Minor Dreamers and Incrementalism… Why?

15 May

Incrementalism rather than innovation seems to be modus operandi for society today. This seems to mirror itself across a multitude of arenas, even the church. Professor of Evangelism @lensweet tweeted this morning “Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a time when the world’s major dreamers are champions of minor dreams”.

Some might look to the internet and tech innovations as new, but not really, most concepts were developed in the 50’s. Some might look at cars, especially something like Ford’s upcoming ecoboost motor, but much of that was theorized and partially implemented during WWII. Another case is 3d MRI as used in medicine…So much of the underlying knowledge base of nearly everything we do is old school, very old school. In the case of the church, I think of folks like CT Studd… what would he have done, had he had the tools that the church has at hand today.

Most certainly folks who developed, or theorized the underlying knowledge base were working at a technical disadvantage. For the most part, there were no models, and simulation was exceedingly crude. There was virtually no ability to design in the morning, and have parts on the desk before the end of the day, albeit some guys probably could sit down at a mill and crank out parts off a napkin napkin drawing. Instead, it was tedious design to the max, and failure was pretty much everywhere.

Somehow I wonder if society has exchanged technical disadvantage for a psychological one. We have lots of round hole folks, working in square hole occupations, Our educational system focuses on conformity. If you want to see something scary… look up Carnegie units. In aviation… we focus on hours of education, not necessarily the quality of said hours. In medicine protocols dominate, so much so, its as if science was thrown out the window much of the time. Society also has distraction to the max, single issue focus is a rarity indeed…

I dont know if and how much any of the above contribute to the illness of incrementalism, the lack of fire in the gut, and a general malaise across most fields… but most certainly there is a problem, and I think its one that must be looked at, rather than congratulating one another over incremental advances.

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One Response to “Minor Dreamers and Incrementalism… Why?”

  1. jmhannon May 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Sounds like you are yearning for somthing big to happen. Has that ever really? I often wonder what Leonardo da Vinci would have been able to do with his flying machines if he had ripstop nylon and carbon fiber tubes. Seems like most great ideas depend on other developements to be able to be realized.

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