Evolution of 20th Century Thinking:

Entering the 20th Century the diversity of thought provocatively ushered in paradigm shifts across the landscape of humanity driving an evolution in thinking from the 19th through 20th and into the 21st centuries. Science percolated concepts and situational awareness across almost every demographic spanning generation, gender, and cultural gaps and boundaries. The one common thread binding peoples together was up not down. The stars powerfully bound navigators at sea, and sailors carried stellar insights in their stories to an information starved public and they too looked to the stars. Science Fiction authors, television serials, and movies fired the imaginations of millions. The juxtaposition of concepts fed scientific inquiry, and the ensuing discussions between peoples drove paradigm shifts between people that illuminated new ideas at an ever increasing pace which continues to this day. Implications stemming from this evolution in thought is directly responsible for the development of Elegant Reasonism. That is to say Elegant Reasonism is a natural derivative of evolutionary epistemology if for no other reason than it integrates these various foundations.

Discovery of Constancy

Many of these discussions focused on the tools and instrumentation used by humanity to illustrate and illuminate such discussions. New and better telescope designs were introduced and optics were improved upon. New experiments were envisioned, designed, and conducted. As people looked up at the stars, new questions were asked and problems were noticed in our thinking. People wondered “what held celestial bodies, in what exactly were they all immersed”?  In what were they immersed? The late 19th Century found predominant thinking centered on something called the ‘luminiferous aether‘ which was something everyone imagined as the ‘perfectly viscous fluid in which everything real was immersed’. The relationship of this luminiferous aether to celestial bodies (and us here on Earth) consumed leading scientists at the time. Two such scientists, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, then working at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, set out to detect this luminiferous aether experimentally. They constructed a device using a calibrated beam of light that was split so it would travel different paths and was projected on a plate in such a way that a pattern was formed. They and everyone else reasoned that if that pattern changed as the device was rotated locally and moved as the Earth moved it would show changes in that pattern. The pattern never changed and no one understood why. The pattern remained constant. That constancy remained despite the seasons, months, or years. The device was so sensitive that it could detect the hooves of horses in the parking lot in front of the building outside. They knew it was a capable device, and therefore they knew that their thinking must be flawed in some way. The Michelson-Morley experimental device is called an ‘interferometer’ and such devices are still in use today. They measure constancy to ever greater levels of precision.

Logical Correctness of Relativity

The dawning of the 20th century only a few years advanced beyond this experiment, which had been hailed as the most successful failure in scientific history, the ponderings of one man would revolutionize humanity’s thinking for the next century. People need to remember that the constancy issue was the overwhelming problem consuming scientific curiosity at the time. No one was then really contemplating ‘unification’. Everyone was consumed with issues of {luminiferous} aether except one man. That man was Albert Einstein who in 1905 wrote a paper on something he called Relativity. That paper took several decades to gain traction but was significant in several ways beyond the obvious contributions most people recognize today. One key point was to shift thinking away from the luminiferous aether and onto something he called ‘spacetime‘. He rationalized the experimentally derived constancy determined by these earlier experiments as a ‘law’ of nature. He created a logically correct interpretive model of the Universe which integrated this newly observed result.


Einstein reasoned that the speed of light was constant because it was an intrinsic element of the construct of space but in another dimension we perceive as time. The first three dimensions being length, width, and height. The concept construct of Spacetime was born. Einstein rationalized that if the speed of light were taken as a unit of time and that unit equaled 1 then one could not move in the first three dimensions without also moving in the 4th, and that was essentially the genesis of the idea behind Relativity. Taken in this way, it also reasoned a logically correct explanation for the failure of the Michelson-Morley experiment to detect the luminiferous aether. Dimensional frameworks are not discernible to such instruments as they were, and still are, considered ‘intrinsic of nature’. This rationalization required a new rule so strong it was declared a physical law of nature that nothing could go faster than the speed of light. The reason for the law was that no experiment ever developed could demonstrate any real construct traveling faster than that. Neutrinos represent something real which puts a metaphorical dent in that thinking. Another experimenter contemporaneous with Albert Einstein was a man named Edwin Hubble who had experimentally derived spectroscopic data which contradicted Einstein’s ‘rule’.  Many decades later that controversy was the fodder for the inspiration for another team led by Alan Guth at MIT to develop the Inflationary Theory of the Universe. They said that Hubble’s data was explained by the inflation of spacetime.

20th Century Philosophical Developments

While discussions in scientific circles was entranced and otherwise ensnared in relativistic thinking, the world of ‘art appreciation’ was also being developed. In 1948, and also contemporaneous with Einstein and Hubble, Susanne Langer wrote Philosophy in a New Key. Langer’s point was to illustrate how humans appreciate art in all forms, but what she pointed out was the role ‘abstractions’ play in human thinking. We all need to remember that abstractions and their labels have a tendency to insulate and isolate higher ordered ideas from lower ordered details. Why this is relevant here is that when all these various independent developmental insights were taking place, there was also an entire industry being developed. The Information Technology industry didn’t just bring in the wonders of hardware and software, it ushered in new modes of thought, relationships, and the concepts of ‘systems thinking’. Systems Engineering was born of these efforts and contemplations.

The information technology industry over the intervening years of the 20th Century saw an array of advancements but none more influential than Systems Engineering because that process, practice, and profession provided the glue that manifested the modern systems, systems of systems, and networks connecting them together across the Earth. In 1990 the profession was consolidated and represented by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). It is important to take note of when INCOSE was formed, as it is some 80 years after Einstein wrote his paper and some 40 years after Langer wrote her book.


Holistically the technical developments and percolation of new philosophical ideas throughout the 20th Century led industry to develop new business metrics that minimized mistakes, maximized value, and delivered consistent and expected results. Those results were measured in and by the free markets which are ruthless and incessant. Free markets only care about what you have done for them right now, today. Deliver or wither, it is as simple as that. Any review of any industry will find not just mistakes, but series of them, which were ultimately the causal result of catastrophic failure, and often considerable loss of life. Titanic, Lusitania, American Airlines Flight 191, Tenerife North Airport (formerly Los Rodeos) accident when two aircraft collided on a foggy runway, Space Shuttle Challenger, and many many more. Most systemic failures don’t result in the loss of life but those that do illustrate the point that quality systems thinking is required across almost every human endeavor.

The closing several decades of the 20th Century focused on processes and techniques of ‘quality’. The ISO 9000 family of processes and metrics are a direct result of these various systems reviews. The Japanese developed the concept of ‘Kaizen’ (also Kaisan), where it was integrated across global enterprise as a process of continual improvement. The United States in an attempt to facilitate systemic improvements to its economy and participation across the globe created what has become the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (and Award).

21st Century Consequential Developments

The 21st Century took all of these various influences and manifested something of a revolutionary confluence of ideas heavily influencing Charles C McGowen, who developed what is now Patent Pending 16405134 Elegant Reasonism. Having studied aerospace engineering in school, he wound up working for IBM over two decades. He was also a scuba instructor which provided skills that took him on tenures through education environments at IBM. There he became versed in instructional systems design, and other disciplines. He understood distinctions between academic excellence and ‘man rated systems and the curricula supporting them’. The reason for that distinction is simple, if students don’t learn ‘man rated’ course material correctly people can, and often do, die. Purely academic training may result in a bad grade, the loss of a job, but they don’t kill people. During his tenure in education that part of IBM filed for and earned a Bronze level Malcolm Baldrige Award. He was a marketing lead on some operating systems that intrinsically integrated connections to the Internet circa 1994. His tenure took him ultimately to corporate headquarters where in one assignment he was the global knowledge management professional for the marketing profession worldwide. While that may sound interesting it was essentially a consolidation of previous experiences with information systems and educational practices. These systems capitalized on these same various sets of skills. McGowen asserts that anyone with the same or very similar background would have ultimately come to the same conclusions and Elegant Reasonism was therefore inevitable.


McGowen left IBM during the summer of 2003 to care for his aging parents. It was noted by friends that had he not done that it is likely Elegant Reasonism would not exist, at least not created by him. The resulting available time was taken up with various research projects as time permitted. One such project led to asking the question “Why can we not unify physics?” Setting all of the usual discussions aside, McGowen approached the problem from a knowledge management point of view in a systems thinking context. The spring of 2005 found him in his home office reviewing Einstein’s papers. Standing from his office chair with one of those papers in his hand he muttered to himself “well, that makes sense”, and in that moment he froze starring at that piece of paper. That was the moment of inspiration. The epiphany was turning the phrase “well that makes sense” into the phrase “well that makes logical sense” and it was the culminating moment of inspiration ultimately manifesting what became Elegant Reasonism. He instantly understood that the distinction in the latter phrase meant that there may be another simultaneously and also logically correct manner in which to explain 100% of the experimental evidence gathered over the last century.

Realizing that the clue just uncovered might just be an illusion he set off on what became a consuming systems review into what it is we thought we knew and why. There were incongruities all over science about the manner in which we were all thinking. It had flaws in it. The Big Bang was only one fuse. Why and how it occurred could not be easily answered, and rationalizations never provided any answer that also unified physics. Logic problems were common. Typical illustrations ignored requirements imposed by the science of geometry. Only a few were brave enough to point out that reference frames being used for papers were not fully coupled. Stephen Hawking was one brave soul who did point out such problems in thinking. Then there was the inflationary theory of the Universe, which was used to rationalize differences between relativistic thinking and what was being observed by astronomy. However, that did not explain everything either and presented its own set of incongruities. A review of Black Hole science done by Stephen Hawking found inventories of such objects all over astronomy. What was interesting about those inventories is that they ‘grow’. The observation that black holes grow unraveled the proverbial Gordian Knot.

Internet Technologies re: Elegant Reasonism

The information technology industry, especially Systems Engineering, recognizes and deals with “logical views of physical systems” all day long, every single day. Physicists usually don’t do that. Many if not most believe they are working directly with the physical realm and not a logical view of it. Hence the label ‘physics’. However, it is important to recognize the implications of Susanne K Langer‘s contribution here and how human physiology is not geared for the job. Human physiology is geared to automatically furnish abstracted views (e.g. logical views) of the physical realm in which we exist. This is how humans deal with issues not ‘at the same scale’ as our human physiology. Consequently, a framework capable of handling all of these various issues needed to be constructed. McGowen realized that paradigms of interest needed to be ‘translated’ from one interpretive model to another and back again. He instantly recognized a technology employed on web servers called a ‘translation table’. Web server translation tables convert human readable URL addresses into IP4 or IP6 physical addresses on the Internet so that your network traffic can be routed properly.  McGowen  adapted that technology and added analytical layering for analysis and QMS purposes. The result was a three dimensional matrix construct that was specifically designed for knowledge management of abstraction analysis within and across interpretive models of the Universe relative to juxtaposed paradigms of interest. Elegant Reasonism calls these constructs Translation Matrices and they were inspired by IP packet routing translation tables.

Systems Thinking

There has been such a great discussion within the profession of Systems Engineering about what constitutes ‘a system’ that INCOSE has had to begin using the phrase ‘anthropogenic system’ to focus the discussion and activities on information technology systems created by humanity rather than natural systems made manifest by mother nature (e.g. Gaia). The ultimate process employing Translation Matrices described above across the phases, depicted on the generalized process flow chart of Patent Pending 16405134 Elegant Reasonism, produced that first Systems Review The Emergence Model’s logical view M5 which closes to unification. The Emergence Model has a different contextual basis than does predominant thinking. Shifting the context of paradigms of interest from one interpretive model to any other requires a method Elegant Reasonism calls ‘mode shifting’. Mode shifting moves the entire interpretive ‘stack’ model to model so that those juxtaposed paradigms of interest (or of nature) can be reinterpreted in the new context. Positioned within such Translation Matrices and subjected to ISO 9000 QMS standards necessary to fulfill Langer abstract quantification and codification (so subsequent layered analysis may be conducted), several insights became illuminated:

  • Interpretive models (of the Universe) constrain and contain ‘context’ (e.g. Context is a function of specific Interpretive Model employed)
    • The implication of this insight is that the context of one interpretive model cannot be described from the context of another. Each model is distinct.
    • Context therefore ‘encapsulates’ interpretive model based thinking from a knowledge management point of view, and Elegant Reasonism therefore requires complete interpretive model encapsulation of interpretive models.
      • All interpretive models therefore employ a taxonomy tied out to their relative and respective contexts they each uniquely manifest. They have a declared basis model defined by one of the seven recognized models articulated by the patent (e.g. M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7). Subsequent iterations tweaked for some purpose must be quantified and declared as an iteration and uniquely enumerated as M1.0000, M1.0001, M1.000n, etc. The reason there is an odd number of recognized such models is that until we went through this process no one (not even us at the time) recognized nor realized the concept of ‘encapsulation’ or its requirements. The even or odd number of basis models recognized was left as it was worked during that systems review for historical purposes and no other reason. If civilization determines and desires to update this so that each manner of thinking has both a logical and physical view, which by definition requires an even number, then this organization has no particular objection to that and will work within reason to help make that so.
      • It is not allowed to ‘tweak’ some parameter without declaring the specific interpretive model iteration employed. If the ‘tweak’ is unique, then it must justify a new iteration.
  • Any systems review of involved mathematics will separate abstractions employed as variables and constants which are a function of contextual meaning derived from the respective and relative interpretive model from the mechanics of mathematics, which must be holistically isotropic.

Historically and likely traditionally the Systems Engineering profession separated anthropogenic systems from natural systems exactly because there was no clear (as perceived by predominant thinking) relationship between natural systems and anthropogenic systems. The Emergence Model (e.g. M5 and M6) changes that situation exactly because M5 describes the entire Universe Bang to Bang. What must be realized is such an accomplishment necessarily includes manifestation of 100% of the concepts necessary to:

  • Employ systems thinking
    • This necessarily includes an ability to integrate systemic relationships
  • Concepts must span scales from the quantum to cosmological realms
  • Be consistent with proper definitions of geometry and must support reference frames with a real valid geometric basis point
  • All reference frames must be fully coupled
  • Recognize and realize that the real Universe – is – unified, our thinking about it therefore must also be so, and do so as a priority
  • The Emergence Model’s logical view M5 is the first interpretive model to comply with these requirements, and therefore must be included (today) by definition within the plurality of interpretive models employed by Elegant Reasonism

Constancy Mode Shifted into M5

Any review of The Emergence Model’s logical view M5 will find that the intrinsic nature of MBPs manifest two fundamental processes where the first is limited by the second. The first is the ‘build’ process and the second are the conditions where the first process fails. Given the right conditions everything real fails. That is to say they break down into constituent parts. It is this fundamental observation that yielded the concept of a Most Basic Particle (MBP). We can take any real object and subject it to conditions, and it will devolve into ever smaller constituent pieces all converging on a common construct. M5 calls that construct an MBP. While some might want to know just how small an MBP is, we point out that it doesn’t matter because any increased resolution or precision of division only serves to reinforce the concept. Ultimately, we find a construct which cannot be divided using any available or conceivable energy. These contemplations ultimately lead philosophically to a discussion of “something vs nothing”. Philosophically one cannot get something from ‘nothing’, therefore, ‘nothing’ is irrelevant.

Relative to the discussion here, what is important to realize is that the physically defined intrinsic nature of MBPs is what manifests these two basic processes. The speed of light has the constancy it does because the process of failure (e.g. Severance) is the same for all architectures exactly because all architectures are fundamentally configurations of MBPs made manifest by these processes, which are in turn a function of the MBPs intrinsic nature. It is the culmination of the ‘something vs nothing’ musings. Everything real is some configuration of MBPs forming some relative and respective architecture of mass. Physical properties manifest as a function of these relative and respective architectures. Centripetal force on the architecture we call electrons produces the architecture we call photons. Photons are produced by electrons at the same velocity because the Severance value for these systems is the same not because there is a dimensional limitation imposed by ‘nothing’. Are there clues to Severance in M1? Absolutely, and we will be illustrating that in future articles/pages/posts.

