Saturday, October 18, 2008

Convergent and divergent problems

"[We must] recover the awareness that there are higher and lower levels of knowledge. The lower level deals with what [Schumacher] termed "convergent" problems, that are solvable through logic or scientific research. "Divergent" problems, on the other hand, are those that require accomodating irreconcilable things in ways that challenge our central convictions. They require us to know that what we believe can only be resolved by a higher level of reasoning grounded in "love, beauty, goodness, and truth"."

David Orr, commentary in E.F. Schumacher Small is beautiful.

I am a person who likes when a problem can be solved by logic (that's why I chose to become a researcher), and hates when it cannot, because then I don't know which of the many possible solutions to choose, and whether I will choose the best one. This is when you have to listen to our heart, and put your reason on the side.

3 comments:

François Ascani said...

That is the beauty of life also that reason cannot solve everything. Imagining the equation of love...

Daniel said...

i hate problem that can be solved by logic

(ça me rappelle trop la prépa ou il faut collectionner les astuces pour calculer des intégrales: autant laisser cela à un programme informatique !)

other problems are really more interesting !

Cedric said...

I agree with both of you, guys, without divergent problems, life would be damn boring ! But I still does not like not knowing whether the solution I chose to such a problem is a good one or one I will regret later. I guess I don't have the soul of a player...