This term (and paradigm) comes from the historian of science Thomas Kuhn. A paradigm is the set of unquestioned ideas scientists share when doing normal science. A paradigm shift is when a paradigm fails radically to explain the data, and instead of changing it a bit, science has to make up something new. This is also known as revolutionary science, or a scientific revolution.

Sample paradigms and paradigm shifts.

This term is abused and used out of context all the time.

As an undergraduate, I and my fellow members of the College of Illuminati of Fenwick House discussed this notion a great deal.

A disclaimer: None of us were physicists, he was a psychologist who did eye-movement studies, and I, well I became themusic.

We discussed the change from a Newtonian paradigm to an Einstein quantum paradigm. Our thinking dwelled upon errors that would show up at the extremes of calculation and vision in the Newtonian model--anomalies.

These became so overwhelming that no matter how much practicioners of the Newtonian model had invested in it, they could no longer whole-heartedly stand by it.

Among their students, and other young turks, in many places, the new paradigm, or new model of explanation would break through. But the new model, we called it the einstein-quantum model, would still have to explain phenomena previously explained in a way consistent with the new explanation of anomalies previously inexplicable.

All rather like a late model car, doing what Henry Ford's Model T's did, but in a way he would never have understood. There are many similarities, but many differences.

The new model would have to be accepted as the truth, or at least enough, so that current practicioners, in their calculations and vision, would be one with it.

This notion of paradigm, and paradigm shift seems to provide an explanation for an anomaly in the philosophy of science: The interim nature of any paradigm.

There would seem to be a succession of paradigms, each closer to the truth, but overlaping with previous ones, but extending into areas previously inexplicable. And each one must command the loyalty of its practioners, and demand the investment of their lives, until eventually, inevitably, overwhelmed.

Music Album by Rhian Sheehan

We need to appreciate that we are intimately connected to the universe. That we are made of the same materials, just assembled in a different way. We are a small but special part of the universe that we have the ability to be conscious. We are the universe looking back at itself and pondering. We have gained the ability to realise, to learn, and to teach, to love and to have, to make life and destroy it, to create music and art, but most importantly, we have gained the ability to understand. Understand incredible things; such that everything around us, including yourself and the vast universe, appears to have been born together as one, some 15 billion years ago, in a colossal explosion caused by a fluctuation in nothingness. It seems we originated from an infintely dense primordial speck of no size.. The paradigm shift in human comprehension is the newfound knowledge that we are all one and the same, but all individually unique.

- Rhian Sheehan

Some describe Paradigm Shift, the debut album by Rhian Sheehan as a cross between folk music and electronic. The haunting major minor shifts of the music combined with the melencholy lyrics create a very New Zealand feel of loneliness and isolation. Samples of what sounds like New Zealand movies intersparse the various tracks of what is a very moving album. Spine tingling stuff.

Paradigm Shift - Track list
01 - Intro
02 - She Walks Into Mine
03 - Waiting (feat. Lotus)
04 - My Absolution
05 - Air on a Bass String
06 - Childsmind
07 - Garden Children (feat. Lotus)
08 - Humoured (feat. Jol Mulholland)
09 - Synthetic City
10 - Journey to Wakatuhuri
11 - The Paradigm Shift
12 - Existing Alone
13 - Waiting (Talisein remix)
14 - If I Gave You the Mic (feat. Sheelahroc) (phat beats down mix)

A paradigm shift is often referred to as someone's perception of their environment changes. For example, if you participate in extreme sports such as skating or biking you often start noticing ledges and other things to ride. If you B.A.S.E. jump, you start noticing high places to hurl yourself off of. The idea is that something that seemed perfectly normal and ordinary before, has now been transformed into something usefull or interesting.

Paradigm shifts are interesting because you start noticing things you hadn't prior to the shift, and you realize what has happened. Try talking to someone with a different 'paradigm' then you, they'll notice things you never would have glanced at twice, and you'll point out things that they would probably not have caught on to. Another way this can affect someone is as simple as learning a new word, and they start noticing that word right and left. This probably contributes alot to the phrase "Two heads are better than one."

Thanks to: Pyromancer

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