In M5 Everything is a System or System of Systems

When we back up and reflect on these issues in the context of illuminated insights holistically realized, we are suddenly struck by the fact that from M5‘s point of view that absolutely everything is a system or system of systems which can be quantified and codified. The question is do we want to spend the time to understand the dynamics of interactions between the various real architectures across those domains of discourse. The answer to that question is a matter of individual desire and determination to understand those particular systems. In any event, all of this just broadened the applicability of already defined Systems Engineering skills, methods, practices, and processes. The profession of Systems Engineering likely just got a boost for those wishing to carry their skills into other areas of endeavor.

Everything real is a system or system of systems


Epistemology is the philosophy of knowledge. Empiricism, Rationalism, Constructivism, and others comprise examples of various forms of this branch of philosophy and they are now joined by Elegant Reasonism. Elegant Reasonism, as an epistemology, does something no other such philosophy can do. That capability is the ability to seek truth from the real unified Universe using standards, methods and processes, technologies and analytical capabilities to form arguments in treatise aligned with the actual real unified Universe. Elegant Reasonism spans scales, connects concepts, reinforces definitions within and across disciplines of science, codifies, quantifies, qualifies, prioritizes, and most important of all, it eliminates Langer Epistemology Errors or LEEs. Developing an Elegant Reasonism based Treatise has the capability to integrate logical views of physical systems in an unprecedented manner that yields clarity of thought and development of {real} evidence (e.g. truth).

We can use the historical discussion the systems engineering profession has had since 1990 when INCOSE was formed (and likely in the preceding decades as well) to make a point about epistemology in general. First, from a broad definition of how the term epistemology is employed, we recognize that there are many forms of “philosophies of knowledge“. Scientists and science in general most often cites Empiricism or empirical evidence. Why is that? The answer has to do with its ability to demonstrate to other humans the sameness of the original circumstances or results. In such scenarios though we must recognize the ties in do so to human physiology and how that physiology is made manifest. Elegant Reasonism recognizes such “at scale” issues but also recognizes as a priority requirement, concepts and constructs necessary to find alignment with the real unified Universe regardless of scale. Elegant Reasonism seeks truth from the real unified Universe exactly because it is. The Emergence Model describes mass not as a loci or point in space but as a rich, robust, and quite dynamic architectural configuration of most basic particles. Physical properties in M5 are a function of the specific architecture resulting from M5‘s processes (e.g. The Fundamental Entanglement Function, limited by Severance). The fundamental point being made here is that debate being held within the demographic of systems engineering professionals occurred exactly because predominant thinking could not find quantifiable relationships between natural systems and anthropogenic systems, and The Emergence Model’s logical view (e.g. M5) can and does. That is to say M5 renders that issue moot. If we take ‘congruence with the real unified Universe’ as truth, because the Universe is what it is, and make no mistake it is unified. It does fully couple all reference frames. The real Universe exists because we are here to bear witness, and that we exist within it we hold as self-evident.

Metaphorically ‘backing up’ and looking at all of this holistically finds that these methods, processes, and technology form the basis of a new epistemology. Elegant Reasonism is more than methods, processes, and technologies. It is a manner of determining truth from the real unified Universe as a function of that Universe. Elegant Reasonism’s methods and processes employing its technologies illustrate how M5‘s most basic particles (MBPs) intrinsic nature manifest processes producing configurations of them. Configurations which ultimately form all of the particles defined by M1‘s Standard Model of Particle Physics. Mode shifted the Standard Model becomes The Emergence Model of Particle Physics. Connections and relationships which are difficult if not impossible for M1 to articulate are illuminated with relative ease by M5, and in that accomplishment something else quite unexpected happens. We find the ability to describe not just how MBPs form inorganic particles studied by physicists, but the organic molecules studied by biologists. Moving through this discussion as a function of our systems review (in an effort to break our hypothesis about Elegant Reasonism and for which we failed), we were delighted to find that descriptions of how the central nervous system manifests memory in biological systems. That topic is too detailed to articulate here, and that is not the point. The point is that Elegant Reasonism did not just unify a discipline of science we call physics. It unified philosophy and science. More succinctly, Elegant Reasonism describes the manifestation of humans within the same discussion describing the Universe Bang to Bang. In hindsight any accomplishment should be expected to do no less, and The Emergence Model succeeds in that as well.


