Are there patterns of evolution ?
On a fundamental flaw in Altshuller concept of technical systems evolution

Y. B. Karasik,
Thought Guiding Systems Corp.
Ottawa, Canada

All so far proposed "laws" (or "trends") of evolution of technical systems look as follows: initially it is like this (state S0), then it becomes like this (state S1), after that it becomes like this (state S2), etc. For example, if S0="mono", S1="bi", and S2="poly", then we have mono-bi-poly "trend" of evolution. If S0="macro-level" and S1="micro-level", then we have transition from macro- to micro-level "trend".

It seems to be reasonable to describe evolution of technical systems in the terms of states changing over time: S = f(t). Indeed, what else evolution is if not change over time ?

The alternative concept (going back to [1]) is that there are no "trends" of evolution behind technical systems change. Instead, there is a set of options at any time that governs technology change. For example, system may have not a unique but a multitude of the initial states S0, S1, S2,..., SK. From state S0 it may go to states S00, S01,..., S0L. From state S1 it may go to states S10, S11,..., S1M. Etc. For example:

                 |           |--->S000-->etc.
                 |           |--->S001-->etc.
                 |           |--->S002-->etc.
                 |           |--->S003-->etc.
                 |           |--->S004-->etc. 

                 |           |--->S100-->etc.
                 |           |--->S101-->etc.
                 |           |--->S110--->etc.
                 |           |--->S111--->etc.
                 |           |--->S112--->etc.
                 |           |--->S113--->etc.

                 |           |--->S200-->etc.
                 |           |--->S201-->etc.
                 |           |--->S202-->etc.
                 |           |--->S203-->etc.
                 |           |--->S210--->etc.
                 |           |--->S211--->etc.

In this case, instead of "trends" and "laws" of evolution, we have a tree of possibilities. The actual "evolution" of a particlular system is just some possible path on the tree. The other systems may follow other pathes. Thus, there are no universal "trends". However, some systems may share the same path. This may create an illusion that systems follow some common "trend".

The purpose of the research should be not search for "trends" but rather discovery of all possible states and all possible transitions between them (in other words, all possible systems transformations, such as A---> A + (-A); A ---> A + A; A + A ---> A + (-A), A---> (-A) + (-A), etc. considered in [1] for simplicity.)

R E F E R E N C E:

1. Y. B. Karasik, "Algebra of intuition", "Chemistry & Life" magazine, No. 4, 1982, pp. 48--49 (in Russian).