In general, people seek to orient themselves in life based on patterns of behavior or established paradigms in all fields of activity. One of the questions that condition the behavior of the human being concerns the truths established both by religions and also by science. People accept the truths imposed by faith-based religions, while those imposed by science are based on the success they achieve by describing the laws of nature and considered valid by the scientific community. Throughout the history of mankind, many religious dogmas have been demolished by the advance in scientific knowledge, just as many scientific paradigms that explained the phenomena of nature were demolished with the emergence of new paradigms accepted by the scientific community.
The breakdown of religious dogmas and scientific paradigms occurred because they did not hold up as truths to be accepted, and also because people started to think free of conventional moorings, that is, because they started to "think outside the box" which is an expression From the English "Think outside the box". How to think outside the box? When this expression is used, it is often referring to the ability to think of non-standard creative solutions for whatever problem is presented. Thus, thinking outside the box can be something to be worked on by someone following the following: 1) Be always informed with everything he can, trying to understand the current scenario from various angles, with systemic vision, with his mind doing connections between observed elements; 2) Escape the routine changing of environment, staying away from the problems of day to day; 3) Write on paper questions that require solution from different angles to obtain alternative solutions; And 4) Think positively by eliminating from his life what puts him down because a healthy mind is the source of creative ideas.
Engaging in the search for new things, looking at them from another angle, looking for new alternatives that meet needs is the starting point for thinking “outside the box” or “outside the square”. In that regard, one of Apple's founders, Steve Jobs was a specialist. Breaking paradigms is always a challenge, no matter what. On the one hand is the conventional, linear thinking, and on the other, the creative spirit, innovation, behavior change, the famous "think outside the box." In his main work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn presents, that for a certain time, people share a mental pattern that guides their convictions to solve a given problem. However, the dominant mental pattern, the paradigm, is often a barrier to get alternatives to the solution of the problem (KUHN, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970). Even so, many paradigms have been replaced by newer, more advanced ones throughout history.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) doubted on whether the paradigms that prevailed in the past should be considered in the future. He was concerned with whether the repetition of a phenomenon in a given number of experiments in the past is a guarantee of its subsequent occurrence in the future. Does the finding of a certain number of occurrences of a law being satisfied in the past provide evidence that the same law will continue to be satisfied in the future? This means that we must be open to the possibility of introducing new paradigms (RUSSELL, Bertrand. Les problems de philosophie. Paris: Payot, 1989). Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), French physicist and historian of science, states that science, far from being able to prove its assertions by means of a logical derivation of self-evident principles, has as its method to derive empirical predictions from its theories and to compare it, with what is observed. By this method, however, no theory can be definitively established, since it is always possible that more than one theory fits satisfactorily with empirical data. (DUHEM, Pierre, Sauver les apparences, Paris: Vrin, 2003).
In turn, Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), French mathematician, physicist and philosopher of science and Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German theoretical physicist, had in common the conviction of those scientific ideas, in the elaboration of physical and mathematical theories, are free constructions of thought. In this sense, they understood that they are not induced in a logical and univocal, necessary and compulsory way, from the data of experience and, furthermore, that they are not inscribed in an innate or a priori structure of thought. It is in this space of freedom that the idea of creation enters into the scientific work that leads to the discovery [PATY, Michel. A criação científica segundo Poincaré e Einstein (The Scientific Creation according to Poincaré and Einstein), available on the website <http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-40142001000100013>. São Paulo, 2001). According to Henri Poincaré, science can teach us nothing about truth, it can serve us only as a rule of action.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, states in his work The Logic of the Black Swan that the human mind is afflicted by three evils when it comes into contact with history, which it calls the "triplet of opacity". They are: a) the illusion of understanding, or how everyone thinks they know what is happening in a world that is more complicated (or random) than they realize; b) the retrospective distortion, or how we can approach subjects only after the fact, as if they were in a rear-view mirror (history seems clearer and more organized in history books than in empirical reality) and c) the overvaluation of factual information and the deficiency of people with deep knowledge and much study. Taleb refers to what he defines as the supreme law of Mediocristan when the sample is large and no single specimen will significantly change the aggregate or total. In Extremistan, inequalities are so numerous that a single observation can have a disproportionate impact on aggregate or total. In Mediocristan it is where we must endure the tyranny of the collective, the routine, the obvious and the predicted, and in Extremistan it is where we are subjected to the tyranny of the singular, the accidental, the unseen, and the unforeseen [TALEB, Nassim Nicholas. A lógica do Cisne Negro (The Logic of the Black Swan). Rio: Best Business, 2015].
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, states in his work The Logic of the Black Swan that the Black Swan is an "outlier" (given spurious of a statistical sample), since outside the scope of common statistics, since nothing in the past can point convincingly to its possibility of occurrence. The "black swan" has an extreme impact. He says: think of the September 11, 2001, "black swan" attack: if the risk was reasonably conceivable on September 10, it would not have happened. For Taleb, normal is usually irrelevant because almost everything in social life is produced by shocks and rare jumps, while almost everything that is studied about social life is centered on the "normal", particularly with "curves in the form of bell" or of Gauss, that reveal practically nothing. Because the bell-shaped curve ignores major deviations, being unable to deal with them, and yet makes us feel confident that we have tamed uncertainty. "Think outside the box" would be to consider, in addition to normal events, the occurrence of "black swans," that is, of unlikely events.
An example of conventional thinking is the attempt to keep operating the failed neoliberal model that dominates the world capitalist system and is leading many countries to ruin. Faced with this fact, it becomes imperative to "think outside the box" with the invention of new models of society on a planetary and national scale that are capable of rationalizing the process of growth and economic and social development of all the countries of the world. The new model of society to be built on a planetary scale should be able to manage the world economy and international relations based on a Planetary Social Contract to ensure world peace and promote global economic prosperity for the benefit of all countries and human beings. This Planetary Social Contract should result from the will of the UN General Assembly that would constitute the new World Parliament that would elect a World Government representative of the will of all the peoples of the world.
At the level of each country, "thinking out of the box" means building a new model of society inspired by the Nordic or Scandinavian social democracy practiced in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland where the Welfare State was established. The Nordic or Scandinavian model of social democracy could best be described as a kind of middle ground between capitalism and socialism, the attempt to fuse the most desirable elements of both systems into a "hybrid" system. It was the social democracy built up to this day in the Scandinavian countries the only model of society that allowed simultaneous economic, social and political advances. It is not by chance that the Scandinavian countries, in addition to having great economic and social successes, are leaders in HDI (Human Development Index) in the world.
* Fernando Alcoforado, member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems.