On the History of Standard 3.2.1
(Transition from Macro to Micro Level)

Y. B. Karasik
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

In 1975 Altshuller put forward the idea of the Standard higher level solutions for various types of inventive problems and proposed the first 5 Standards. Soon thereafter, he decided to involve the members of ОЛМИ (or VLMI, i.e. "the Voluntary Laboratory of Methodology of Inventioneering") into the work on identifying the new Standard higher level solutions for other groups of inventive problems.

At the meeting of the Voluntary Laboratory in his apartment, he told that he had several bunches of apparently similar strong inventions, which could result in new Standards. He asked for volunteers to analyze the bunches, figure out what their respective inventions had in common, and propose the wordings of new Standards.

I volunteered for the task and got a bunch containing inventions such as "The handplane with a cutting blade differing in that in order to facilitate extraction of the blade it is fixed in place with a piece of an easily melting metal ..." (In the traditional handplanes the blade is fixed in place with a wooden wedge. It is sometimes difficult to tap out the wedge in order to release the blade. The invention proposed to simply melt such a wedge which was now supposed to be made of an easily melting metal rather than wood.)

Having analyzed the inventions of the bunch, I figured out what they all had in common. In all of them macro-physical (e.g. mechanical) schemes to perform macro-physical (e.g. mechanical) works were replaced by micro-physical processes to achieve the same macro-physical objectives. In particular, mechanical schemes were replaced by pieces of material performing the same function when controlled by or interacted with a field.

I prepared a proposal for the Standard and headed to Altshuller. When I finished my presentation, he giggled and said: "Ну что-ж, неплохо: хочешь делать по-большому - делай по-маленькому !" (which literally means "Well, not bad: wanna make a big one - make a small one", but which real meaning is "wanna number 2 - go for number 1 !")

He took my proposal and later modified it as follows: "If characteristics (such as accuracy, response time, etc.) of a technical system have to be improved and this is prohibited by the laws of nature or requires a significant worsening of other parts of the system, then the problem can be solved with the help of transition from macro- to micro-level. Namely, the system (or its portion) has to be substituted by a piece of material capable of doing the same job as the whole system (or its portion) when interacts with a field."

That which was "in particular" in my proposal became "namely". On the other hand the extended formula "from macro-scheme for macro-works to micro-scheme for the same macro-works" was shortened to just "transition from macro- to micro-level".

In this wording the Standard was published in "Creativity as an exact science" as Standard #9.