Truth as a function of the real unified Universe is about congruence and affinity. In M5 everything real is some configuration of MBPs. The point here is that there are many epistemologies besides Elegant Reasonism. Elegant Reasonism does not use harsh language to say that those other epistemologies are ‘wrong’. Such language is generally rejected here. For example, Albert Einstein was not ‘wrong’, he was just logically correct. That distinction may be too subtle for some. However, we must recognize that it is possible to correctly describe a logical view of a physical system that remains different from the logical view of it. The floor plan of some piece of real estate containing improvements for a house where the actual real house is different from that floor plan. Elegant Reasonism employs a plurality of interpretations and expectation such that both the logical views and the physical views are integrated for subsequent analysis and comparison to the actual real unified Universe, which is always distinct from any description. Elegant Reasonism never, ever, claims it is describing the Universe. We are always working with interpretive models, which find congruity and affinity with the actual real Universe. That actual real unified Universe is always held in litmus of our thinking. That said, the other epistemologies are ultimately tied to ‘at scale’ manifestation of human physiology, and Elegant Reasonism is not. Elegant Reasonism is a larger tapestry. Some might say it is a super-set epistemology. The traditional epistemologies are necessary but insufficient to gain the precipice of unification.

Langer Epistemology Errors (e.g. LEEs)

To understand how humanity got to the place where we all find ourselves we must understand the conversation that Susanne K Langer attempted to have with us all in 1948 and for whom we have attempted to honor her legacy by naming these types of epistemological errors for. The errors essentially arise because we as humans erroneously believe that we can intrinsically perceive all there is, and that presumption is false. There are real constructs the ‘at scale’ human physiology simply is not capable of perceiving and which requires a greater framework to comprehend to cognizance. That may sound repetitive, but the phrase “comprehend to cognizance” is attempting to point out the difference between academic understanding and the ability to apply within the real realm. An example might be the distinction between pure academics and engineering. Part of the Recognition phase of Elegant Reasonism focuses on these issues in preparation for applying QMS standards to the implications uncovered.

Elegant Reasonism Summarizes the Path Forward

The systems review conducted by SolREI over the period from about 2004 to 2019 uncovered a critical question that must be asked of predominant thinking and it is this: “We know that predominant thinking does not unify physics, but can it?” The ultimate answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’, it can not. The question then becomes ‘why not’. The reason that predominant thinking will never unify physics is that its fundamental constructs preclude it. Specifically, M1‘s spacetime-mass interface precludes unification. This same construct exists in M2 and M3, therefore neither of them will ever unify physics either. The requirement of unification is the ability to employ a single geometric basis point in order to fully couple all reference frames and manifest all of the fundamental forces of nature. The issue is that when predominant thinking dove into science Langer Epistemology Errors never entered anyone’s consciousness, much less their implications to fundamental definitions. Describing the core constructs of any encapsulated interpretive model of the Universe must as a matter of priority close to unification. M5 does that and M1 never will. It is just that simple.

Another point is that this is not just about physics. We necessarily must also include philosophy in this discussion. We must as a matter of fact recognize that if we are able to describe our perception of the Universe Bang to Bang then that necessarily requires a fundamental integration of philosophy and science. Elegant Reasonism is that integration.


This article is the first in a series of article posts we categorize as ‘A Case In Point’. These articles are intended to be exemplary forming a ‘learning point’ on which later insights will be illustrated. While the article itself is not restricted in any way, referenced articles are available only to registered users. It costs nothing to register and the benefit is greater access and the ability to leverage this information with other registered users. Links into our library are shareable with other registered users.


By Charles McGowen

Charles C McGowen is a strategic business consultant. He studied Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University '76-'78. IBM hired him early in '79 where he worked until 2003. He is now Chairman & CEO of SolREI, Inc. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2439-1707