Our Readers' Opinions
July 7, 2006
The uncertainty principle vs the client/server motif


Editor: The uncertainty principle was discovered by the brilliant young theoretical physicist, Werner Heisenberg, who earned his PhD at the tender age of 21.

Simply stated, the uncertainty principle says that no one can predict with any certainty, at any moment in time, the exact location of the electrons that orbit the nucleus of an atom. An atom generally consists of one or more protons, neutrons and certain sub-atomic particles. Outside the nucleus are electrons in elliptical orbit around it.{{more}}

This phenomenon is reproduced in governments and businesses around the world. Each tends to have a power centre, with easily identifiable power brokers. A nucleus has various sub-atomic particles and forces, such as p-mesons, k-mesons, top quarks, bottom quarks, muons, mesons, pions, kaons, bosons, nutrenos, charms etc. Similarly, governments and businesses depend on certain minions, who through they may be underlings are, nevertheless, necessary entities in the scheme of things.

When scientists calculate the binding forces exerted by protons and the various particles, they find something missing. There is a force in evidence that is not represented by any known particle discovered to date. They refer to this force as “dark matter”, because whatever it is, it cannot be seen.

Governments and businesses, too, have their dark matter. We do not normally see what constitutes dark matter, but its influence is felt and known to be there. Sometimes it consists of people who quietly provide money to the power center. Unfortunately, this can mean that, “He who pays the piper calls the tune,” and decisions can be made that are more in the interests of the deep pockets than of the electorate or the shareholders. The head that wears the crown often depends on the neck for its orientation.

The negatively-charged electrons are held in place by the positive charges on the protons. They cannot escape because they owe their position, the level at which they orbit, and even their momentum to the nucleus.

This corresponds to the people in government and business who never know their position unless it is determined by the nucleus. They can never have a trajectory that will enable them to escape the defining gravitational force of the nucleus, but are destined to remain always moving in an ellipse about their power base. Their “aye” must always be an echo of the nuclear “aye”. They are the victims of the Uncertainty Principle.

Electrons escape their defined orbits when a fire is placed under the material of which the atom is a part. The heat excites them to higher levels and some are then able to escape to be free from the forces that control them. But then the material changes its nature and becomes an entirely different material or substance. Similarly, when the peons in a government or business become free from the gravitational forces in the power base, that entity changes in nature. It ceases to be a creature controlled by the centre and becomes a truly democratic institution. But this may only be possible when heat or some other external force is applied.

The client/server motif would better serve the interests of an electorate and a business. In this scenario, there is a vertical differentiation of functions, instead of a hierarchical. Everyone stands on the same level. None is above and others beneath. There is mutual respect for the role and functions of each member of the group. A government or business is then more of an organism, in which all are interdependent, than an organization with directives handed down from on high.

Each person has an independence and autonomy of mind and spirit that is most salutary. All are coordinated by a central processing unit (President or Prime Minister) that accepts final responsibility for the decisions made by each working group. But the central processing unit never seeks to micromanage the thinking and decisions of the client group. It acknowledges and accepts the independent decisions of each cluster. It is a reality that is at once more dynamic and creative than any static structure. Members of each group are then stimulated to bring their creative energies to bear upon the problems at hand and may even work harder and longer at their tasks, though not necessarily from 9.00 – 5.00.

This is not an acceptable schema for those who wish to distinguish themselves from others of the team, in order to hog the lion’s share of accolades, while allowing only a modicum to their fellows. Such persons have no power within themselves. What they have is artificial; a veneer. They must rely on bullying to assert their dominance. Their power is due to the position they hold rather than to who they are. They soon lose the respect of all who know the difference.

Clifford Pitt