A puzzle for Darrell Mann

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

Darrell Mann presented an interesting collection of examples on Asymmetry [1]. The need in yet another collection is questionable, of course. Nevertheless, it was interesting to learn that predators generally have very limited field of view (as Darrell Mann has). But whatever they see, they see in depth (as Darrell Mann does).

The above properties of predators make them very poor at locating the prey by observation. But as soon as something points them in the right direction and their eyes lock in on the prey, they see it in detail.

The same happens to Darrell Mann. He is a poor observer (as we had a chance to notice elsewhere). He has a difficulty of finding new ideas (the scientists' prey) on his own. But as soon as something (or somebody) points him in the right direction, he does a superb job.

So, let us point Darrell Mann to what he does not see. Collecting examples on systems becoming asymmetric is not a novel business. Many predators before Darrell Mann hunted in this area and practically finished it off. The worthy prey is located in the opposite direction. Namely, in collecting examples on systems becoming symmetric.

The point is that when Altshuller proposed Asymmetry principle, he wrote: "The systems get born symmetric. This is their traditional shape. That is why many problems, which are difficult to solve for symmetric objects, are easily solved when symmetry is violated" [2].

The latter claim is not quite true. Most systems get born symmetric. But not all. Some get born asymmetric. For them the opposite happens: they become symmetric in the course of evolution. Nobody as yet, however, presented a good collection of examples on transition from asymmetric to symmetric objects.

Now, after we pointed to Darrell Mann a worthy prey, we expect him to lock in on the problem and demonstrate his superb working skills. Let him collect and present a collection of the relevant examples. Good luck in your hunt !

R E F E R E N C E S:

  1. Darrell Mann, "Asymmetry", The TRIZ-journal, September 2003.
  2. G. S. Altshuller, "The innovation algorithm", (The Moscow Worker, 1973, in Russian), p. 144.