Boxes

Analysis, writing

To me, classification is, like religion, a purely human construct. An apple doesn’t know it is an artistic item in a still life but a scientific cypher when it falls ont a physicist. It is an apple. So, why do we insist on first classifying areas of knowledge and then waste energy either defending or railing against the division. Why do we creat a country and then go to war? Human nature – we all want to be part of some type of tribe, even if it is a tribe of non conformists. But then forming an allegiance, a common interest will tend to exclude others. And we get tension.

Humans judge. They measure in a relative sense – how do I compare. What if we stripped away that reliance on others to define a thought, an idea, a theory. What if we measured in the absolute. No more ‘how do I compare’. Instead ‘how do I do’. 

Defining a thought, boxing it, is to apply a judgement. Classification is a container made to our specifications. It is not tailor made to its contents but to its owner. Therefore, some ideas or approaches will not fit happily. Are they then a failure? Is that a bad thing? 

Innovation necessitates failure. You must map a cul de sac to know it is there. The knowledge of its existence helps you find what else is near…possibilities are honed by the exclusion of options. So why even judge a nil result as a failure. It’s not. It’s a piece of data. It is a contribution. As soon as we step away from judgement a pressure is lifted and we can breathe. Innovation needs space, light and freedom to move. Judging places parameters for which read barriers. Barriers impede movement. Practical limits are unavoidable and part of any puzzle. But man made mental constructs are not. They should be eradicated.

So, if you accept that classification is artificial, the concept of failure starts to look less stable. It starts to look as if it could be ignored. And once you accept that, then you are free to look at the apple however you want. And that brings new perpectives and new insight.