Have you ever heard the phrase “Paradigm shift”? Chances are; you have, and chances are; you think it sounds pretty darn cool. Some random phrases just sound really cool, “apex predator” is among the coolest. So cool in fact, that a movie was produced for the sole purpose of using that phrase.
But do you actually know what a “paradigm shift” is?
A paradigm shift (or revolutionary science) is, according to Thomas Kuhn, in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), a change in the basic assumptions, orparadigms, within the ruling theory of science. It is in contrast to his idea of normal science. According to Kuhn, “A paradigm is what members of a scientific community, and they alone, share.”
Yes, that is the start of a Wikipedia entry. You’re welcome.
Basically a paradigm shift is a change of mind on a specific topic. It’s an interesting-sounding phrase to describe what happens when you decide that vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate ice cream after all. Besides the sound of it, the most impressive thing about a paradigm shift is that every one is capable of creating one.
So, though it may sound like you are ripping a hole in another dimension with your brain, the truth is that you can have a paradigm shift as easily as you can change your mind about what your plans for the day will look like. …Because that’s what a paradigm shift is.
Babies can have a paradigm shift about what part of their body they prefer sucking on. Toddlers can have a paradigm shift about what article of clothing they would like to get muddiest. Even adults can have a paradigm shift over the “genius” of George Lucas.
Heck, you may have held strong to the paradigm that a paradigm shift was not worth writing about. After this article, it is my hope that you will have a paradigm shift on paradigm shifts. …Which sounds so much more interesting and complex than it actually is…