Had a recent conversation with a good friend about science and social issues, and a great analogy emerged from the Bohm bio I’m reading now.
David Bohm revolutionized several fields, and one example was when he discovered that if you have a particle with spin A, then add an opposite spin B, the result is not that the particle loses all spin. Instead, the particle starts spinning in a completely different direction (which is foreign to our macro-level experience).
It begs the question whether the answer to stubborn problems, with diehard partisans saying “all A only A all the time” and their opponents shouting “all B only B all the time,” perhaps the answer is sometimes not “one or the other,” and possibly it is not even “a compromise between the two”. Occasionally, it may be best to be open to as-yet unimagined new directions and solutions in these conflicts.
There may be practical applications in our own lives when we’re feeling horribly “stuck” as well, but we didn’t really have time to go much farther in that direction.
(Bohm also had the dubious distinction of having his wartime PhD research on the math of particle scattering classified by Los Alamos the instant they learned of it, such that he was not allowed to reference it in any way to get his doctorate! Robert Oppenheimer had to personally vouch to the University that Bohm had, in fact, done remarkable – and utterly secret – nuclear physics work!)
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