Wishful Thinkers of TRIZ-journal

TRIZ-journal is eager to inflate TRIZ achievements and in order to cover it up they do not stoop to putting their words into the mouth of Altshuller. The latest example is an article by A. Zakharov published this month in TRIZ-journal. Its initial version contained unbelievable quotations from Altshuller:

  1. "Altshuller ... wrote that while ARIZ had features of universality it was also being used for problem solving in science and arts."
  2. "It was his understanding that because of its uses in arts, sciences, nature, etc. that many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for non-technological problem solving."

I tried to find where Altshuller could say such incredible things using the references provided by the author but to no avail. Then I wrote him the following letter:

Dear Alex,

In your article "Explore the future of TRIZ …" you quote Altshuller: "Genrich Altshuller (the father of TRIZ) did not have problems using TRIZ tools outside of technology. He wrote that while ARIZ had features of universality it was also being used for problem solving in science and arts.4 It was his understanding that because of its uses in arts, sciences, nature, etc. that many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for non-technological problem solving. 5"
Links 4 and 5 brought me to a page, where I could not find the afore mentioned statements by Altshuller. Can you please give me the exact link to a page, which contains those statements ?
Thanks a lot in advance,
Yevgeny Karasik

In response he pointed me out to http://www.altshuller.ru/triz/ariz-about1.asp and http://www.altshuller.ru/engineering16.asp, examining of which immediately revealed that TRIZ-journal distorted Altshuller's words.

Our correspondence ensued:

Hi Alex,

what a difference one word makes ! Altshuller did not write that "ARIZ is being used for problem solving in science and arts." He wrote that people "START using ARIZ for INVESTIGATION of problem solving [process] in science and arts." As you realize the difference is as big as between the following assertions:
  1. rockets are being used for flying to Moon
  2. people start investigating the possibility of using rockets for flying to Moon.
Similarly, you also omitted one important word from the second quotation: Altshuller did not say that "many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for non-technological problem solving". He said that "many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for DEVELOPING THEORIES of non-technological problem solving." The difference is again huge.

Sincerely,
Yevgeny Karasik

Unexpectedly, I received the following response:

May 6, 2008

Dear TRIZ Journal editors;

I am A. Zakharov, the author of “Explore the Future of TRIZ With the Trends of Evolution” article in TRIZ Journal May 2008,

I’ve got some comments from Y.Karasik concerning G.Altshuller’s citations in mentioned article. I put all this comments and requests into table for more easy understanding.

A.Zakharov’s original translation of Altshuller's phrase in article for TRIZ Journal How phrase is published in TRIZ Journal Y.Karasik’s comment A.Zakharov’s comment and request
«...ARIZ gets features of universality; it is being used for problem solution in science, art, etc. » Genrich Altshuller (the father of TRIZ) did not have problems using TRIZ tools outside of technology. He wrote that while ARIZ had features of universality it was also being used for problem solving in science and arts. Altshuller did not write that "ARIZ is being used for problem solving in science and arts." He wrote that people "START using ARIZ for INVESTIGATION of problem solving [process] in science and arts." It’s my mistake in citation. Please change my original phrase by the following phrase: «ARIZ gets features of universality; (researchers) start using ARIZ outside of technology for investigation of problem solving in science, arts, etc.»
«... Evolution of all systems is controlled by similar trends, therefore many ideas and tools of TRIZ can be used for development of theory of non-technological problems' solving... ». It was his understanding that because of its uses in arts, sciences, nature, etc. that many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for non-technological problem solving. Altshuller did not say that "many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for non-technological problem solving". He said that "many ideas and tools of TRIZ could be used for DEVELOPING THEORIES of non-technological problem solving." Citation was changed by TRIZ Journal editor. Please return the original phrase or try to keep the meaning of the original.


I feel that the practice of correction of citations and publication process itself is a process that similar to Wikipedia's one. It will help to make TRIZ Journal better and better.

In my practice I do my best to keep and use the exact citation. Even in this case I think I didn’t distort spirit (meaning) of G.Altshuller's words that TRIZ trends are universal and they fit to describe systems in technology, manufacturing, science, culture, society and nature.

Sincerely,

Alex Zakharov

The editors satisfied A. Zakharov's request and made the corresponding changes. But his understanding what Altshuller said regarding applying TRIZ to science is still incorrect. Altshuller did not and could not write that ARIZ was started to be used for solving scientific problems because he knew that it was not true. He only knew that G. Filkovsky and I started exploring the possibility of applying TRIZ to interpretation of the paths to scientific discovery. That is why he emphasized: "ARIZ is started to be used for INVESTIGATION of problem solving [process] in science". Zakharov's understanding of what Altshuller said is still in line with wishful thinking of TRIZ-journal.