three hundred years, we based our world views, our beliefs, our religions, our politics, on a fictional account of reality. In the later two thousands, we experienced a huge quantum leap in our understanding of the world. We are no longer constrained by the limits of certainty. According to Eisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, there is no certainty.
How do we navigate a world that is governed by science that we don’t understand, a cosmology that is incomprehensible, and even in very question of reality itself?
Now you may think all of this is beyond an ordinary person’s consideration. But it’s not. There was a time when priests spent endless hours trying to figure out a world that ultimately did not appear to exist. We solved this in the Age of Animism—an age in which animal spirits ruled the world. To them, their animistic world was as real as you think your world today is. Later, ecclesiastical forces stepped into the human picture to define the world in ecclesiastical terms. And their world was more real than the world that preceded them but less real than the world that followed them. Now we are on the threshold of yet another new world, one that I write about in my new book, Brave New Worldview. In previous periods, when we experienced major paradigm shifts in how people saw the world, witches were burned, priests were defrocked, clerics were excommunicated, following which we moved into the ecclesiastically inert world of Newtonian science.
For three hundred years or so, the Newtonian worldview has dominated how we see the world. We have accepted this domination willingly because it seemed more real, more palpable, more measurable, more provable than the squishy, indefinite world of the Church. We erroneously felt the Newtonian world to be a world of certainty. Now we are about to enter a new age, one in which uncertainty is the rule. Chaos is the order of the day. It is a fast-moving, quickly changing world in which there are seemingly no boundaries to what can happen (like exceeding the speed of light). People ask me, how will we adjust to such a world, in which certainty is non-existent? The answer is rather simple, actually. We accept the fact that uncertainty, rather than certainty, is the natural order of nature, despite three centuries of trying to create a world that conforms to our images of what it should be, we now must move towards a world that collaborates with us in creating the world we all would like to be a part of.
We’re already seeing major changes in how business is being done, in how marketing is being done, in how just about everything is being done. Of course, visually, yesterday looks pretty much like today. But not in reality. That’s an illusion. In my next several posts, I want to introduce readers to new and challenging ways to see the world, as it changes before our very eyes. I urge you to stay interested and hope you find the conversation will continue as it brings new insights into your life. That, after all, is the purpose for this series within the framework of “Teach a man to fish.”