On relativity and how we are repeatedly mistaken

Pondering on the question of relativity for over three years, and in a continuous effort to nail the meaning of human thinking patterns, I read many physics, engineering, math, and other scholars. My reading focuses on scholars who try to make sense of the way the world works, how things are related and interconnected to each other, and why so many things are way too similar.

According to my observations, one thing becomes crystal clear. Many things, phenomena, systems, and changes work in the same way. Hence, seeing a change in one system may sign there is a change coming in the other system. The tricky part, though, is finding the systems that respond or interconnect with each other, and even more – identify the system that work in groups, and how they behave over time.

If you notice, my main argument is about HOW and not about WHY. I hardly believe any scientist can provide a valid explanation for the root cause of any system or behaviour, and every scientist who works in the field of understanding how things happen will admit that science nowadays has no knowledge WHY things happen, or what causes them to happen at all. This limitation, however, should not discourage us from trying to figure our HOW things relate, associate, and interconnect.

Program Evaluation

Relativity, on the other hand, appears as a real obstacle to human beings (and possibly AI systems that are built on human wisdom) when it comes to the question of HOW systems work together. The major problem of relativity is our limited ability to see the bigger picture. As much as we can try to overcome the problem and explore larger, deeper, and include more data or variables, we are still in loss of too much information. This obstruction inevitably leads us for mistaken conclusions. Moreover, it repeatedly leads us to false inferences and assumptions.

How relativity works? Imagine yourself looking at a data that includes several locations within a time frame. When you try to understand what you see, you immediately look for patterns and repeating behaviour. Once you identify them, you conclude that variable X distributes in Y order (add as many variables as you want); and you forecast this is possibly anticipated to happen again in a similar manner – whether in a stable pattern, growth pattern, non linear pattern, power law pattern, and so forth.

In fact, this is exactly where relativity makes us blind. We see things
relatively to others, and in my experience even scholars who are well aware of this human tendency, cannot think differently. This human trait explains very well why economists cannot explain what happened financially in the decade between 2009-2019; it also explains well why once the real estate prices started to climb in 2010, many believed they will continue climbing in infinity. One can continue describing many other areas in which humans step into the trap: generalizing from one community behaviour to another; assuming that patients will respond similarly to medical treatment; and determine that variable X causes variable Y. We think in a relative way and given our limitation as human beings we will continue to do so.

All things considered, next time when you infer from one thing to another, stop for a second and ask yourself if you just committed the sin of relativity. Because if you did, it is better you be cautious with your assumptions before a decision is made. Practically speaking, in my experience, when you are aware of your tendency to generalize based on relativity, you start to search for more information, look for more data, seek alternative explanations, and get to know some interesting mechanisms that describe HOW things work together. As an informed person, you are unlimited and much clearer in your capability to forecast and vision the future. This is not to say you will be able to release yourself from relativity constraints, but you will at least be aware of it and know what is going hand in hand with what and how, within a timespan that is captured by
human brain.

Share the knowledge...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookEmail this to someonePrint this page