Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The social perspective trumps creativity (in most people, most of the time)



dearieme said...

"You seem to enjoy being the grit in the oyster."

"Well it's better than being an oyster's arse."

Nicholas Fulford said...

I think it depends to what extent ego and attachment to the old inefficient way is important, and whether being creative will result in reward or punishment.

If the new way introduces risk in the minds of the people who are affected by it, expect resistance; or if it will result in people having to think in a new and unfamiliar way, it will also encounter resistance from those who feel comfortable and secure doing it the old way. These are social constraints.

To get around these constraints requires finding ways to generate enthusiasm about the new way, and where possible to introduce it in a low risk pilot. Best of all, show how it will lead to a reward, (time off, a bonus, more fun, or less stress.)

Some changes are intrinsically difficult from a social perspective. Off-shoring is a classic example, and the implications for employment, pensions, and the tax base for a developed country can be extreme, leading to such problems as an inability to fund existing public programs as the tax base diminishes. The hollowing out of the Middle Class when what were skilled jobs are being transferred to developing countries is a classic example. As McJobs come to replace these higher value jobs, a negative spiral begins. In this case introducing something which is efficient on one level has a severe detrimental affect on economies in developed countries. The race to the bottom, which is in the interest of a few at the top of the corporate pyramid is decidedly not in the long term interest of a developed nation. Further, in the long term it is not even in the interest of a successful corporation, as measures are taken by CEO's to enhance today's profits often at the expense of tomorrow's because their massive performance bonuses are based on today's bottom line.

Efficiency in the model is not the only good, though it is often a good. It may be necessary to have less efficiency for other valid reasons. For example, factory farming is efficient, but the effects of pesticide runoff in high concentrations seems to be a significant contributor to hypoxia in the Mississippi delta area of the Gulf of Mexico.

It is a difficult quandary.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

This reminds me of an old Steve Sailer piece:

Although increasing ethnic diversity is widely assumed to make the arts more “vibrant,” the triumph of the ideology of multiculturalism appears to have instead helped cause pop music to stagnate stylistically.

There’s a fundamental connection between the growth of ethnic pride and the decline of generational rebellion, because to rebel against your forefathers is to rebel against your race. Thus, for a group of young black musicians to issue a manifesto pointing out that 30 years of rap is plenty would be racial treason. Although long exhausted musically, hip-hop has become so emotionally entwined with African-American identity that we’re all stuck with it.