Why was TRIZ born in Baku ?

Many people are wondering why was TRIZ born in the godforsaken Baku and not in one of the presumed intellectual capitals of the world such as New York or Paris ? The Boston-based Altshuller Institute for TRIZ studies ventured to offer an explanation: "Baku was a cultural ecotone where European, Islamic and Asian cultures met. It is probably significant that TRIZ, which encompasses both Eastern and Western thought modalities, originated within such a diverse east-west climate."

Well, European, Islamic and Asian cultures also met in London, Paris etc. and even to a greater degree than in Baku but TRIZ, alas, was not born there. Hence, the origins of TRIZ are not rooted in Asian/Islamic ways of thinking. Surprisingly, its real roots are not difficult to uncover. Regardless of how unfashionable, reprehensible and awful it may sound, but the naked truth is that TRIZ sprung out of ... Marxism (I apologise to anyone who might be offended or disturbed by this statement).

Indeed, they were Marx and Engels who first applied Hegel's dialectics to the history of technology and had shown that advancement of technology goes through resolving contradictions. The Soviet historians of technology continued to hold the line and amass examples of such contradictions resolution in the course of technology advancement. They published numerous books on the subject and Altshuller read them. They were on his bookshelves, especially books on contradictions between various parameters of aviation technology. What Altshuller added to the above dialectical vision was just understanding that technology advancement proceeds through inventions and, hence, they are also outcome of contradictions resolution !

This conclusion was quite natural for an inhabitant of USSR who:

And all these qualities met in Altshuller.

It ought to be added that generally uncovering methods of various arts and codifying them was popular in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s. For example, the Russian actor and director Stanislavsky uncovered 300 methods of acting and urged actors to be aware of them and master them. It is, therefore, no wonder that in this intellectual climate Alsthuller who was striving to improve his ability to solve inventive problems started collecting principles of invention, came to the idea of technical contradictions, created contradiction matrix, etc.

Thus, why TRIZ was born in USSR and not elsewhere is easily explainable. As for Baku the place was not important. Why did Alexander Graham Bell invent telephone in the godforsaken Brantford in Ontario and not in New York ? Just because he lived there. The same goes for Baku. TRIZ was born in Baku because Altshuller lived there. As the saying goes, "it is not the place that adorns the person but the person that adorns the place".