New Rules For Today’s World

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school… It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it. … That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.

– Richard Feynman, 1966
Photo by Emiliano Arano on

New Rules

Albert Einstein once said “No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.”

Modern science has given us a variety of new ways to view today’s world. Here are nine rules borrowed from modern science that can give us new ways of viewing and understanding what’s happening in the world in which we find ourselves today.

It’s important to remember that these are all facets of one whole. One can no more pick and choose which facets to accept than one can choose to accept gravity but ignore time. As strange and unsettling as some of these concepts may seem, they reflect the current views of modern science.

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Life is Uncertain – The more we try to pin things – and people – down, the more resistant and unpredictable they will become.

Everything is Dual-Natured – You can see a group or you can see a person in that group; you can’t see both at the same time. We always have this dual nature: individuals who are members of groups.

Everything is Relative – People from different walks of life – or even at different points in their own life – will have differing perspectives. All perspectives are relative.

Everything is a matter of Probability. Given the uncertainty inherent in things, we cannot predict precisely what would happen in a given circumstance.

Everything is Linked – Everything is inter-connected with everything else.

Life is Chaotic – We can’t predict the weather, but we can predict the seasons. Things may appear chaotic, but that chaos can conceal an underlying order.

Things develop through Emergence  – The simplest car today is much more complex than a Model T. Things tend to get increasingly complex; this complexity emerges from the bottom up, within a context.

Everything is Energy-based – We are not machines; we are organisms. At our most basic level, everything is made of energy.

Everything is best understood Holistically – A whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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