Friday, September 25, 2015

Nikki Anne Schmutz writes

Paradigm Shift

Tectonic life plates
shift perceptions
in upheavals
rumbling from the deep
Walls built over years
using stones cast about
tremble and shake
Ghosts of voices release
as fissures reveal
Buried discontent flows
freely devouring
surface complacencies
altering landmarks
Without a map
we are left to wander
a place unrecognizable
Forced to become
explorers of fate
and acceptors of circumstance


  1. In 1962, Thomas S. Kuhn published THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION, in which he argued that scientific advancement is a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions," in which "one conceptual world view is replaced by another." This is a "paradigm shift." Though Nikki is writing about personal, emotional states, she presents them in the form of geological/geographic imagery. Her first line is the map's legend: In 1912 meteorologist Alfred Wegener presented his theory of "continental drift" to explain why similar animal and plant fossils and rock formations are found on different continents and why various continental shelves seem to fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. He thought a single "Urkontinent" existed before breaking up and drifting to their current positions, with Gondwanaland and Laurasia as intermediate super-continents. However, most geologists rejected his paradigm because Wegener didn't have a good model to explain how the continents moved apart. That changed dramatically in 1960 when Harry Hammond Hess In 1960, Hess presented a report to the Office of Naval Research that advanced the theory that the Earth's crust moves laterally away from long, volcanically active oceanic ridges. This paper led to the acceptance of tectonic plates, Wegener's missing mechanism, and is regarded as the most important paradigm shift in modern geology.

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