Want to make the world
a better place?
“Criticize by Creating”
The Greek “theoria” originally referred to a way of seeing
the world. Although “theory” in the modern sense often
has connotations of abstract and unrealistic, we use it in the ancient
Greek sense of seeing the world in a particular manner. Ideas are
tools to help us understand reality more effectively. If they do not
support us to understand reality more effectively, they are worthless.
"People only see what they are prepared to see."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many people, when they first
see a developing world slum, are, quite
rightly, aghast at the poverty. But there is a different way of
seeing this same slum: The most basic “theory” of population
growth is that fewer children die than used to be the case. Thus
this vast urban poverty is the direct result of billions of children
living instead of dying due to improved health and nutrition.
Throughout the history of
the human race, most mothers have lost most of their children to death. Dramatic improvements in health and
nutrition around the world are directly responsible for the “population
explosion.” On the very most human level, the “over-populated” Brazilian favela pictured
above exists in such a crowded state because millions of mothers had
millions of children live to adult-hood instead of dying.
One can learn to look at the above photo and “see” millions
of mothers grateful that their child did not die. One can also “see” millions
of mothers who hope that their living children can have better lives. Yes,
it is a good thing to be able to look at a favela and “see” millions
of children who survived rather than died, and it is a good thing to “see” a favela and
urgently desire to help these people to live far safer, healthier, happier
If ideas, including the ideas included in FLOW
theory, do not enhance the way you see the world, then they are of no
value. We should
all develop the habit of “trying ideas on,” much as we
try on a pair of glasses, and see how the world looks through those