Altshuller resisted attempts to characterize evolution of a technological system towards ideal machine as the process of improving partial characteristics of the system. Here are excerpts from his debates on the subject with people that thought otherwise [1]:
Altshuller: The tendency to ideality is simply reduction of weight, size.
Zlotin: One cannot say so. Otherwise a toy truck is more ideal than a truck that carry a 300 tons load.
Altshuller: As a toy it is more ideal.
Zlotin: The main function is transport of freight.
Litvin: If the main function is transport of freight then truck carrying a 300 tons load is more ideal.
Zlotin: It is because the ratio of the weight of freight to the weight of truck is higher. You yourself once pointed it out.
Altshuller: No, by increasing ideality I meant what I wrote, decreasing the weight of a machine, its size, and expenses.
Zlotin: Partial weight and partial size.
Altshuller: This is your definition. You build your system of definitions. You substitute my definitions with yours and accuse me of illogicality. But the conflict is between my definitions and yours. Let's adopt one system of definitions.
Bogach: I always assumed that the law of ideality says about partial characteristics.
Altshuller: But I did not assume so. I assumed that any worthy machine should become ideal. I was appalled to see that this does not always happen. ... When a simple mechanical device is replaced by electro-mechanical one it is a step back from ideality. Will you be arguing that ?"
There would have been nothing to debate, had Alsthuller had an example to show that improving partial characteristics may not advance a system towards the ideal one. Unfortunately he did not have it and his opponents took advantage of it. That is why I decided to present such an example here.
Single-shaft gas turbine engine consumes 30% more fuel than twin-shaft gas turbine engine of the same power. However, it is 3 times lighter, occupies less volume, cheaper, and more reliable [2]. Which of them more ideal then?
From the standpoint of the partial characteristics (power/fuel consumption) single-shaft engine is less ideal than twin-shaft. But from the standpoint of partial characteristics (power/weight), (power/volume), (power/cost), and (power/reliability) it is more ideal.
Thus, there are technical contradictions between different "measures" of ideality. Improving all partial characteristics is not always possible. And these contradictions are not always resolvable.
So, how to evolve a real system to the ideal one? Here the ambiguous views of Altshuller turn out to be more inspiring than their trivial "disambiguation" by his mediocre opponents.
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