Darrell Mann a la Valeri Tsourikov

Y. B. Karasik

Thought Guiding Systems Inc.
Ottawa, Canada
e-mail: karasik@sympatico.ca

The main point of TRIZ is that there are laws of technological systems' evolution. Surprisingly, there are also laws of evolution of comprehension of TRIZ by an individual. Here are some stages of this evolution:

Stage 1. Get excited at the basic TRIZ notions: contradictions, 40 principles, SuF triangles, etc.

Stage 2. Start looking at everything through the glasses of these new concepts.

Stage 3. Start combining TRIZ concepts with other ones, mostly contradictory to TRIZ.

Stage 4. ....

Well, it does not matter what Stage 4 is because most of the authors of the TRIZ-journal stuck either at Stage 2 or Stage 3. Darrell Mann is the best example.

Every month the TRIZ-journal publishes his articles which content fluctuates between Stage 2 and Stage 3 and stubbornly does not go beyond. After toying for years with the contradiction matrix and 40 principles, he eventually switched this month to the notion of contradiction itself. Now contradictions seem to him everywhere.

Are you excited ? It is definitely because you resolved a contradiction ! [1] Are you joking ? Then you are definitely serving a contradiction to your audience [2]. What, they got the joke ? Then they definitely resolved the contradiction ! Etc, etc, etc.

It is unclear, however, what he understands by resolution of contradictions. The joke contradictions he considers are of the type: I expected you to be in place X and you turned out to be in place Y. Such contradictions cause us some emotions, called joke understanding. But where is resolution of contradiction here ? And if there is one then what does it resolve ? No answer provided. In TRIZ, contradictions of the type "A and anti-A" get resolved by satisfying anti-A with B and A with anti-B [3]. Nothing like this is seen in the examples with jokes. It looks like that in an attempt to view everything through the glasses of contradictions, Darrell Mann gave into wishful thinking here.

He was not first to fall into the trap. I recollect how Valeri Tsourikov tried to revolutionize the search for civilizations in space by claiming that signals from space can only be considered to be generated by aliens if and only if they contain a contradiction ! Since then we might have missed some aliens sneaking onto our planet. The infantile sickness of looking for contradictions everywhere is only harmless if people suffering from it refrain from publishing their "results".

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. Darrell Mann, "Design for Wow - An ‘Exciter’ Hypothesis", TRIZ-journal, October 2002.
  2. Darrell Mann, "Disruptive Advertising: TRIZ And The Advertisement", TRIZ-journal, October 2002.
  3. Y. B. Karasik, "Etudes about dualities", "Technology & Science" magazine of the USSR Council of Scientific and Engineering Societies, No. 3, 1980, pp. 27--28.