Comments on a letter from Celso Co

G. L. Filkovsky,
Nomura Securities International,
New York, USA

Celso Co has something to say and finds an opportunity: to comment on some TRIZ Journal article [1]. Actually, C. Co doesn't comment on the article at all, but rather shares personal opinions on various topics calling it, My comments on..., and the TRIZ Journal editors fall for it and put it that way in their list of contents. They don't care.

First, Celso Co has something to say about knowledge in general:
If we take a look on hierarchy of knowledge, we can enumerate them as follows.
1. Philosophy
2. Mathematics
3. Social Sciences
4. Empirical Sciences
5. Engineering
6. Technology

C. Co does not clarify who are these we and what is a principle of this enumeration, and of course they can enumerate anything in any way, but in regards to C. Co's article, I find the following enumeration of hierarchy of knowledge more appropriate:
1. God - knows all
2. A highly educated person - knows a lot
3. An expert - knows something very well
4. An educated person - has common knowledge and understanding
5. A poorly educated person - heard of something
6. Uneducated person - does not have an idea

This enumeration is useful, because it allows to weigh C. Co's opinions. For example, C. Co says:
I have seen a paper on TRIZ as philosophy. This indicates level 5.
The Su-Field graphics is analogous to graph theory in Math. I happened to be a mathematician and can tell with all certainty: this analogy is superficial, both have circles and arrows, that's about it. Level 5.
TRIZ concepts have roots in sciences. Level 5.
The Su-Field graphic model is evidently Russian in culture. I grew up and spent first 23 years of my life in Russian culture and can tell with all certainty: Su-Field model has even less to do with Russian culture than with graph theory. Level 6!

The following revelation deserves a separate look:
I reformat the contradiction matrix. I put on the left side list of principles and on the top side the list of worsening feature. The intersecting boxes will contain the improving features. In this format, I made explicit both the principles and the engineering parameters. This is suitable to cultural aspect of seeing first the bad thing (worsening features) and finding the principles to get rid of it regardless of what features are improved or maintained.

Try do this with a table of distances, for example. Normally, it has starting points on the left and destinations on the top, and gives the distances in the intersecting boxes. Now, reformat it using the C. Co's method: the distances on the left and the destinations on the top. According to C. Co, this is suitable for seeing first the destination and finding the distances to it regardless of a starting point, where you are. I wonder, which culture would find this table useful.

C. Co closes on an optimistic note: I will share more thoughts later. Reminds me of A. Einstein: There is limit to a genius but stupidity is limitless.

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. Celso Co, Letters to the Editor, The TRIZ-journal, June 2003.