Problem Solving: All Roads to Rome

The root of problem solving is the pressure by which a problem exerts an influence onto the present situation. For example, one such problem might be the lack of competitiveness of the economy of a certain city. We may decide to connect trade routes to this city, let’s call it Athens. Suppose we connect trade routes to Athens from modern Jerusalem. But if we want to build another totally different city, let’s call it Old Jerusalem, we may start with a trade route to Old Jerusalem from the real modern Jerusalem. This trade route may initially set off alarms as modern Jerusalem and its goods are in competition with many of the aspects of Old Jerusalem. Both versions of the city claim to be a holy city. Old Jerusalem was mostly built around feelings and faith, while New Jerusalem is based around reason and science. When products from New Jerusalem are brought to Old Jerusalem, the Old Jerusalem crowd may misuse these products, using them on feeling and faith rather than reason and science. Suppose these products on the trade route are cloth, hides, salt, potash and gold. The immediate effect of receiving these products in Old Jerusalem is we should be able to clothe our farm workers and grow more food and even start an economy based on the gold. Yet that is not what happens. Immediately after these products appear on Old Jerusalem, the feelings and faith begin to disappear in the face of increased consumption and there is some panic that the old civilization will be lost forever without room to pass down its characteristics and it will only have senescence in front of it. This is unrealistic because introducing new products to an area should not change the character of the area especially if these products have been introduced to Athens with great effect. The feelings and faith seem to have disappeared as a result of greater anxiety from a more active economy and the compensation to that anxiety involved dropping some right wing beliefs and taking left wing beliefs as well as the consumption of anti anxiety medication made by drug discoverers. This is a phenomenon apparent to people in cities with a lot of character: economic development can change that character, yet not engaging with innovation and the risks of advancement would lead the city to flounder in the face of crime and other aspects. Fundamentally Old Jerusalem started like Athens on a nutrient poor base, where Athens were some beautiful islands though, Old Jerusalem was no more than a small legacy in a desert. So there was a need for a trade route with New Jerusalem and feelings and faith taught Old Jerusalem to open that trade route even at the expense of losing the character of Old Jerusalem and discontinuing Old Jerusalem’s ability to transmit from generation to generation the old civilizations including that of Athens. Athens can be taught as a new city so Athens deferred to the risk that Jerusalem was taking with the cultural legacy, especially as Jerusalem was arguing it may not survive and then if it didn’t, Athens would have to be taught anyway to the next iteration of Athens as nothing would be transmitted by Old Jerusalem. The problem solving hence was based on feelings and faith and led to interim chaos as there was panic whether the feelings and faith had extinguished itself to solve the problem. We must conclude then that being clever is no way to solve a problem but rather managing the course of action by which a problem is solved so that the problem can be solved in time by the processes we unleash: that is the root of problem-solving. Someone really clever would still have to decide whether to take the risk of opening a trade route to Old Jerusalem from New Jerusalem and his cleverness would find no answers as to what he should do because of the intrinsic risk that he would lose Old Jerusalem forever. However, feelings and faith led him to do what was right which was try to save Old Jerusalem even at the expense of losing that feeling and faith and even at the expense of losing the only way Athens could pass down its cultural legacy: by the books of Jerusalem and their holy ways, and that is because Athens really has another way of passing down its cultural legacy: by teaching which wouldn’t allow for a direct transmission of Athens but could result in something just as good. Old Jerusalem however cannot be taught it must be passed down as an inheritance and the city must thrive past the moral obstacles. Am I arguing that feelings and faith present the best route to problem solving? Of course not. But I am arguing there is little irrationality in problem solving as it is all about chipping away at the problem: in my case, it was the cultural and moral decay in Old Jerusalem that resulted from being outcompeted by other cities around it, and this lack of competitive ability was because of the desert ecosystem of Old Jerusalem which can be addressed via trade routes. Perhaps if more research was done, we wouldn’t have had the interim panic but in a way there was no alternative but to go ahead as what we found in trade routes was not just something to take away feelings and faith when those are unnecessary but a wholesale personality redesign of Old Jerusalem given the new trade routes. The problems in Old Jerusalem before were manifesting in the personality of the city and had to be solved with the means in front of us even if research was not complete on whether those means would result in Old Jerusalem losing its character as we had no choice: we had to save the city and the means were in front of us which we did not know would work or make things worse, but it wasn’t at the end a judgment about the means but a judgment that we had to do something about what was happening and the means in front of us would not always be there. In short in problem-solving it is not about being clever, it is about being robust, as if you try everything you will eventually get the answer but as you try, on your way there, you must not lose your faith in all that is good and you won’t if you are robust and believe that even when your own rationality fails there was a reason and a prime cause. And now I have this second city which I will just call my Jerusalem and I will say it is not like a mind like Athens or perhaps a face like the Parthenon at Athens but a channel to God that isn’t quite understood except that it does have a mind of its own and it sometimes does take over to get what it needs done: Jerusalem sometimes does unleash its holiness and religion to temporarily overpower the rest of the reason in the world in order to make bets for itself with its own technology. What is a mind? A city. A face though like Athens has, is a natural wonder as the Parthenon in Athens generates a personality for Athens. I would say it is extraversion. And a mind for Jerusalem that is fledgling after surviving all that it needed to, and what is the future face of Jerusalem? It would be the faces of the sons and daughters that seek to learn from the city. Many faces are possible but already they come into one face, which is that of intuition, and that is the face of Felix Mendelssohn, a great composer, whose face generates upon the face of Athens which is that of Pericles, the great unifier, and politician of the Delian League at Citadel. Jerusalem isn’t Delian League but it soon will be: Jerusalem can be thought of as Tudor with which I don’t have any relations but I can one day represent if I get the trading down. Thank you for the time and notice here there was very little meaning that wasn’t garnered from the problem, which was decay in Old Jerusalem of morals, and compulsions to deal with the crime and decay in Old Jerusalem with unsustainable tactics. As such, the meaning is from the problem itself and is not mine but yours. Thank you.


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