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🦉 10x curiosity - The Ship of Theseus - When does it become a different ship?


🦉 10x curiosity

September 26 · Issue #227 · View online

🦉 A weekly sample of links that made me think 🤔

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Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in 544 b.c. said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
A subtle but powerful sentiment that change is ever present in our lives, both in ourselves and in everything around us. Even when things nominally do not change they are in a constant state of renewal. Our bodies are replenishing cells reportedly we regenerate ourselves entirely over 7 years ; Our homes and cars and gardens require constant maintenance as we fight entropy and the constant degeneration to disorder and chaos. Our relationships with friends and family are maintained through effort and action. 
This concept was explored by Plutarch in his famous thought piece about the ship of Theseus:
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
-Plutarch (Vita Thesei, 22–23)
Another take on this from Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century where he pondered the quandry 
 where a collector took all the original boards that were replaced and one-by-one, built a second ship of Theseus. So which ship is the actual one, the immaculate memorial in the harbor or the rotting one in the dry dock? 
There is no right answer. What this paradox reminds us is, although we see identity as a fixed and solid structure, it’s actually thin, malleable, and ever-changing.
At my workplace the pipes and pumps and tanks have been in service for over 50 years, operating in the same manner for the entire half a century -solid, immovable, unchanging. But of course that is not true. The majority of that equipment at some point in time wearing out and requiring replacement, often many times over, so although the intent of the process is true to the original design, the actual equipment performing the work is in a continual state of deterioration and renewal. Is it the same business it was 50 years ago? Yes and no. 
Where are you fighting the inevitable renewal that has to occur, and is it really a worry that it will initiate change? Or like the ship of Theseus is this renewal simply the cost required to hold the status quo?
More like this….

Links that made me think...
Evolve Or Die
7 Differences between complex and complicated - Noteworthy - The Journal Blog
Fast track 🏎️ 💨 to learning Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile, Pretotyping, and Design Sprint
Maintaining production - Ensemble
South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95% | World Economic Forum
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