EVOLUTION is characterised by the steady rhythm of progress. Innovation is similarly tempered : experimentation which gradually improves a product after each version is immersed in its environment and imperfections are identified.

At times, we bypass the evolutionary or scientific pace, and arrive at a product or theory that is near perfect, ahead of its time. It comes without having undergone the process of steady improvement.

Nature and history teach us the consequences of these short circuits, the price paid for perfection before its time.

It is theorised that the Chinese last out on global hegemony because they perfected the art porcelain  making too early. They made the perfect teacup which made it unnecessary for them to experiment further with vessels to hold their drink.

They never drank wine, and did not see it fit to make a container for it. The Europeans meanwhile emerged from the dark ages in pursuit of technology that would allow them to bottle and handle their preferred beverages better.

They discovered glass, and the improvement of glass resulted in lenses, which led to telescopes and microscopes.

Spectacles were produced, allowing scientists and others an extra two decades of reading and experimenting. Working glass led to vacuum tubes, the building blocks of very early computing.

The Chinese had no glass work until the 19th century. The cost of the perfect porcelain cup to them translated into global leadership. An example of the consequences of tampering with timelines is that of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. You can help it - cautiously - only when it is ready.

You must allow it space to spread and dry its wings. The fight to escape the cocoon is also way to eventual perfection - interfere with nature and you'll find an insect with misshapen wings, unable to fly.

You didn't know any better, your intentions were clear, the struggle was too hard to watch, the urge to play saviour too strong.

History teaches us the consequences of short circuits.

The honor and serving of that latest operational research on the 'philosophy of perfection', continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Lawyer A M Jafferiii.


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