Jillian 35 - Paradigm Shift
The other day Jillian and I were shooting the breeze and she began talking about this thing she called a Paradigm Shift.
“Do you know what a Paradigm Shift is?” she asked.
“Nope.” I admitted. Big mistake.
“Gees, I've been around you long enough to figure out that that is a question I ought to avoid unless I want to know a lot about it.” I said.
She laughed. “Yep. Reminds me of a kid once who came to his father and asked him about the birds and the bees. As expected good old dad said, 'Ask your mother.' Quick as a flash the kid replied, 'Well, I didn't really want to know that much about it.'
“Anyway you don't know what it is so I am going to tell you.”
Need to know
And tell me she did. Although, stupidly, I first asked, “What is the reason I am about to be told this momentous stuff? Surely this is a 'need-to-know' situation and I don't?”
I narrowly avoided a playful punch, Teasing, but it would still have hurt.
“We were talking about it in a meeting at work the other day and I figured it might be something we could apply to our lives, well your life anyway. And I thought of discussing it with you.” she said.
Who knew? She thought I was discussion material for some esoteric concept?
“Bloody Hell,” I said intelligently.
“So,” she said. “A Paradigm Shift is used to describe a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events. A radical change in underlying beliefs or theory. A changed attitude, or way of doing things.”
“Swallowed the dictionary or Wikipedia again have you?” I suggested.
“Are you going to take this seriously, or not?” she blustered. “Of course I have given you the dictionary and Wikipedia definitions. Why wouldn't I?”
What it actually Means
“Anyway what this means is that if the way we are doing things is not working, we must stop just piddling about at the edges making small, usually ineffectual changes, and dig in and turn the whole thinking process upside down looking at a problem or issue from a completely different angle.”
“An example, please.” I quietly asked.
“OK,” she said, “What about books and reading? People are not reading traditional books as much now as 10 years ago. Witness all the bookshops closing down. They tried cheaper publishing techniques, cheaper purchase prices, cafes and other community/social areas in bookshops and libraries, more book tours and launches, reading and writing festivals. Still the reading public stopped reading paper based books in their droves. Oh yes there are the 'real books are better brigade,' but something needed to be done. Writers were fighting a losing battle, and you can forget about bookshops and libraries.
Enter eBooks. Electronic books. A paradigm shift. Along came Kindle and other electronic reading devices; and programs for reading eBooks on your smart phone and tablet.”
That's what I mean.” That's turning the issue upside down. Using a different way of doing things. And I agree, there is still a way to go to to change the attitudes of many people to electronic books, but there is movement at the station.”
“What about the smell? I asked. “There is nothing quite like the smell of the pages of a book and the ink. It is what the whole experience is all about.”
“Yep.” she said. “Can't do much about that. But there will be other things we can do to enhance the experience.”
“Part of the reason for telling you this,” she said, “is it might help you write some cool stuff about me instead of the drivel that slides off your keyboard onto the screen.”
“Oh.” I said. A tad chastened. But ever the one to bounce back, I said. “OK. What might this paradigm shift business be able to offer me as a person living in the here and now? I am not in the industrial revolution, or the advent of printing, or the creating of The Internet. Nor am I involved in the ebook revolution, apart from my own current preference for the Kindle.” So what can it do for me?”
“Ah yes.” she said. The personal perspective. Very good.”
Next time. #ourjillian