Proximal Development is the capacity of humans to expand their comprehension beyond what they previously thought to be true. The term was first coined by Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky, describing the development of the human brain and cognition past childhood. Now, we know when triggered, understanding, even in adults, can expand continually.
The adaptability of the human species to nature’s entropy is highly dependent on proximal development. The discoveries of nature derived from the expansion of the proximal development of a few can open the eyes, minds, and proximal development of many others.
For example, as we first believed the earth was flat, discovering that it was round led to subsequent discoveries that opened up our understanding of the universe. Some people still cannot muster the proximal development to acknowledge those discoveries six hundred years later.
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity proved how a whole new dimension of nature holds humanity to account. One hundred years later, we have yet to implement Einstein’s discovery to adjust the workings of policy, capital, and innovation poised to fundamentally improve human evolution’s excellence.
Asset managers, the so-called risk managers, with trillions of dollars of assets under management arbitrating the fractal of human expansion, admit by their ten levels of embedded risk to knowing nothing about risk. They ignore the proximal development that dictates risk determines distribution; not distribution determines risk. Worse, their investment strategies are based on an index of self, the S&P 500 centrifuge.
Parents stunt the proximal development of children when they tell them to paint the sky blue in their kindergarten drawings. They force their children to paint a version of untruth that does not match their observable reality. No meaningful proximal development can occur from denying nature’s truth.
The resistance to proximal development can be severe, highly inconvenient, threatening, and uncomfortable as its discoveries rattle the foundation upon which formidable careers and lives have been built.