In Mathematics, the unique solution is King. A solution that is not unique, not so much. This state of affairs prevails because while solutions that are not unique provide us with path flexibility, flexibility is useless if end points or objectives are not uniquely identifiable. In the United States, you can travel to Boston, MA from Atlanta, GA by road either through the state of Virginia or the state of Ohio. Traveling through Ohio takes roughly four additional hours, but gets you to Boston, MA. There is flexibility in choice of path, but if Boston, MA was not a fixed spatial point, flexibility of traveling through either of the states of Virginia or Ohio would be meaningless because arrival at Boston would be non-detectable, as such impossible.
Unique solutions are fixed points. They provide reference points, as such are the source of demand for solutions (paths) that are not unique. Without fixed points or unique solutions, flexibility in decision making is useless, as such impossible.
In a world within which pressures of life have increased significantly, the pressure to conform in order to belong is of order of magnitude larger than it ever used to be. If demand for conformity does not induce decrease in value of uniqueness, fixed points continue to be part of the equation of life, providing meaning for conformity because conformity has value only within context of flexibility.
Suppose for instance every teenager conforms by liking and listening to rock music. Some may like the Bee Gees, others the Rolling Stones. We have conformity but conformity is expressed within context of flexibility, as such is not contradictory to choice or free will.
Without flexibility, conformity is robotism, a denigration of human existence, free will, and choice.
It is well established that in space-time continuum, either of speed or location cannot be measured accurately. This is part of the essence of Einstein’s Law of Relativity. Relativity implies we never can exactly pinpoint the location of the earth because identification of location requires inability to measure speed accurately — a normatively difficult objective in light of the fact that the earth always is in motion. In life then and in presence of difficulties inherent in identification of location of objects that are in motion, objects in motion are defined by their speed until they arrive at some state of rest or inertia.
In the knowledge that we are in elliptical orbit around the sun, as such always at a relatively constant distance from the sun, we arrive at a sense of location that negates demand for pinpointing of our actual location. Absent knowledge of exact location, we have peace because there exists a reference point, the Sun. While our Sun itself also is in orbit, relative to life on earth, the Sun is a unique solution, a fixed point in space-time continuum. The relativity of the Sun as fixed point is sufficient for our sense of location.
If we do not value uniqueness that enhances the value proposition of life on earth (let’s refer to this sort of uniqueness as “good uniqueness”), we devalue the flexibility that renders conformity a non-degrading choice. We have then that those who push conformity must needs value good uniqueness wherever it is found else the loss of flexibility implies human consciousness eventually will rebel against demand for conformity.
Conformity demanded by music designed for parties or clubbing (designed for gatherings of lots of people, think Beyonce type music) embeds choice only because there exists music expressed entirely as an art form (think the Sade group), music that may or may not do as well in the stores. Conformity demanded by action movies with bad scripts (was this Transformers 2 or 3?) embeds choice only because there exist movies which are pure artistic expressions that at times do not make much money at the box office (think the ‘Locke’ movie, one of the best movies ever, period, grossing a measly money losing US$1.3 Million in the USA). It is the presence of the unique that renders the conformist option a choice.
Conformity works for those seeking to profit from it only in presence of unique solutions or fixed points that generate appearance of choice.
What then, am I preaching conformity as a good thing in life? Absolutely not. The reality, however, is not every person wants to have to make choices in many dimensions of life. The reality is some people love to go with the flow so long as the flow is not immoral and enables a decent lifestyle. This is who they are or have chosen to be. Such people have a right to their conformism. If, however, we devalue uniqueness in order to reach the conformist, the conformist eventually becomes the extremist or the revolutionary.
When conformism no longer seems to be a choice, conformists seek for new things. Enter the revolutionary or the extremist offering a new form of conformism that simultaneously embeds rebellion against the status quo. This perhaps explains why many young Britons found Islamic extremism appealing.
If we devalue uniqueness in order to reach the conformist, the conformist eventually becomes the extremist or the revolutionary.
It is blind push for conformism that perhaps creates young girls willing to kill for a Charles Manson, the self proclaimed savior or cult leader who orchestrated murders of several families in the late 1960s.
Blind push for conformism without simultaneous encouragement and valuing of good uniqueness is the root of much of the extremism and misery in the world today.
If you are a conformist, realize attempts at denigrating good uniqueness ultimately work against your welfare. If you represent good uniqueness, realize your uniqueness makes it easier for people who seek to conform to find good conformity, and rest or peace in their conformity.
Good uniqueness and good conformity make the world a much better place for us all.