richard_saul_wurman's picture
Founder, TED Conference; EG Conference; TEDMED Conferences; Architect, Cartographer; Author, Information Architects
Certainty. Absolute Truth. Exactitude.

A wonderful diagram is the approximate theory of the sun centered solar system of Heliocentrism done by Nicolaus Copernicus that he published in 1543.

It would never be published in any academic circles today because it is not correct. The orbits are not circular; they are elliptical, they're not all on the same plane and the diagram is completely disproportionate and does not represent the distances between the planets or from the planets to the sun. It's a diagram of approximation. It's a diagram that give permission for others, as Tycho Brahe released his documentation and his measurements so that Kepler could come up with a more approximate notion of our planetary universe incorporating more accurate geometries.

What I'm suggesting be retired, are the first three words that I wrote above and what I suggest to be embraced is more academic leeway in theories of approximation that give permission for others to see and discover new patterns.