The Paradox of Structure

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The paradox of structure has often confused people and getting aconcept to unravel it remains a complication. Alan Lightman in hisarticle gives a view of the challenges in the management ofstructure. He argues that there is always the problem of balancingflexibility and predictability. Lightman claims that the problempresented in every situation is that in every situation there isalways the enabling and the limiting aspect. It, therefore, meansthat that life in itself just remains as a paradox. The paperanalyses the paradox of structure in human’s body.

An excellent presentation of a paradox of structure is in controlsystem from some production line. In an instance where the system isnot working properly, there might be two options. The first optioncould be to replace the entire system. The other approach would be torecalibrate the system. Looking at the two systems, none of themseems better than the other. This is because both of them have alimitation and an advantage. The effectiveness of the approach takenwill only depend on with the situation and the problem at hand. Thecase, therefore, presents a clear scenario of the paradox ofstructure.

Secondly one can look at the paradox of structure from theperspective of a machine. A machine cannot work at absoluteperfection and neither can it work when it is in bad condition. Agood example is the temperature required for human beings to survive.People cannot work and service when the temperature is too high sincetheir cell will be denatured and one will die. In the same way atvery low temperatures the systems in the body will collapse leadingto death. Human beings can only survive at an average temperature.Any extremes from both the two ends would result in adverse effects.The structure of the human body is both limiting and enabling. Atextreme temperature, the body fails to function the same is with alow temperature.


In conclusion, it is not possible to understand structure. It justremains a paradox. One end is limiting, and one end is enabling yetthey are both working on the same principle. The human body displaysthese characteristics clearly.

Reaction to Thomas

Thomas looks at the challenges two scientists face in their quest tosolve some problems. He notes that the scientists are forced to movebeyond the limits that guide their paradigm. He looks at thechallenge that McClintock had in trying to understand the reason whyIndian con had a random mixture. He also focuses on the problem thatEinstein had in trying to present the idea that acceleration is equalto gravity. He argues that both these individuals were forced to movebeyond the field that controls their paradigm. Thomas has apparentlydeveloped a good view of how the paradox of structure is applied inthe area of science. He argues that paradox of structure applies toall scientists or engineers.

Reaction to Rafiq

Rafiq looks at Allan Lightman article. He presents the argument onthe application of the paradox of structure in one trying tochallenge themselves. He argues that when one gets to solve aproblem, it often makes one feel great. His analysis of the way aperson can address difficult issues and the feeling they get helps tounderstand the way a human mind works. His response is elaborate andwell organized.