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By Peter Lloyd

The Mexican writer, Carlos Fuentes, has attributed the success of capitalism over Soviet socialism to the West's "constant self-criticism."

Carlos FuentesSoon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he warned that the danger in celebrating our victory, is that we'll stop criticizing ourselves. He warned that the "rule of a single ideology could bring on the worst of dictatorships, in which people are distinguished only by the color of their currencies."

The underlying danger, if I may build on that idea, is in our attraction to order. We do this in a big way every now and then. It's not a coincidence that when the trains started running on time in Nazi Germany, for example, many of the passengers did not return.

Order ranges from a benefit to a disease. At least from the point of view of the creative thinker. Embracing order, using it as a crutch, depending on it, or demanding it from others, can lead us into creative stagnation. Over-valuing order reveals the folly of imposing systems on a universe that is basically chaos and has been working quite well that way for some time.

Disorder or just shaking things up breeds discovery, invention, and innovation. Developments in understanding dyslexia support the "disorderly" work of Dr. Helen Irlen, a California psychologist. She successfully treats dyslexia with ordinary colored filters.

book cover: Reading ColorsBut before scientists could explain why her filters work, three states banned Dr. Irlen from using them in their schools. She was using something that was—heaven help us—a mystery. What's worse, she discovered her treatment by accident.

All of us are here by accident. So why deny the spontaneity of our existence?

Regarding the warnings of Carlos Fuentes, let's be careful and not take too much credit for falling into a social experiment that, for the time being, just happens to be working.

Peter Lloyd is co-creator with Stephen Grossman of Animal Crackers, the breakthrough problem-solving tool designed to crack your toughest problems.
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