The time traveler Vladimir Petrov,
or a melody in the wrong key

Y. B. Karasik

Thought Guiding Systems Inc.
Ottawa, Canada

In the former Soviet Union, it was a custom to view everything through the prism of Marxism and dialectics. Once in the high school, our chemistry teacher explained how Mendeleev's periodic table follows from the dialectical law of "the negation of negation" and evolution along the helix. In the 1930s some Soviet physicists liked to derive quantum mechanics from the dialectical law of "the unity and struggle of the opposites", etc.

I believed that these practicies came to an end long before the Soviet Union did. However, the recent article by Vladimir Petrov [1] makes impression that he revisited those times. Altshuller's law of S-curve evolution, Vladimir Petrov views as an embodiment of the dialectical law of "the passage of quantity into quality". The very notion of contradiction as a consequence of the dialectical law of "the coincidence and concurrence of opposites"!

Dear Vladimir, for your information: the notion of contradiction was in use back in the ancient Greece, thousands years before Hegel wrote his treatises on dialectics.

If somebody starts to sing in the wrong key, it does not matter what he sings afterwards: the impression is already spoiled. Besides, Vladimir Petrov managed to make other transgressions in his overture: In the list of the alleged contributors to the TRIZ laws of evolution, I surprisingly did not find anybody who worked with Altshuller in the 1970s when these laws were discovered: neither Hotimlyanski, nor Gorin, nor Filkovsky, nor Flikstein, nor Magerramov, etc. On the contrary, Petrov (who was virtually unknown in Baku in the 1970s) claims that he worked on the laws starting 1973. Well, I do not know which machine he used to travel in time, but it definitely does not work properly.

R E F E R E N C E:

V. Petrov, "The Laws of System Evolution", TRIZ-journal (, Mach 2002