The Conceptual Challenge of Speed

The third challenge is the Challenge of Speed, or of Change.

The spread of digital representation technologies has given a remarkable acceleration to the processes of change in human society at all levels. New discoveries, new products, new ideas, new stories are literally produced at an almost daily pace thanks to the extreme ease of access to instant communication for anyone.

The rigorous Analytical Paradigm requires rather long times for the elaboration of the novelties. The sequence of observation, analysis, modeling, verification, categorization, translation of results into educational packages, training of educators and, finally, training of the final beneficiaries allow to create high-end educational packages, but it works only if two requirements are met:

  1. the highly qualified human resources in control of the first steps of the sequence must be in sufficient number to deal with the materials to be analyzed;

  2. the observed phenomenon must remain substantially unchanged for a period of time significantly longer than the duration of the knowledge creation and transfer cycle.

Both conditions, but especially the second, fail in the digital age. The exponential growth of the complexity of the systems would require the presence of a very high number of highly qualified and continuously updated experts. Assuming that the ongoing efforts to achieve this goal were crowned with success, the problem remains that the time of obsolescence of a large amount of knowledge and skills is now measured in terms of months and no more of decades or centuries. To keep the operational framework of the Analytical Paradigm sustainable, it should be possible to complete the cycle of knowledge creation and transfer in a few hours or at most in a few days. This objective is patently impossible, also due to the fact that the very improvement of this process contributes to increasing the problem it must solve.

We need a new paradigm.