“The beautiful, ugly truth” is how the leader writer in the latest New Scientist (28 June 2014) headlines the argument that it is “better to see the cosmos as it is, rather than as we’d like it to be”.
Suggesting that scientists have come to expect truth to be beautiful - and symmetrically structured - the article argues instead that “the cosmos makes more sense if it’s not quite perfect”. This provides a lead-in to the cover story, which exposes the “ugly fact” that we live in an inelegant universe. I guess that some might even call it “wiggly”!
“Perhaps,” the leader writer suggests,
“It’s time we stopped trying to find the truth through beauty, and instead try a bit harder to find beauty in the truth of ugly facts.”
I’ve argued much the same throughout this blog in relation to the nature of organizational dynamics and management practice. That is, managers, practitioners, politicians, and other commentators would do well to see the ‘beauty in the truth’ of the complex social dynamics of organization and the muddling through nature of real-world management practice. The challenge is illustrated below.