Becoming unhinged from reality—and fixing that

Posted May 10, 2011

This is from a most excellent biography of a most interesting person, John Boyd.

The danger is that if our mental processes become focused on our internal dogmas and isolated from the unfolding, constantly dynamic outside world, we experience mismatches between our mental images and reality. Then confusion and disorder and uncertainty not only result but continue to increase. Ultimately, as disorder increases, chaos can result. Boyd showed why this is a natural process and why the only alternative is to do a destructive deduction and rebuild one’s mental image to correspond to the new reality.

Also related is the idea of “creative destruction”. You can find a good discussion/history of the idea over at

Tagged with john boyd | creative destruction | reality

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Kyle's profile picKyle Mathews lives and works in Seattle building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter. Currently exploring what's next and open to consulting.