The Distortion of Ideas LO22983

Nick Heap (
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 10:24:38 +0100

Replying to LO22949 --

I agree about the costs of jumping on bandwagons. Someone said "Don't give
me any more ideas. I don't know how to use the ones I already have!" There
is a book called "Beyond the Quick Fix" by Ralph H Kilmann that helps on

One reason the distortion of ideas happens, I think, is because we can
relate only new information to what we already know. It is also very
comfortable to say "Oh that's just XYZ theory in another form" , when we
come across a new set of ideas. I know this applies to me.

E F Schumacher in "A Guide for the Perplexed" states (p50).

What enables man to know anything at all about the world around him?
"Knowing demands an organ fitted to the object", said Plotonius (d. AD
270). Nothing can be known without there being an appropriate
"instrument" in the makeup of the knower. This is the great truth of
"adaequatio" (adequateness), which defines knowledge as "adaequatio rei
et intellectus": the understanding of the knower must be adequate to the
thing being known."

[end of Schumacher quote... One of my favorite books... ..Host]

This suggests that until a person has a mental and spiritual apparatus
that is capable of appreciating Deming or Senge or A A Milne he or she
will not be able to understand them.

Does this mean that instead of writing one book or article we should write
three? There would be one for people with no knowledge of the subject, one
with moderate knowledge and one for experts. The language and style would
have to be different, perhaps?

Best wishes,

Nick Heap

-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Nickols <>
>Winfried, responding to John Zavacki in the Boundaryless Organization
>thread, inquires...
>>How is it possible that great
>>accomplishments like that of Deming are not only not understood but
>>thought to be understood while it is far away from the original thought?
>>This is not only simplification but even worse, distortion and pervertion.
>>And it happens every day


"Nick Heap" <>

[Host's Note: Schumacher's books are wonderful small gems! In assoc with, these links...

A Guide for the Perplexed by E. F. Schumacher

Small Is Beautiful : Economics As If People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher


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